The theory of change behind the Adolescent Girls Empowerment Program (AGEP) posited that adolescent girls are empowered by building social, health, and economic assets that they can then draw on to reduce vulnerabilities and expand opportunities. In the long term, they will then increase their likelihood of completing school, delaying sexual debut, and reducing risks of early marriages, unintended pregnancies, acquisition of HIV, and other possibly detrimental outcomes. This endline report indicates that, while there were some changes for the program participants in the medium and long term, they did not translate into longer-term effects on reproductive and demographic outcomes as hypothesized via the theory of change. However, interpretation of these results is constrained by two important factors: 1) a large proportion of the girls invited to the program did not participate, and 2) among those who did participate, only a subsegment of them participated actively in the safe-spaces sessions. The AGEP evaluation is an important contribution to the understanding of adolescent transitions and interventions in Zambia which should contribute to the improvement of current programs, as well as development of new programs and funding strategies.
Austrian, Karen, Erica Soler-Hampejsek, Paul C. Hewett, Natalie Jackson Hachonda, and Jere R. Behrman. 2018. "Adolescent Girls Empowerment Programme: Endline technical report." Lusaka: Population Council.
Adolescent Girls Empowerment Program