Download StudyGeneral

Study Overview

Sahel Women’s Empowerment and Demographic Dividend (SWEDD): Empowering Adolescent Girls through Safe Spaces and Accompanying Measures in Cote d'Ivoire
Study ID:
Initial Registration Date:
Last Update Date:
Study Status:
Cote Divoire
The Sahel Women’s Empowerment and Demographic Dividend (SWEDD) is a regional project aiming to reduce gender inequalities and accelerate the demographic transition by addressing both supply and demand constraints to family planning and reproductive and sexual health. In Cote d’Ivoire, the government is implementing safe spaces for both in- and out-of-school adolescent girls and young women aged 8-24, as well as a series of accompanying measures such as academic support courses, support for income generating activities, and parallel clubs for boys and men. As part of a cross-country study, the present impact evaluation will test the safe space model at scale in the Sahelian context. Through its two-pronged approach, the study will compare the efficiency of community- and school-based safe spaces and examine the heterogeneity of impacts by schooling status as well as age and marital status. It will also measure the added impact of engaging boys and men and of providing either academic or livelihood support on adolescent girls’ health, empowerment and economic outcomes.
Health, Nutrition, and Population
Additional Keywords:
Adolescent girls, early marriage, early childbearing, empowerment, sexual and reproductive health, engaging boys and men, safe spaces
Secondary ID Number(s):

Principal Investigator(s)

Name of First PI:
Léa Rouanet
World Bank, Africa Gender Innovation Lab (GIL)
Name of Second PI:
Désiré Kanga
Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Statistique et d’Economie Appliquée (ENSEA)

Study Sponsor

Study Sponsor Location:
Funding Proposal:

Research Partner

Name of Partner Institution:
Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Statistique et d’Economie Appliquée (ENSEA)
Type of Organization:
Research institute/University
Cote Divoire

Intervention Overview

The two SWEDD interventions included in this impact evaluation are centered around mentor-led girls’ clubs, or “safe spaces”. First, girls attending the first cycle of secondary school (Grades 7 to 10) participate in school-based safe spaces, where trained mentors teach life skills (e.g., self-confidence, interpersonal skills, managing emotions, self-motivation, conflict management) and provide information on sexual and reproductive health. In addition, girls in select schools are also offered an academic support course focused on math and reading skills. Second, out-of-school girls aged 8 to 24 are offered similar mentor-led safe spaces in their communities. A subset of these safe spaces also provide young women aged 16 to 24 with support for income-generating activities. This includes vocational training, support for traditional and non-traditional trades, and small group grants to help participants launch savings groups. Finally, select communities engage married and unmarried boys and men aged 16 to 25 in husbands’ and future husbands’ schools, which are modeled after the safe spaces and aimed at promoting gender equality.
Theory of Change:
The design of the SWEDD project is based on the assumptions that increasing adolescent girls and women social and economic empowerment is essential to: (i) reduce fertility rates, (ii) improve health; (iii) and increase human capital to lower dependency ratios and create a productive adult workforce. Participation in safe spaces is expected to delay marriage and childbearing by: (i) increasing girls’ knowledge and use of sexual and reproductive health services; (ii) changing preferences for early marriage and childbearing as well as aspirations; (iii) increasing girls’ self-confidence and decision-making power. The academic support add-on is expected to improve academic achievement, which in turn is expected to delay marriage and childbearing, improve bargaining power, and expand economic opportunities. The livelihoods support add-on is expected to increase girls’ engagement in livelihood activities, savings, and earnings and delay marriage and childbearing by increasing the opportunity costs and improving girls’ decision-making power. It is further expected that engaging boys and men would have a positive effect on both girls’ decision-making power, by promoting equal gender norms, and on health outcomes, by improving men’s SRH knowledge. Finally, the anticipated project impacts are mutually reinforcing in that marriage/childbearing delays lead to productivity gains by allowing girls the time to finish school and start a livelihood; and increased engagement in activities and higher earnings increase the opportunity cost of having children and hence delays childbearing.
Multiple Treatment Arms Evaluated?

