Worth the Effort? Combining Sexual and Reproductive Health and Economic Empowerment Programming for Married Adolescent Girls in Amhara, Ethiopia
Jeffrey Edmeades, International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)
Hannah Lantos, Johns Hopkins University
Feven Tessew, CARE International
Meeting the sexual and reproductive health needs of married adolescents is of critical importance to achieving a range of health-related goals at both the global and national levels. While a number of programming approaches have been used to try and reach this population, there have been few rigorous evaluations of these. This is particularly true for the more innovative approaches that combine traditional SRH approaches with other content, such as economic empowerment (EE). This paper presents the results of the evaluation of an innovative program working with 2,696 married adolescent girls aged 14-19 in Amhara, Ethiopia. A quasi-experimental cohort evaluation design was used to allow for the comparison of SRH and other outcomes between girls receiving only SRH programming and those receiving a combined training package also focused on economic empowerment. Preliminary results suggest that combined programming do not enhance SRH outcomes, but may provide broader benefits to girls.