3.4.4 Recent evaluations reveal a complex and often surprising relationship among health, economic, and protection outcomes for AGYW

At the 2012 GYEOC, several presenters shared impact assessments that filled gaps in the knowledge base of what works for AGYW. Initial evaluation results seem to confirm what many practitioners have observed over time: deep synergies between SRH and economic outcomes. They raise deep and provocative questions about how integrated programs impact all aspects of young peoples’ lives.

Research Spotlight: Randomized Control Trials Build the Evidence Base on Adolescent Girls and Young Women

Liberia

The Adolescent Girls Initiative (AGI) of the World Bank provides vocational and entrepreneurship training for young women in Liberia, Nepal, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Jordan, Laos, and Haiti. The program design includes the competitive selection of private sector/NGO training providers to provide market-relevant skills, vocational skills for wage or self employment, financial literacy and business development, stipends (Afghanistan, Liberia, Rwanda), and job placement through performance-based contracts. Pilot programs were rigorously evaluated by the design team to identify what methods work best to inform the design of future programs and scale-up of pilot programs. In Liberia, the AGI was implemented by the Ministry of Gender and Development and included job skills (e.g., painting, hotel and restaurant work, driving) and business development services training. Coverage included 2,500 girls in Greater Monrovia and Kakata in nine communities in two rounds. Post-training, there was a six-month follow-up period.

Impact evaluation of the AGI in Liberia featured a randomized control trial (RCT) with a baseline taken in 2010, a midline in 2011 and an endline in 2012. Results from the midline of the RCT revealed the following:

  • Large increases in employment (55 percent increase) and earnings (115 percent increase)
  • Positive impacts on savings and self-confidence
  • Stronger effects for business skills trainees than for job skills trainees, noting that business skills income is total enterprise revenue, not earnings or profits

Next steps for evaluation include examining the impact of this on households, understanding the profits and incomes of businesses, and, once the endline is complete, looking at longer-term outcomes to understand if positive effects persist, grow, or weaken over time.

For more information on the AGI, see http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTGENDER/0,,contentMDK:...