Adolescent girls’ capabilities in Rwanda: the state of the evidence on programme effectiveness

Bibliography and literature reviews
December 2017
Maria Stavropoulou and Nandini Gupta-Archer with Rachel Marcus

This rapid country evidence review brings together key evidence on the effectiveness of interventions seeking to support the capability development of Rwandan adolescent girls (aged 10–19). Produced to feed into the design of Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence's (GAGE) longitudinal impact evaluation and as a resource for researchers, programme designers and policy-makers, this mapping draws on nearly 100 documents – 24 of which are impact studies and evaluations. As a living document to be updated as necessary, it lays out current evidence on 'what works' to support girls’ education and learning; bodily autonomy, integrity and freedom from violence; sexual and reproductive health, health and nutrition; psychosocial wellbeing; voice and agency; and economic empowerment.

Our mapping found that of the examined impact studies and evaluations, only five could be considered rigorous. Most critically, nearly all had short time frames – and were conducted soon after projects ended – and few delineated between different age groups to ascertain whether some types interventions work best for younger or older girls.

The evidence suggests that Rwandan adolescent girls particularly benefit from mentor-led, girls-only groups. These groups help keep girls in school, support the development of friendships and soft skills, and can deliver a range of outcomes from sexual and reproductive health education to job training.