The KAYSRHR Network grew out of an informal alliance of SRHR organizations convened by Organization of African Youth-Kenya in 2015 with the help of IPPF’s small grants fund. The intention of the alliance at the time was to facilitate meaningful national level youth engagement and partnership to influence the position of Kenyan government ahead of its participation in regional and international discussions and negotiations on SRHR and population dynamics. In January 2017, the KAYSRHR Network was formalized and expanded its membership.Within this mission is an inherent recognition of the critical importance of youth-led advocacy and accountability.Rights are most effectively and most sustainably protected when individuals and groups can speak up for them themselves without relying solely on others as gatekeepers
Young people also know better than anyone how policies will affect them and their rights. Ensuring their participation strengthens advocacy efforts and keep policymakers accountable for the programs and policies they put forward related to youth SRHR. This is one of the attributes that make the network unique. While other SRHR coalition models exist, they tend not to be youth-led like the KAYSRHR Network. Being comprised of youth-led organizations uniquely positions the KAYSRHR Network to speak with knowledge and authority about youths’ SRHR concerns and proposed policies to address them, especially since there is a platform to consult them. The network’s mission of advocacy, as opposed to service delivery or public awareness efforts also separates it from any networks or coalitions like it.