This briefing paper, which is based on a rapid evidence review, and focuses primarily on cash transfers, which account for the bulk of the evidence on adolescence and social protection, concentrates on adolescents aged 10-19. It takes a capabilities approach, which not only acknowledges adolescents’ multidimensional rights but–as Nussbaum (1997) notes– enables us to assess the ways in which public policies and services enable young people to really function in ways they value and ‘not just to have the right on paper’ (p. 295). Following the GAGE conceptual framework, we focus on six capabilities: education and learning, health and nutrition, bodily integrity and freedom from violence, psychosocial wellbeing, voice and agency, and economic empowerment (GAGE Consortium, 2017). For each, we begin by considering how gender norms shape child and adolescent development before then discussing the ways in which cash transfers and other social protection instruments may improve outcomes and what space there may be for social protection to shift not only outcomes but the social norms underpinning constraints. In the case of cash transfers, while it would be important from a programme design perspective to be able to distinguish between the effects of conditional, unconditional and labelled CT programmes in each domain, the evidence base is not sufficient to be able to systematically tease out these differences.
Jones, N. and Presler-Marshall, E. (2019) ‘Social protection and adolescent capabilities: what does a gender norms lens add to the debate?’ Policy brief. London: Advancing Learning and Innovation on Gender Norms.