Amref Alternative Rites of Passage (ARP) model for female genital mutilation/cutting, teenage pregnancies, and child, early and forced marriages in Kenya: A stepped-wedge cluster randomised controlled trial protocol
Background: The Amref Alternative Rites of Passage (ARP) model was initiated in 2009. To date, about 20,000 girls have been supported by their communities to denounce female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) and graduate into ‘maturity’ through ARP. While this intervention has been implemented for decades, there is limited evidence of its effectiveness in ending FGM/C. In order to ascertain the effectiveness of this intervention, Amref has developed a digital tracking tool to follow up on girls who have and haven’t gone through the ARP. The key research question is: what effect does ARP have on incidences of FGM/C, teenage pregnancy and child, early and forced marriages among adolescent girls and young women? Methods: The study will adopt a stepped-wedge cluster randomised controlled trial design to assess the effectiveness of the ARP model on the incidence of FGM/C; teenage pregnancy; child, early and forced marriage; and educational attainment. We selected one cluster in Kajiado County where recent ARPs have been conducted as the intervention site at the beginning of the study and 3 wards/clusters in Narok County as control sites. Approximately 604 girls aged 10-18 years who reside in selected sites/clusters in Kajiado and Narok counties will be recruited and followed up for 3 years post-exposure. Quantitative data analysis will be conducted at bivariate and multivariate levels. Content/thematic analysis approach will be used to analyse qualitative data. Ethics and dissemination: The study obtained ethical approval from the Amref Ethics and Scientific Review Committee (AMREF-ESRC P1051-2021). The findings of this study will be shared with local, national and regional stakeholders working in ending FGM/C, teenage pregnancy, and child, early and forced marriages. Registration: Pan-African Clinical Trials Registry (PACTR202208731662190).
Esho, Tammary C., Julia Scholten, Hilke Conradi, David Kawai, Bernard Mbogo, Denge Lugayo, Yvonne Opanga, Samuel Muhula, and Dennis Juma Matanda. 2023. "Amref Alternative Rites of Passage (ARP) model for female genital mutilation/cutting, teenage pregnancies, and child, early and forced marriages in Kenya: A stepped-wedge cluster randomised controlled trial protocol," Journal of Global Health Reports 7: e2023031.