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Girl Empower
Last registered on March 20, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Girl Empower
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0002717
Initial registration date
March 23, 2018
Last updated
March 20, 2019 2:32 PM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
The World Bank
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
International Rescue Committee
PI Affiliation
City University of New York
PI Affiliation
Population Council
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2015-07-12
End date
2018-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Girl Empower is an innovative program designed by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and generously supported by the NoVo Foundation, to equip girls with the skills and experiences necessary to make healthy, strategic life choices and to stay safe from sexual exploitation and abuse. The program responds not only to girls’ heightened exposure to harm in humanitarian and post-conflict settings, but also to the vital roles they can play in building healthier families and stronger communities.

Unique in its strategy because it addresses multiple aspects of girls’ lives, Girl Empower ensures that the whole girl is supported and focuses interventions on building the assets of adolescent girls. Primary program components include:

• A comprehensive life skills curriculum implemented by mentors made up of young women from the local communities
• A safe space for the girls to meet with their mentors as a group and individually
• A parent/caregiver discussion group that will complement the learning and asset building of the girls
• The creation of individual savings accounts for the girls with an initial deposit made through the program
• Capacity building and training of local health and psychosocial service providers to provide quality services to survivors of gender-based violence

A cluster-randomized controlled trial has been designed to test the effectiveness of this approach in improving the welfare of young females in Liberia as described elsewhere in this registration.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Guimond, Marie et al. 2019. "Girl Empower." AEA RCT Registry. March 20. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.2717-5.0.
Former Citation
Guimond, Marie et al. 2019. "Girl Empower." AEA RCT Registry. March 20. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2717/history/43721.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Girl Empower (GE) encourages adolescent girls living in rural areas of Nimba County, Liberia to partake in weekly mentored community-based workshops on life skills, self-care, and financial literacy. Participants’ parents and caregivers can also attend monthly discussion groups. In addition to working directly with girls to prevent sexual and gender-based violence, GE program leaders also train local health and psychosocial care providers to expand and improve services for survivors in the area. The Population Council, IPA and World Bank are evaluating the GE program’s efficacy in preventing gender-based violence via a randomized control trial featuring a control group, a standard GE group, and a GE+ group, where girls and their families will receive the standard GE intervention, but are will be given small cash incentives to encourage regular attendance at the 32 mentoring sessions over the course of one year of programming.

Girl Empower Liberia
Girl Empower is a mentorship program designed by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and supported by the NoVo Foundation. The program centers on weekly meetings between girls and trained local female mentors during which the girls learn about life skills and financial literacy. It aims to equip girls with the skills and experiences necessary to make healthy, strategic life choices and to stay safe from sexual exploitation and abuse.

In Liberia, Girl Empower was implemented from February to November 2016 in 56 communities in Nimba County. A total of 772 adolescent girls aged 13-14 year old participated, and 130 adult female mentors were trained to lead them through the Girl Empower curriculum.
The 56 implementation communities in Nimba County were randomized into two Girl Empower variations: 1) GE treatment group (28 villages, 376 girls) and 2) GE+ treatment group (28 villages, 396 girls) while an additional 28 villages served as control. After randomization, the IRC created 59 Girl Empower groups of 6 to 20 girls each. Each girl group was led by two adult female mentors.

Both the GE and GE+ treatment groups received: 1) the Girl Empower life skills curriculum, facilitated by local mentors; 2) caregiver discussion group, facilitated by IRC staff; and 3) savings account start-up. The GE+ group participants also received a small cash incentive given caregivers to encourage regular attendance by girls at Girl Empower mentorship meetings.

1) Girl Empower Life Skills curriculum (GE and GE+)
Mentors delivered the Girl Empower curriculum during weekly meetings of the 59 Girl Empower groups in both GE and GE+ communities. These groups met over a period of 40 weeks in an identified community ‘safe space’ for girls. The life skills curriculum covered:
• Sense of self
• Feelings and emotions
• Social networks
• Protection and safety
• Financial literacy
• Reproductive Health
• Leadership and Empowerment
• Setting life goals

The girls also received an accompanying image book with activities and handouts.

2) Caregiver discussions (GE and GE+)

In all 56 communities, IRC staff facilitators led monthly parent/caregiver discussion group that will complement the learning and asset building of the girls. The caregiver curriculum covered:
• Overview of the Girl Empower life skills curriculum
• Life stages for adolescent girls
• Skills and capacities to keep girls safe
• Parenting techniques
• Health and well-being of adolescent girls
• Safety and protection of adolescent girls
• Financial literacy and savings for adolescent girls
• Early marriage, female genital cutting, and sexual violence
• Gender equality

3) Savings account (GE and GE+)
As part of the financial literacy objectives of the Girl Empower curriculum, each participating girl (GE and GE+) received a total of USD $16 as an initial deposit for a savings account (calculated as USD $0.50 per session, or $49.00LD, for 32 sessions). This was an unconditional cash transfer. All girls also received a cash box for their savings.

