Download StudyGeneral

Study Overview

Title:
Empowering Adolescent Girls in the Sahel: Evidence from a Multi-Country RCT of the Sahel Women Empowerment and Demographic Dividend Project
Study is 3ie funded:
No
Study ID:
RIDIE-STUDY-ID-5fad8797d6fcd
Initial Registration Date:
11/12/2020
Last Update Date:
11/02/2020
Study Status:
Ongoing
Location(s):
Burkina Faso
Chad
Cote Divoire
Mali
Mauritania
Niger
Abstract:

The Sahel Women Empowerment and Demographic Dividend (SWEDD) is a regional project aiming to accelerate the demographic transition by addressing both supply- and demand-side constraints to family planning and reproductive and sexual health. To achieve its objective, the project targets adolescent girls and young women mainly between the ages of 10-19 vulnerable to early marriage, teenage pregnancy, and early school drop-out, as well as their communities.

 The impact evaluation framework focuses on six SWEDD countries (Burkina Faso, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Mauritania, Niger), where country-level impact evaluations are ongoing. In these countries, nineteen sub-projects have been approved by the SWEDD Regional Steering Committee and started in 2018. All the projects fall into one or more of three windows of eligible interventions. The first window, empowering girls, includes life skills and sexual and reproductive health knowledge projects that build adolescent girls’ capacity to lead healthy and productive lives. The second window focuses on improving economic opportunities through support for income-generating activities. The third group of projects falls under the window of keeping girls in school and includes projects to improve girls’ enrollment and retention in school.

This multi-country impact evaluation study focuses on evaluating interventions in the two first windows and will generate evidence related to the following research questions: What is the impact of community-based safe spaces on adolescent girls’ sexual and reproductive health knowledge and behaviors? What about the impacts on empowerment indicators such as aspirations and self-esteem? What is the impact of community-based safe spaces on involvement in income generating activities, savings, and earnings? What is the impact of combining safe spaces and livelihood support interventions on health, empowerment, and economic outcomes?

Registration Citation:
Categories:
Education
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:
Lea Marie Rouanet, Mousson Estelle Jamel Koussoube, Harouna Kazianga, Elise Huillery, Bastien Michel, Olivia Bertelli, Markus Olapade
Affiliation:
World Bank, World Bank, Africa Gender Innovation Lab (GIL), Oklahoma state University, Paris School of economics, Paris Dauphine, Center for Evaluation and Development (C4ED), University of Mannheim
Name of Second PI:
Affiliation:

Study Sponsor

Name:
World Bank
Study Sponsor Location:
United States

Research Partner

Name of Partner Institution:
NA
Type of Organization:
Location:
United States
Intervention

Intervention Overview

Intervention:

There are two windows of intervention to be evaluated in this study. The first window, empowering girls, includes life skills and sexual and reproductive health knowledge projects that build adolescent girls’ capacity to lead healthy and productive lives. The second window focuses on improving economic opportunities through support for income-generating activities. The main objective of these interventions is to create the conditions for girls to stay in school longer, marry later and begin having children later.

In practice, the regional impact evaluation is based on two treatments:

  1. Safe spaces (T1)
  2. Safe spaces plus income generating activities, including providing cash transfers (IGA) (T2).

In the framework of the regional impact evaluation, beneficiaries targeted are adolescent girls distributed across schools, villages and localities, depending on each country as

the interventions take different forms in the considered SWEDD countries. In Côte d’Ivoire, for instance, safe spaces have been provided both for in- and out-of-school adolescent girls and young women aged 12-24 while in Burkina-Faso, for the same age group, only out of school girls are targeted. On top of safe spaces, some academic support courses are also offered along with supports for income generating activities in Côte d’Ivoire. In Mali, the implementation was similar to Côte d’Ivoire, but also includes cash transfers to encourage schooling. In Mauritania, there were both in-school and community-based safe spaces with some scholarships provided to support schooling and some business grants to selected beneficiaries. In Chad, safe spaces treatment is limited to in-school girls and some of them are also provided with IGA supports. Niger only implemented safe spaces. There were no IGA supports.

Theory of Change:

The design of the SWEDD project is based on the hypothesis 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. Here, “social empowerment” is defined as participation in community-level girls’ programs, with an implicit theory of change that such participation leads to social empowerment. These programs will enable economic empowerment. “Economic empowerment” is defined here as having both the resources to advance economically and the power to make and act on economic decisions. Economic empowerment starts with fair and equal access to markets and institutions, but women also need agency and control over resources to ensure they benefit from economic activities.

