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Adolescent girls in Oromia, Ethiopia (c) Nathalie Bertrams / GAGE

Transforming gender norms through life-skills programming in rural Ethiopia: short-term impacts and emerging lessons for adaptive programming (Oromia case study)

20.04.21 | Ethiopia

Authors

Sarah Baird, Rebecca Dutton, Joan Hamory, Abreham Iyasu, Nicola Jones, Elizabeth Presler-Marshall and Workneh Yadete

Life-skills programming that takes a gender-responsive approach is well-positioned to both build adolescents’ skills and to empower them more broadly. Reviews of the impacts of club-based life-skills interventions in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) find that they improve adolescents’ educational, mental health and psychosocial outcomes, but also highlight important evidence gaps, particularly for interventions targeting very young adolescents (VYA; aged 10–14 years).

The implementation and evaluation of Act With Her-Ethiopia (AWH-E) programming, targeting three diverse populations in Ethiopia, provides a critical opportunity to fill this evidence gap and contribute to understanding of ‘what works’ to influence adolescents’ trajectories. AWH-E is a safe spaces curriculum-based group programme for girls aged 11–13, with additional programming for boys and adolescents’ support systems (including parents, community leaders and other community members) and system-strengthening initiatives.

The Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence (GAGE) programme is carrying out a longitudinal cluster randomised evaluation of the AWH-E programme in three regions of Ethiopia: Afar, Amhara and Oromia. This report is one of a series of three regional reports. It focuses on survey and qualitative research findings from East Hararghe in Ethiopia’s Oromia region, and concludes with recommendations for future programming.
Suggested citation

Baird, S., Dutton, R., Hamory, J., Iyasu, A., Jones, N., Presler-Marshall, E. and Yadete, W. (2021) Transforming gender norms through life-skills programming in rural Ethiopia: short-term impacts and emerging lessons for adaptive programming. Oromia case study. Report. London: Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence.


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