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Youth Empowerment in Bolivia
Initial registration date
October 10, 2019
February 24, 2021 5:00 PM EST
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
We evaluate a program that aims to help vulnerable youth aged 15-18 find a job, improve their working conditions and strengthen their income generation capacity. In order to achieve these goals, the program, which is implemented in four regions of Bolivia, provides youth with soft-skills and vocational training, mentoring and support in finding a job or starting a business. The package the program offers includes courses on personal and economic empowerment, sexual and reproductive health, and training on vocational skills.
Treated youth are offered a full package that includes: courses on personal and economic empowerment as well as sexual and reproductive health, training on vocational skills, and support in finding a job or starting a business.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Labor Market Outcomes (formal and informal employment, job stability, earnings), Violence
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
soft skills (self-esteem, aspirations),
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Youth are considered eligible for the program if they satisfied certain vulnerability criteria. Once a group of 600 youth is obtained, they are randomized in equal proportion into treatment and control groups. The treatment group is offered to take the full program package, while the control group is excluded from the program for at least one year.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization done in office by a computer using STATA.
Individuals aged 15-18
Was the treatment clustered?
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
300 youth treatment, 300 youth control
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
Ethics Committee of Bocconi University
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Post Trial Information
Is the intervention completed?
Intervention Completion Date
March 01, 2020, 12:00 AM +00:00
Is data collection complete?
Data Collection Completion Date
September 30, 2020, 12:00 AM +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
255 control, 256 treated
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
This paper shows that a youth empowerment program in Bolivia reduces the prevalence of violence against girls during the COVID-19 lockdown. The program offers training in soft skills and technical skills, sex education, mentoring, and job-finding assistance. To measure the effects of the program, the study conducts a randomized control trial with 600 vulnerable adolescents. The results indicate that seven months after its completion, the program increased girls' earnings and decreased violence targeting females. Violence is measured with both direct self-report questions and list experiments. These findings suggest that empowerment programs can reduce the level of violence experienced by young females during high-risk periods.
Gulesci, S., Puentes Beccar, M. and D. Ubfal (2021) "Can Youth Empowerment Programs Reduce Violence against Girls during the COVID-19 Pandemic?" World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 9547.
REPORTS & OTHER MATERIALS