Furthermore, the anticipated project’s impacts (delayed marriage and childbearing; increased engagement in activities and earnings) are mutually reinforcing in that marriage/childbearing delays lead to productivity gains by allowing girls the time to finish school and start a livelihood. This facilitates increased engagement in economic activities and allows for higher earnings. As a result, there is an increase in the opportunity cost of having children and hence delays childbearing. Thus, providing a combination of interventions (for example safe spaces and support for income generating activities) is expected to yield more impact than simply providing one intervention. 

Multiple Treatment Arms Evaluated?
Yes

Implementing Agency

Name of Organization:
Country specific ministers of women, health, territory and population, education, technical and vocational education, youth and sport, family and humanitarian action, etc.
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?
No
Start Date:
01/01/2019
End Date:
12/31/2023
Evaluation Method

Evaluation Method Overview

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

Method Details

Details of Evaluation Approach:

The regional impact evaluation is based on two treatments: safe spaces (T1) and safe spaces plus income generating activities, including providing cash transfers (IGA) (T2).

Across countries, clusters, i.e. administrative units (villages or urban neighborhoods), are randomized into treatment groups (T1 and T2) and the corresponding control groups.

The number of treated treated and control group adolescents after the random assignment of villages are as follows by country:

  • Burkina Faso: 6362 treated adolescent girls and young women; and 1965 adolescent girls and young women in the control group.
  • Chad:
  • Côte d’Ivoire: 3 964 treated adolescent girls and young women; and 1 320 adolescent girls and young women in the control group.
  • Mauritanie:
  • Mali:  5198 treated adolescent girls and young women; and 2 265 adolescent girls and young women in the control group.
  • Niger: 3459 treated adolescent girls and young women; and 3 483 adolescent girls and young women in the control group.
Outcomes (Endpoints):

The main indicators can be grouped in the following four categories: (i) Sexual and reproductive health, including knowledge on SRH (e.g., modern contraceptives, birth spacing, and breastfeeding), use of modern contraception, access to and use of health services, fertility preferences, early marriage and childbearing, (ii) Education including school enrollment, attendance, performance and grade completion, (iii) Economic employment including participation in (non-farm) income generating activities, income, savings, and (iv) Empowerment and life skills including 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:
Individual
Hypotheses:

Primary hypothesis.

The main hypothesis is that participating 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.In the long term, we expect to observe a reduction in early marriage and childbearing rates.

 When on top of safe spaces, income generating activities (IGA) are provided, we expect these safe spaces beneficiaries to report higher productivity and revenue: the anticipated project’s impacts (delayed marriage and childbearing; increased engagement in activities and earnings) are mutually reinforcing in that marriage/childbearing delays lead to productivity gains by allowing girls the time to finish school and start a livelihood. Thus, providing a combination of interventions (safe spaces + IGA) is expected to yield more impact than simply providing one intervention.

Secondary hypotheses:

We expect the participation to the interventions as well as the impacts on the outcomes of interest to vary by marital status and age. Existing studies of the impact of safe spaces and other interventions targeting girls to improve sexual and reproductive health outcomes have emphasized the mediating effect of age, with younger girls benefiting more on average (e.g. Amin et al., 2016). In addition, married girls may benefit less for the interventions as married girls may have less time to devote to these activities due to domestic responsibilities. On the other hand, because group-based activities have the potential to increase social capital (e.g. Roy et al., 2019), they may particularly benefit married girls who may have less opportunities to interact with their peers due to time constraints. Therefore, we will test for the heterogeneity of effects by age group and marital status.

Unit of Intervention or Assignment:
Clusters (villages and urban localities)
Number of Clusters in Sample:
Burkina-Faso :200; Chad: 200; Cote d'Ivoire=224; Mali=171; Mauritanie =74; Niger=198
Number of Individuals in Sample:
Burkina-Faso :200; Chad: 200; Cote d'Ivoire=224; Mali=171; Mauritanie =74; Niger=198
Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:
Burkina-Faso=8327; Chad= ; Cote d'Ivoire=5284; Mali=7463; Mauritanie =; Niger=6942

Supplementary Files

Analysis Plan:
Other Documents:
Data

Outcomes Data

Description:
Panel data set comprising 3 rounds of data collection: (i) Baseline survey, including an initial listing of households in each of the 1273 villages and localities to create the sampling frame; (ii) Midline survey expected to start by October 2020 and (iii) Endline survey expected to be conducted between 2022-2023.
Data Already Collected?
No
Data Previously Used?
Data Access:
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Approval Process:
Approval Status:

Treatment Assignment Data

Participation or Assignment Information:
Yes
Description:
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

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:

Findings

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

Data Availability

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

Other Materials

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

Study Stopped

Date:
Reason: