Investing Where it Counts:Building social, health and economic assets for vulnerable adolescent girls
INVESTING WHERE IT COUNTS:
BUILDING SOCIAL, HEALTH AND
ECONOMIC ASSETS FOR VULNERABLE
NOPE 6TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON
PEER EDUCATION, SEXUALITY, HIV & AIDS 2014
• Why the study
• Study Aim
• Project Description
• Data collection
• Way Forward
• In Sub-Saharan Africa, health behaviors are often
influenced by economic needs and capabilities.
• Economic strengthening programs have had
positive health outcomes.
• Social, human and economic assets are important
for girls as they make the transition to adulthood.
Asset Building Framework
Social + Health + Economic Assets
-girls need all three
Assets are a store of value
ASSETS REDUCE VULNERABILITY
ASSETS EXPAND OPPORTUN
• The project seeks to understand social,
economic, and health effects of participating
in safe spaces, financial education and savings
program on girls.
1. Safe Spaces Model to build girls
social, human and economic
Groups of 20-25 girls, ages 10-19
(two segments of groups(10-
2. Girls within groups open individual
3. Mentors above age of 18 in each
group facilitate group meetings
deliver financial education and
health training, parents meetings &
4. Benefits: ID, homebank, t-shirt,
• At baseline:1,473 girls were interviewed in Kenya and
1,564 girls in Uganda.
– 82% of Kenyan girls (n=1,210) and 74% of Ugandan girls
(n=1,159) were re-interviewed at endline.
• FGDs and in-depth interviews were conducted with
program participant’s parents, mentors, and project
– 185 girls (10 -14yrs) and 154 girls (15- 19yrs) participated in
FGDs regarding their feelings about the program, savings
accounts, and practical applications of information learned.
RESULTS :Savings Activity
Total Girls Reached Across the Life of the Program: 11,914
Total # of
1201 1384 2121 5,158
Total Value of
Average # of
2.2 1.7 2.1 2.1
Average # of
past six months
0.7 1.3 1.5 2.1
Common sources of cash
Mother 78% 80%
Father 55% 54%
Other Relatives 38% 36%
Own Savings 18% 20%
Casual Job 8% 9%
Steady Job 3% 3%
Increase in Girls Using own Savings
as Source of Cash
Baseline Endline Follow-up
Baseline Endline Follow-up
Savings Alone is Potentially Risky
• Girls with accounts only
(and no group) were more
likely to be robbed and
harassed by men and
• Girls need a combination
of financial and non-
• Able to refuse sexual advances linked to financial gifts
• Less dependent on men financially
• Having an emergency fund to meet needs
Able to refuse sexual advances
• What attracted me is that saving is very helpful
because it minimizes chances of boys taking
advantage of us in the disguise of giving us money
thus protect us from acquiring HIV especially from
those who come with such intentions. Ugandan girl,
age 10-14, Katwe.
• Sometimes a boy can tell you, “let me hold your
hand then I will give you 50 bob”…you then tell
them, “I have more than that 50 bob you want to
give me”. Kenyan girl, age 10-14, Kawangware.
Less dependent on men
• Personally I joined because at times I can be having
a problem and my mother might not be having
money at the time then I can be able to help myself
out instead of seeking help from a boy who will later
you ask for his money you don’t have it at the end
of it all he might resort to raping you instead.
Ugandan girl, age 10-14, Katwe.
• Now they fear me, in most cases what takes us more
to these boys is money, now when they see that I
have my own money they will not come to me
telling me that I will give you 1000 because I will tell
them that I have it, don’t even bother. Ugandan girl,
• My mum was sick and my dad did not have money
so we went and withdrew my money and cleared my
mum’s hospital bill. It feels good. Kenyan girl, age
• I can now be able to buy things like sanitary towels
on my own without asking for money. Kenyan girl,
age 15-19, Kibera.
• I can use my saving to pay school fees if mum
doesn’t have enough. Kenyan girl, age 10-14, Kibera.
• 2 year project Expansion in Kenya to four new cites
(Nakuru, Kisumu,Thika and Kariobangi)
• Study to understand effects of economic assets on
sexual behavior and exploitation .We anticipate 6,000
– 8,000 new girls to join the program between these
• Adolescent Girls Initiative – Kenya (AGI-K)
Randomized control trial in Nairobi Slums and Wajir to
examine the best combination of interventions in
education, health, wealth creation and violence
• Girls can save, but they need a financial product
with flexible Know your Customer Policy (KYC)
• Combine both financial and non-financial
services to build social, health and economic
• Safe spaces model - using mentors who are
young women from the same community
(instead of peer educators).
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