The Adolescent Girls Initiative-Kenya is a randomized, controlled trial that tests combinations of initiatives—in health, violence prevention, wealth creation, and education—to determine which improve girls’ lives most.
Poor adolescent girls in Kenya face considerable risks and vulnerabilities that affect their educational status, health, and general well-being. They are at high risk for early marriage, teenage pregnancy, early and unprotected sex, nonconsensual sex, and HIV and other STIs. They have limited income-earning opportunities and high rates of illiteracy, and often experience violence and social isolation.
Council research has shown that it is important to reach girls when they are young—between the ages of 10 and 14—before irreversible events like unwanted pregnancy can anchor them in poverty. The Adolescent Girls Initiative-Kenya will reach at least 6,000 girls ages 10–14 in the northern arid areas and urban slums of Kenya.
The program will build girls’ resources related to health, violence prevention, wealth creation, and education, which will strengthen their ability to protect themselves from harm. Program elements will be implemented in different combinations and rigorously evaluated through a randomized, controlled trial—the gold standard of research—to determine which combinations are the most cost-effective and have the greatest impact on girls’ lives.
Information from randomized, controlled trials can be reliably used to shape the field of adolescent girls’ policy and programs. This project will identify best practices, refine the critical elements of girl-centered programs, and help to eliminate ineffective approaches.