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Empowering adolescent girls with improved life skills: Evaluation of changes to BRAC Empowerment and Livelihood for Adolescents program

This project seeks to deepen understanding of how training in social and emotional, or “soft”, skills can lead to better employment and livelihood outcomes for adolescent girls. The project builds on BRAC’s Empowerment and Livelihoods for Adolescents program. The Bangladesh-based BRAC is a non-governmental organization that helps to create opportunities that empower people living in extreme poverty in Asia and Africa.

This project will explore whether a more explicit psychological focus on specific intra-personal and inter-personal skills can lead to greater effects on these outcomes in Tanzania. Two training modules will be developed and compared to the more generic training program. The effectiveness and outcomes of the training will be assessed against such indicators as pregnancy rates, school enrolment, control over one’s own body, literacy and numeracy, and other indicators related to agency (the capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices) and control. The lessons learned from this study will be scaled up to reach all girls (and possibly boys) enrolled in BRAC programs in four countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

The project is part of a cohort of IDRC-supported projects aimed at boosting decent employment for Africa’s youth. This focuses on two niche areas: soft and digital skills, and apprenticeship and mentorship models that work for youth. Developed as part of a collaborative effort between IDRC, the Dutch Knowledge Platform on Inclusive Development Policies (INCLUDE), and the International Labour Organization (ILO), the goal is to coordinate efforts to provide practical guidance and tools for policymakers and practitioners to help realize aspirations for large-scale positive change.

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
24 months
IDRC Officer
Paul Okwi
Total Funding
CA$ 500,500.00
Employment and Growth
Institution Country
Project Leader
Munshi Sulaiman
Stichting BRAC International

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