Delivery of comprehensive sexuality education in non-conventional settings during COVID-19 in low- and middle-income countries


Comprehensive Sexuality Education

A collection and synthesis of emerging evidence, strategies and lessons learnt from CSE delivery in non-conventional settings in low- and middle-income countries

A paper by Renske Termeulen
This knowledge paper was commissioned by the Share-Net Netherlands’ Community of practice on Comprehensive Sexuality Education, November 2020.


The Community of Practice on Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) is one of the thematic Communities of Practice of Share-Net Netherlands. Its aim is to exchange knowledge on policy, practice, and research on CSE to inform and strengthen CSE policies and programmes. The Community of Practice (CoP) on CSE organised a webinar in June 2020 to discuss the delivery of CSE during COVID-19 beyond conventional school and youth group settings. This knowledge paper is based on the webinar and follow up conversations with experts delivering CSE through innovative channels.

The aim of this knowledge paper is to collect and synthesise emerging evidence, strategies and lessons learnt from CSE delivery in non-conventional settings in low- and middle-income countries. Also, this paper contributes to the documentation of online SRHR service delivery during COVID-19. The paper concludes with key recommendations for diversified channels of CSE delivery that can complement conventional classroom-based CSE, thereby creating a more adaptive, resilient and complete package for CSE delivery, now and beyond COVID-19 Thus, this paper serves as a resource, inspiration and building block for CSE policy, programming and delivery.

During the worldwide restrictions imposed during COVID-19, such as lockdowns and the closing of schools, it was difficult to reach young people face-to-face in conventional settings. Therefore, many creative strategies, channels and media were used to keep delivering CSE and reaching young people. This paper is based on seven case studies, from Indonesia, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Egypt, and Malawi. In these countries, different NGOs have found creative ways to deliver CSE through, for example, radio or WhatsApp. During the pandemic, it is important to keep delivering CSE, because the restrictions have affected the lives of young people worldwide in various ways. Experts have, for example, reported more cases of domestic violence, sexual violence, teenage pregnancies and child marriages. But also mental health issues, loneliness, dating problems and stress-related issues came up. The need for CSE is thus still evident, if not heightened, during the COVID-19 crisis.

The paper summarises the cases on CSE delivery in non-conventional settings, discussing the following questions and discussion points:

  • Where and which organisation?
  • Which medium was used?
  • How was CSE delivered exactly?
  • Lessons learned, challenges and findings
  • Questions, uncertainties and issues

General Information:

  • Corporate Author: Renske Termeulen
  • Publication Year: 2020
  • To be published on country nodes: The Netherlands
  • This item is about these countries: Global
  • Theme: Comprehensive Sexuality Education