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Health + Equality + School Engagement: Scenarios USA Reinvents Sex Education

October 24, 2013

This issue of Quality/Calidad/Qualité highlights the experience of Scenarios USA,3 an innovative nonprofit program that has integrated a gender and rights perspective -- and a critical thinking approach -- into curricula, while fostering new pedagogies and greater awareness among teachers. Scenarios USA approaches sexual health not as a stand-alone issue but as intertwined with young people's overall lives and agency. As such, the organization's "sex ed" work is part of a broader strategy of fostering self-expression, leadership, and advocacy among youth, especially among those living in marginalized communities.Instead of teaching adolescents about contraceptive methods, Scenarios has them thinking and writing about gender norms, power dynamics, and intimate relationships in their own lives.

Girls on the Move: Adolescent Girls and Migration in the Developing World

May 14, 2013

Adolescent girls are on the move. Throughout the developing world, natural disasters, political emergencies, child marriage, and violence force a migration journey many girls do not choose. But for most girls, migration is a choice made in a quest for social and economic advancement. Migration offers adolescent girls the possibility and promise of opportunity. Absent from their parents and the limits of their natal homes, migrant girls can seize new opportunities and fully enjoy their human rights as they enter adulthood.The ability to navigate a number of critical milestones throughout her journey shapes a migrant girl's success or failure. An unsuccessful transition can have significant consequences. It is those consequences that are portrayed in popular culture: the trafficked Eastern European girl who is sexually exploited; the young Chinese woman hunched over a sewing machine in filthy surroundings; the frightened domestic worker in Central America. These disadvantages are real and deserve attention, but they do not tell the whole story.This report brings a fresh image of girls' migration: the uniformed secondary school student in a boarding school in Zimbabwe; the apprentice acquiring tailoring skills in Ghana; and the factory worker in Bangladesh abandoning her traditional role to negotiate higher wages with an employer. Should a migrant girl successfully navigate her journey, the ability to unlock her potential expands enormously. When she thrives in her new home, a successful migrant girl can be a powerful agent of social and economic change, transforming the prospects of her family and community. She has a unique potential, known as the girl effect, to end poverty for herself and for others. With a primary focus on internal migration, "Girls on the Move" presents evidence not only about how and why a girl moves, but ultimately about what factors enable girls to take advantage of new opportunities in employment, education, and health. Building from the evidence, the report recommends policies and programs for migrant adolescent girls that take account of their diversity, ensure protection, and cultivate connections, assets, and capital -- the main ingredients for migrant girls' success.

The Adolescent Girls Empowerment Program: Lessons learned from the pilot test program

January 1, 2013

This document presents an evaluation of the Adolescent Girls Empowerment Program (AGEP), which is comprised of three major components: 1) safe spaces groups in which girls meet once a week over the course of two years for training on sexual and reproductive health, life skills and financial education. Groups are facilitated by a mentor, a young female from the same community as the girls; 2) a health voucher that girls can use at contracted private and public facilities for general wellness and sexual and reproductive health services; and 3) a saving account that has been designed to be girl-friendly. A randomized control trial (RCT) using a cluster design is being used to evaluate the impact of AGEP. The research aims to identify the impact of the intervention on the following key indicators: HIV prevalence, HSV-2 prevalence, age at first sex, age at first birth, contraceptive use, experience of gender-based violence, and educational attainment.

Financial Education Curriculum for the Adolescent Girls Empowerment Program (AGEP)

January 1, 2013

This document presents financial education learning sessions, collectively titled Dream Big! Kwacha for Our Future, were developed as part of the Adolescent Girls Empowerment Program, funded by a grant from the UK Department of International Development. The overall goal of the program is to help vulnerable adolescent girls in Zambia build their social, health and economic assets. Specifically, in order to build girls' economic assets, they participate in training sessions on financial education, as well as have the opportunity to open savings accounts. The project is led by the Population Council, in partnership with the Young Women's Christian Association of Zambia (YWCA Zambia), the National Savings and Credit Bank (NatSave), Making Cents International, and the Government of the Republic of Zambia.

Enhancing the Benefits of Girls' Livelihood Initiatives. Promoting Healthy, Safe, and Productive Transitions to Adulthood

February 1, 2011

This docuent shares case studies from the Council's work (with NGOs such as CARE) on adolescent girl livelihoods during the past decade and summarizes valuable lessons to guide current and future programs.

