By Admin

India, Pakistan | Adolescents empowerment program

Picture: courtesy of Kazi Ahraful Alam

Background

In cooperation with UNICEF in India and Pakistan, we assess the impacts of a large-scale program that target adolescents, their families and community stakeholders in both countries. The program objectives include an increase in adolescents’ empowerment and a reduction in early marriage and teenage pregnancy, among others.

In many countries, children and youth’s rights still fail to be respected. For instance, in South Asia, including Pakistan, large proportions of youth are deprived of education. Moreover, child and early marriage is a widespread practice, which is illegal and often happens without consent. Empowering youth, especially young women, is one way of fighting these practices. It is key to achieve inclusive development and has a phenomenal multiplier effect across all development areas.

Evaluation

UNICEF with support by the IKEA Foundation launched a multiyear adolescents’ empowerment program that holistically integrates adolescents, their families and community stakeholders in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. With a strong focus on empowerment, the program aims to enhance adolescents’ decision-making power and sensitize their families and communities regarding the fulfillment of adolescents’ rights and entitlements. Ultimately the program seeks to increase enrollment in education facilities, reduce early marriage and tackle teenage pregnancy.

With the impact evaluation design being integrated early on, along with the planning stages of the programs of UNICEF India and Pakistan, a rigorous evaluation has been embedded directly into the program in order to learn what works for adolescent empowerment. The impact evaluation will also support UNICEF in understanding how positive masculinities could play a role in empowerment.