UK funded programme finds multi-sectoral approach is best for supporting empowerment of vulnerable girls

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A violence against women and girls workshop. Photo: Twitter/WaihenyaKabiru

A UKaid funded action research programme which assesses interventions for vulnerable girls has found that the more successful way to support their empowerment is through a multi-sectoral approach is best to support their empowerment

The Adolescent Girls Initiative programme tested four interventions on 6,500 girls aged 11-15 and focused on Kibera and Wajir, two marginalised areas of Kenya.

 These interventions were: a violence prevention programme, education conditional cash transfers, girls clubs focusing on health empowerment and wealth creation through financial education.

The study found that cash assistance successfully addressed vulnerabilities preventing children, particularly girls, from going to school. By supporting vulnerable families to address basic needs, their girls, who would otherwise be kept away from school to help the family with the basics, are able to access education and achieve higher grades in school.

It also concluded that providing health information was another crucial factor to empowering girls. Not only does health and well-being improve, but the programme found this also has a positive effect in educational attainment

Sustained conversations addressing the drivers of gender violence in communities were also found to be able of supporting the achievement of gender equality norms linked to the roles of men and women.

Speaking during the release of the midline results, Head of DFID-Kenya Sarah Montgomery said: “ It is important that we reach girls early enough in their lives to help transform their life chances. This will give them greater choice and control over decisions that affect them and will help break the cycle of poverty. These interventions call for great and stronger collaboration amongst all sectors in achieving greater impact for girls in Kenya.”

On their Facebook page, the UK High Commission added: “The UK is putting girls and women at the heart of our development assistance. In Kenya, we’re supporting programmes which help ensure policies, laws, institutional mechanisms and resource distribution promote gender equality.”