In this study, we evaluate the program “Improving Adolescent Lives in Pakistan” funded by the Ikea Foundation and implemented by UNICEF. It had three overarching goals: To reduce the rate of child marriage, decrease the number of early pregnancies as well as increase school attendance and years of formal education in Sindh and Punjab, Pakistan. The program focused on adolescents, empowering them to be “agents of change” for themselves and their communities. It also targeted parents and community representatives by providing them with knowledge about adolescents’ rights and how to protect and advocate for them. Furthermore, an improvement in services for adolescents was envisioned. Between 2017 and 2019, 446 randomly selected treatment rural communities received the relevant workshops of the program whereby in 141 villages more female participants, and in 129 villages more male participants were mobilized, and in 176 villages no gender-specific mobilization took place. Additionally, in a subset of eligible rural communities (N=212), in 100 villages we cross-randomized non-formal basic education interventions. 167 villages remained in the control group, receiving none of the program interventions. Outcomes at baseline were captured for adolescents, parents, community leaders, and marriage registrars (Nikah Khwans). In the evaluation we first capture information on program delivery (awareness, implementation, and take-up). We additionally capture a number of intermediate outcomes, such as on communication (intergenerational and intragenerational dialogue as well as interpersonal communication competence), service provision (access to services over time, adolescent-friendly services, marriage service provision), and social norms and practices (on child marriage, child rights, equal opportunities). Finally, we are interested in indicators of adolescent empowerment (awareness on child rights, confidence, corporal punishment, self-efficacy, general well-being), child marriage rates and practices, engagement rates and practices, child pregnancy rates, as well as education attendance, attitudes towards education, and learning outcomes.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the in-person endline survey (which was planned for 2020Q1) is split into two waves, starting with interviews with key community representatives. Before these interviews via phone, we register the study. We also indicate outcomes that we hope to collect once in-person interviews are feasible again.