The Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), a key Indian micro-finance nongovernmental organization, in partnership with the Population Council, undertook a pilot livelihoods skill-building program to support adolescent girls aged 13–19 years (mostly unmarried, in school and out of school). Like other such programs, this livelihoods program focused on exposing girls to new ideas, building social networks, exposing them to the world around them, and providing the technical skills needed to enhance their access to income generating opportunities. The study’s findings are mixed, but suggest that a life and livelihoods skill-building intervention program for girls is acceptable to adolescents (and their parents), and can be implemented in rural settings. As far as the acceptability of the intervention is concerned, not all the components were equally internalized by participants, however simply meeting on a regular basis facilitated the establishment of strong peer networks, which along with having access to the outside world and developing new skills became an empowering experience for secluded adolescent girls. The analysis suggests that while current approaches may be necessary for expanding agency and life choices for adolescent girls, they are not sufficient; the report details lessons that emerged from the study.
SEWA, SEWA Academy, Shveta Kalyanwala, Rajib Acharya, and Sunetra Deshpande. 2006. "Influencing girls' lives: Acceptability and effectiveness of a livelihoods skill building intervention in Gujarat." New Delhi: Population Council.