GAGE is a nine-year (2015-2024) mixed methods longitudinal research and evaluation programme following the lives of adolescents in diverse developing country contexts. GAGE will generate new evidence on ‘what works’ to enable poor adolescent girls to emerge from poverty and fast-track social change for themselves, their families and communities and their countries. The programme is funded by UK aid from the UK government.
GAGE aims to understand what programmes are most effective in transforming adolescent girls’ lives at specific points during their teens. We will generate unique cross-country data following 18,000 adolescents (including approximately 12,000 girls and 6,000 boys), along with their families and peers, as they move from late childhood into early adulthood in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nepal and Rwanda. Complementing this is participatory action research with adolescent girls and boys in conflict-affected refugee and host communities in Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and the West Bank. GAGE research will put girls’ perspectives at the centre of its evidence base.
Our results will support policy-makers and programme implementers to develop policies and programmes to effectively reach adolescent girls and boys and advance their well-being. Our research will contribute to international efforts to meet the ambitious adolescent- and gender-related targets of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Why adolescent girls?
Girls have seen remarkable progress over the last two decades. Whereas a generation ago girls were far less likely than boys to go to school, in many countries today, girls are more likely than boys to compete primary school. Adolescence, however, remains a time of great vulnerability for girls in low-and middle-income countries. Due to restrictive gender norms, which become ‘tighter’ as girls experience puberty, adolescent girls are all too often unable to make the transition from primary to secondary school, see their mobility restricted and are forced to marry to suit their families’ wishes. Many girls in developing countries do not have access to any sort of formal employment that would allow them to create their own secure futures and are at significant risk of sexual exploitation and violence. GAGE’s research can contribute to efforts to support adolescent girls to maximise their capabilities and move into the future as purposive actors in their own right - by generating robust evidence on what works, where and why.