4) Cash incentives for participation (GE + only)
In the 28 GE+ communities, GE+ group participants also received a conditional cash incentive given caregivers to encourage regular attendance by girls at mentorship meetings. The caregivers received $1.25 for each of 32 sessions* attended by the girl participants, for a total of up to $40 per girl participant.

* 32 sessions out of 40, because the payments did not start until the 5th session and excluded the final four sessions of the GE, which were focused on planned a community event.
Intervention Start Date
2016-02-01
Intervention End Date
2016-11-30
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
The primary outcome of interest is an index of sexual violence at the individual level. The index is composed of four questions in our endline survey instrument. The construction of the index, and a detailed description of its components is described in the pre-analysis plan (PAP) document uploaded under the "Analysis Plan" in this registration.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Please see the PAP document uploaded under the "Analysis Plan" in this registration.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary outcomes are six indices of schooling, mental health, gender norms, life skills, sexual and reproductive history, and protective factors. The construction of each index, along with a detailed description of its components, is described in the PAP document uploaded under the "Analysis Plan" in this registration.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Please see the PAP document uploaded under the "Analysis Plan" in this registration.
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
After baseline data collection was completed, the research team randomly assigned the 84 study villages to the control group or one of the two treatment groups (GE and GE+). Before carrying out the randomization, the team first blocked (stratified) the villages based on the number of girls surveyed and the average level of school enrollment. The randomization process resulted in 28 villages being assigned to the GE treatment arm, 28 to the GE+ treatment arm and the remaining 28 to the control arm. During the randomization, two of the principal investigators traveled to Liberia to oversee and explain the randomization process to IRC staff. The results are shown in Figure 1 in the Baseline Report linked in this registration. More details on the study design can also be found there.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization was conducted by field staff, supervised by two PIs in the field and checked by another in the US. Stata 13.0 was used for the randomization code. Blocked randomization was used, where blocking variables were number of subjects surveyed at baseline and the mean enrollment rate in the cluster.
Randomization Unit
The randomization unit, i.e. the level at which the intervention was assigned, was town/village.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
1,216 individuals (females, aged 13-14 at baseline) in 84 clusters in Nimba County, Liberia.
Sample size: planned number of observations
1,216 individuals (females, aged 13-14 at baseline) in 84 clusters in Nimba County, Liberia.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
399 individuals (28 towns) in Control
402 individuals (28 towns) in GE
415 individuals (28 towns) in GE+
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Calculations were made using Optimal Design (OD) and Stata to allow for clustered design of the study and primary outcomes that are binary indicators. All calculations were made using K=30, N=20, alpha=0.1, and rho=0.05. For binary indicators, estimated minimum and maximum mean values across clusters were utilized in OD. Due to a very small number of listed study participants in a number of towns, the study sample is slightly smaller than envisioned for ex-ante power calculations. "Ever had sex" ---------------- Mean (Range) in Control at 24-month follow-up: 0.57 (0.40-0.80) Minimum detectable mean in GE or GE+: 0.47 Minimum detectable mean between GE and GE+: 0.38 Ever married, ever pregnant, first sexual encounter non-consensual ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Mean (Range) in Control at 24-month follow-up: 0.10 (0.02-0.18) Minimum detectable mean in GE or GE+: 0.05
Supporting Documents and Materials
Documents
Document Name
Tracking forms
Document Type
survey_instrument
Document Description
File
Tracking forms

MD5: 049304773b3e3c41fd9140a5a62da5aa

SHA1: 2c77e044a357d829f0f5e9f3f7c8fb1eeaed4f5f

Uploaded At: March 23, 2018

Document Name
Adolescent Female Respondent Revisit
Document Type
survey_instrument
Document Description
Revisits were conducted to ask the primary outcomes again - using audio recordings of the respondent's preferred local language.
File
Adolescent Female Respondent Revisit

MD5: acef249848a031a9c6fbdee3e4b180d6

SHA1: 95a7edc78256d0d8c00618c2b58f263070f04961

Uploaded At: March 23, 2018

Document Name
Primary Caregiver Endline Survey
Document Type
survey_instrument
Document Description
File
Primary Caregiver Endline Survey

MD5: 337bd4c5ba809105d57d86eca50196c6

SHA1: 8ea543855eeb07eed5b1b190bd43a4e789353918

Uploaded At: March 23, 2018

Document Name
Adolescent Female Respondent Endline Survey
Document Type
survey_instrument
Document Description
File
Adolescent Female Respondent Endline Survey

MD5: bdd87fbe70295b692033f38bddb28b14

SHA1: b80c5c3ddd0aa14482fdccaed2b361e5e4b58415

Uploaded At: March 23, 2018

IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
University of Liberia - Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (UL-PIRE)
IRB Approval Date
2014-07-25
IRB Approval Number
N/A
IRB Name
Population Council
IRB Approval Date
2014-05-21
IRB Approval Number
645
Analysis Plan
Analysis Plan Documents
Analysis Plan

MD5: 30e0259d84723bddf39828b700f1a99f

SHA1: 729680297aee6afcc20f4411f7b8c67150a6e6df

Uploaded At: March 23, 2018

Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers