Authors: Population Council, Inc.
Produced by: Population Council, USA (2005)
This report summarizes the proceedings of a workshop on adolescent girls' livelihoods that brought together stakeholders from all over the globe to interpret the word "livelihoods" in light of the needs of adolescents, and to review recent findings from field-based interventions and the research methods necessary to bring to light the distinctive adolescent experience.
The report begins by reviewing progress made on work on adolescent girls' livelihoods. It finds that there is a dearth of information regarding adolescents' work, livelihoods, and time use upon which policies and interventions were based.
An examination of how popular livelihoods strategies (such as vocational training, financial literacy, and microfinance) fit into the theoretical map of economic development and correspond with adolescents' evolving capacities, rapid transitions, and vulnerabilities is then presented. In addition, the relationship between livelihoods and two other major elements in adolescents' lives - school and marriage - are explored in depth. The paper also looks at the social dimensions of livelihoods programming for adolescent girls.
The report concludes by making five propositions for discussion in developing a second generation of livelihoods programmes for adolescents:
• livelihoods programmes developed initially for adults need careful adaptation to benefit adolescents
• interventions should be staged, taking into account an adolescent's age, personal characteristics, and degree of poverty
• experiment to learn what content, be it literacy, sports, livelihoods training, savings, or reproductive health, is engaging to girls, is acceptable to and even creates demand among parents, and encourages sustained and regular participation
• learn how programme content and group formation and social support interact to increase acceptance and participation; increase the effective acquisition of skills; and increase the probability that participants can apply new skills
• develop different ways of studying and evaluating experimental and more mature second- and third-generation interventions for adolescents, including the criteria used to determine "success."
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