Implementing interventions to address gender and power inequalities in early adolescence: Utilizing a theory of change to assess conditions for success
Purpose: To create a set of criteria to assess facilitators and barriers to implementation among gender transformative interventions that target very young adolescents (VYAs) across different cultural settings. Methods: Interventionists and researchers involved in the Global Early Adolescent Study created a Theory of Change (ToC) based on summarizing intervention components from five different gender transformative intervention curricula. Embedded within the ToC is a set of criteria labeled, ‘Conditions of Success’ which were developed to illustrate that change cannot happen unless interventions are implemented successfully. To test the feasibility of these criteria, implementation data collected across the five interventions in Global Early Adolescent Study were mapped onto the ‘Conditions for Success’ criteria and used to identify common facilitators and barriers to implementation. Results: Using the ‘Conditions for Success’ criteria, we found that gender transformative interventions targeting VYAs were most challenged in meeting program delivery and facilitation conditions and needed to build more multisectoral support to shift rigid gender norms. Parents and caregivers also needed to be engaged in the program either as a separate target population or as codesigners and implementers for the interventions. Discussion: The Conditions for Success criteria provide a useful framework for assessing facilitators and barriers to implementation among gender transformative interventions for VYAs. Additional research is underway to examine whether interventions that meet more conditions of success result in greater program impact, which will be used to further refine the overall ToC.
Mmari, Kristin, Jennifer Gayles, Rebecka Lundgren, Katherine Barker, Karen Austrian, Ruti Levtov, Jane Kato-Wallace, Miranda van Reeuwijk, Lisa Richardson, Jakevia Green, Anna E. Kågestan, and Astha Ramaiya. 2023. "Implementing interventions to address gender and power inequalities in early adolescence: Utilizing a theory of change to assess conditions for success," Journal of Adolescent Health 73(1): S5–S14.