Expanding Safe Spaces, Financial Education, and Savings for Adolescent Girls in Kenya

January 1, 2011

This document provides background and findings from the Pop. Council program "Safe and Smart Savings Products for Vulnerable Adolescent Girls in Kenya and Uganda." Working with two financial institution partners in Kenya (K-Rep Bank and Faulu-Kenya) and two in Uganda (Finance Trust and FINCA-Uganda), the Council has successfully developed a savings account that provides girls with a financial service specifically suited to their needs within a program model that expands access to safe spaces, strengthens girls' social networks, and provides them with financial education and basic health education. Once girls open their account, they join a savings group that meets weekly in the community under the guidance of a mentor who facilitates training and group discussion. These mentors are young women from the community who are trained by the program, serve as critical role models for the girls, and contribute to building young female leadership at the community level. The financial institutions also hold periodic meetings with parents to gain parents' support and to provide information on financial services to the adults.

Youth in India: Situation and Needs Study 2006-2007

March 25, 2010

Surveys youth on education, employment, media exposure, socialization, agency and gender role attitudes, awareness of sexual and reproductive health, pre-marital relationships, married life, civic participation, and other issues. Recommends interventions.

New Lessons: The Power of Educating Adolescent Girls

November 17, 2009

Offers data and analysis on the impact of education on adolescent girls' lives and highlights promising approaches. Calls for evaluating girl-friendly education programs, compiling data on non-formal schools, and improving curricula, access, and supports.

Broadening Girls' Horizons: Effects of Life Skills Education Programme in Rural Uttar Pradesh

April 1, 2009

This report is the result of a collaborative project undertaken by Prerana and the Population Council to implement a life skills education programme for unmarried adolescent girls in rural Uttar Pradesh and to evaluate its effectiveness. The intervention programme aimed to empower unmarried adolescent girls aged 13-17 years and address their vulnerabilities by building their agency; fostering egalitarian gender role attitudes; building awareness about sexual and reproductive health matters; developing vocational skills and future work aspirations; and influencing perceptions about marriage and their ability to negotiate marriage-related decisions, delaying marriage and first pregnancy.

Evaluation of HIV counseling and testing in ANC settings and adherence to short course antiretroviral prophylaxis for PMTCT in Francistown, Botswana

March 1, 2009

Worldwide, it is estimated that two million children are infected with HIV (USAID 2005). The vast majority of these infections are the result of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of the virus during pregnancy, labor, or breastfeeding. However, there are effective methods for prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT). Botswana is one of the first countries in the developing world with a national PMTCT program that uses an efficacious and complex regimen to reduce vertical transmission. At the time of this evaluation (August - December 2005), the standard of care for prevention of MTCT of HIV in Botswana included three-drug antiretroviral therapy for HIV-infected women with a CD4 count of < 200; twelve weeks of zidovudine (AZT) for women with CD4>200 (300 mg AZT in the morning and 300 mg AZT in the evening); four weeks of AZT for their infants; single-dose maternal and infant nevirapine (NVP); and 12 months of free infant formula. Botswana's PMTCT program also provided routine HIV testing for all pregnant women during antenatal care (ANC) to identify HIV-positive women for prophylaxis or treatment. While programs often report the number of individuals beginning AZT and receiving nevirapine for PMTCT, effectiveness is dependent on the level of adherence of individuals to these regimens. To describe adherence of pregnant women to the current PMTCT regimen, the Horizons Program of the Population Council, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Premiere Personnel in Botswana, conducted an evaluation to describe HIV-related services provided to women during their pregnancies, document the content of post-test counseling sessions for HIV-positive pregnant women, whether HIV-positive women remembered what had been discussed, the extent of AZT adherence based on self-reports, and the operational successes and barriers to adherence to AZT for PMTCT.

Female-initiated prevention: Integrating female condoms into HIV risk-reduction activities in Kenya

March 1, 2009

The Female Condom (FC) is the only female-initiated prevention product on the market today that provides simultaneous protection against STIs, including HIV, and unintended pregnancy. Despite this unique dual protection benefit, the female condom remains limited in supply, not easily or widely available, and under utilized in many settings. Improvements in female condom programming are essential to achieve increased uptake and public health impact, as well as to pave the way for future women's HIV prevention products, such as microbicides. The Population Council's Female-Initiated Prevention Methods (FIPM) project, conducted in partnership with Liverpool VCT, Care & Treatment (LVCT), aimed to stimulate action and generate evidence around FC access through innovative program experimentation.

Understanding pregnancy-related morbidity and mortality among young women in Rajasthan

March 1, 2009

This report is the result of an exploratory study of the pregnancy-related morbidity and mortality experiences of women who delivered in adolescence and adulthood in Rajasthan, undertaken by the Population Council with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.