Adolescent Girls’ Programming: Community of Practice

The Council helps strengthen the capacity of different actors to design, implement, and evaluate effective, scalable programs that build the health, social, economic, and cognitive assets of adolescent girls. We work with institutions that range from large, multilateral and bilateral organizations and governments to small community-based organizations and national networks.

The Issue

While investment in adolescent girls is increasing, there remains a wide gap between what is promised and what is achieved. The gap is widest for girls at the highest risk of the worst outcomes. Reaching the most vulnerable girls is not possible without trusted community relationships, sufficient capacity on the ground, and user-friendly evidence-informed tools to help practitioners design, test, expand, and evaluate programs. The Population Council helps fill the gap to bring effective programs for adolescent girls to scale.

The Progress

The Population Council is committed to expanding programming on the ground for girls, anchored in evidence, in partnership with community practitioners, and with the needs of specific segments of girls at the center. The Council established the Community of Practice in 2013, building on fifteen previous years of research on the conditions of girls at the highest risk with the worst outcomes.

The Community of Practice partners craft interventions tailored for girls to build their health, social, economic, and cognitive assets. The Population Council has published a series of practical Tools and Resources for Girl-Centered Programming. We are committed to providing and supporting the use of tools that include:

  • country-specific adolescent data guides;
  • instructions on how to define the universe of girls in a community and assessing who is reached by programs and services;
  • toolkits for designing, implementing, and evaluating girls’ programs including identifying the best methods of recruitment, assessing community safety and resources to pinpoint safe space venues, and supporting the recruitment, training, and retention of mentors;
  • recommendations for program approaches to build girls’ assets; and
  • examples of adaptable curricula for girls’ programs on topics from reproductive health to financial literacy

The Impact

As of 2018, the Council has worked with over 100 partners and 35 countries to reach girls in higher concentrations with measurable results, building the foundation for effective, scalable programs for girls. The Council’s efforts have helped to shape policies and programs of nongovernmental organizations, international agencies, and governments around the world to improve girls’ lives.

Learn more about the Community of Practice on the website, 

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