UNICEF South Asia Children Program

UNICEF South Asia and Center for Evaluation and Development (C4ED) partnered for a four year partnership on knowledge management and learning on adolescents in South Asia.

Adolescence is defined by the United Nations as the period between the ages of 10-19 years, which ushers in the transition from childhood to adulthood.  A period when many critical physical, social and economic factors influence the foundations for adult life.

There are more than 330 million adolescents in South Asia – 19 percent of the total population of South Asia (SOWC, 2016). In India, home to more adolescents than anywhere in the world, there are a total of 239 million adolescents (19 percent of the population). In Afghanistan, one of the world’s youngest and fastest growing populations, out of a total 30.5 million people, there are over 8 million adolescents between ages 10-19 making up 26% of the population. In Pakistan, there are 39.8 million adolescents making up 22 percent of the population.

Despite representing a large proportion of the population, adolescents are largely invisible as citizens, as they are often excluded from decisions that affect them and have limited access to information.

Adolescence can also be difficult for a variety of socio-economic, physical, cultural, religious and psychological factors. In South Asia, girls and boys experience adolescence differently. While boys tend to enjoy greater freedom, girls tend to face more extensive limitations on their ability to move freely and to make decisions affecting their work, education, marriage and social relationships. With the prevalence of gender discrimination in the region, as well as social norms and practices, girls become exposed to the possibility of child marriage, teenage pregnancy, child domestic work, poor education and health, sexual abuse and exploitation and violence.

The partnership “Improving adolescent lives in South Asia” analyzed life experiences and life situations of adolescents in South Asia, resulting in several reports and knowledge products.

The videos exemplify situations and examples of adolescents’ lives in South Asia.



Accelerated Learning Centers

Community Discussions

Multi-Purpose Adolescents Groups



Community Based Child Protection Committees

Stipend Initiative

Adolescent Radio Listeners Group

Life Skills Based Education



Rupantaran Adolescents Training Program

Saathi Sanga Mann Ka Kura (Radio Show for Adolescents)

Partnership with Religious Leaders


Launch of Child Labor Survey (Part 1)

Launch of Child Labor Survey (Part 2)