Implementing Agency

Name of Organization:
Ministry of National Education, Technical Education and Vocational Training; Ministry of Women, Family, and Social Affaires; Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene; International Rescue Committee (IRC)
Type of Organization:
Public Sector, e.g. Government Agency or Ministry

Program Funder

Name of Organization:
World Bank
Type of Organization:
Foreign or Multilateral Aid Agency

Intervention Timing

Intervention or Program Started at time of Registration?
Start Date:
End Date:
Evaluation Method

Evaluation Method Overview

Primary (or First) Evaluation Method:
Randomized control trial
Other (not Listed) Method:
Additional Evaluation Method (If Any):
Other (not Listed) Method:

Method Details

Details of Evaluation Approach:
The random assignment is conducted in two stages. First, the 60 secondary schools (or collèges) are randomized into two treatment school-based groups (TS1 = safe spaces; TS2 = SS + academic support) and one control group, each group containing 20 secondary schools. Second, 56 communities (villages or neighborhoods) are sampled out of the 112 communities that were originally mapped to control schools and are considered control automatically. The remaining 224 study communities mapped to treated schools are randomly assigned to one of the three community-based treatment groups (TC1 = safe spaces; TC2 = SS + livelihood support; TC3 = SS + boys' clubs). The remaining 56 communities are assigned to the control group and don’t receive any intervention.
Outcomes (Endpoints):
The main indicators can be grouped in the following four categories: - Sexual and reproductive health: knowledge on SRH (e.g., modern contraceptives, birth spacing, breastfeeding), use of modern contraception, access to and use of health services, fertility preferences, early marriage and childbearing. - Education: school enrollment, attendance, performance, and grade completion. - Economic: employment, participation in (non-farm) income generating activities, income, savings. - Empowerment and life skills: decision-making power within the household, mobility, self-esteem, attitudes towards and experience of gender-based violence, aspirations about education, employment, and marriage.
Unit of Analysis:
Primary hypotheses: Participation in safe spaces will improve adolescent girls’ knowledge and use of family planning, socio-emotional skills, and other empowerment indicators such as aspirations and decision-making power. The positive impact on these outcomes will be greater in communities with boys’ and men’s clubs. When also provided with academic support courses, in-school safe space participants will report higher school enrollment, attendance, and completion rates than non-participants or participants in safe spaces only. Similarly, out-of-school participants receiving additional IGA support will be more likely to be employed and earn higher incomes. | Secondary hypotheses: Younger girls will benefit more than older girls. Longer-term impacts will include a reduction in early marriage and childbearing rates.
Unit of Intervention or Assignment:
Clusters (secondary schools and communities)
Number of Clusters in Sample:
60 secondary schools and 280 communities
Number of Individuals in Sample:
5,320 adolescent girls and their households
Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:
20 secondary schools per arm for the in-school safe spaces; 56 communities per arm for the community-based safe spaces

Supplementary Files

Analysis Plan:
Other Documents:

Outcomes Data

Panel data set comprising 3 rounds of data collection: (i) Baseline survey, including an initial listing of households in each of the 280 study communities to create the sampling frame; (ii) Midline survey, conducted while the intervention is ongoing, and (iii) Endline survey, conducting post-intervention. 19 girls (15 out-of-school and 4 in-school) and their households are surveyed per community. The analysis will be complemented by administrative data (M&E, from Min of Edu and Min of Health).
Data Already Collected?
Survey Name:
Data Previously Used?
Data Access:
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Approval Process:
Approval Status:

Treatment Assignment Data

Participation or Assignment Information:
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Previously Used?
Data Access:
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Approval Process:
Approval Status:

Data Analysis

Data Analysis Status:

Study Materials

Upload Study Materials:

Registration Category

Registration Category:
Prospective, Category 1: Data for measuring impacts have not been collected

Completion Overview

Intervention Completion Date:
Data Collection Completion Date:
Unit of Analysis:
Clusters in Final Sample:
Total Observations in Final Sample:
Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:


Preliminary Report:
Preliminary Report URL:
Summary of Findings:
Paper Summary:
Paper Citation:

Data Availability

Data Availability (Primary Data):
Date of Data Availability:
Data URL or Contact:
Access procedure:

Other Materials

Survey Instrument Links or Contact:
Program Files:
Program Files Links or Contact:
External Link:
External Link Description:
Description of Changes:

Study Stopped