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Improving Adolescent Lives in India: An Impact Evaluation
Last registered on April 23, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Improving Adolescent Lives in India: An Impact Evaluation
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007595
Initial registration date
April 22, 2021
Last updated
April 23, 2021 11:14 AM EDT
Location(s)
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Center for Evaluation and Development
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Center for Evaluation and Development
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2017-01-01
End date
2021-11-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
In this study, we evaluate UNICEF's program “Improving Adolescent Lives in India”. The program's goal was to empower adolescents and make them “agents of change”' for themselves and their communities, simultaneously making their surrounding aware of their rights and needs. The Adolescent Empowerment Program (AEP) operates in four districts of four states (Sibsagar in Assam, Visakhapatanam in Andhra Pradesh, Puruliya and one Kolkata ward in West Bengal and East Singbhum in Jharkhand) and was set out to cover 50 percent of the adolescent population in each of these districts. Out of 82 program-eligible blocks 42 treatment blocks were allocated to receive the basic interventions and 40 blocks serve as a control group. In a second-stage, additional activities on top of the basic package were randomly allocated and assigned to certain villages within the treatment blocks: (a) additional parents groups initiated, (b) additional adolescent boys groups initiated, and/ or (c) additional parents and adolescents boys groups. In the evaluation this design corresponds to 120 villages in control blocks and 480 villages in the treatment blocks. We capture a number of intermediate outcomes, such as on communication (inter- and intra-generational 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, and attitudes towards education.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Avdeenko, Alexandra and Atika Pasha. 2021. "Improving Adolescent Lives in India: An Impact Evaluation." AEA RCT Registry. April 23. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7595-1.0.
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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
In 2015,UNICEF and IKEA Foundation launched the "Improving Adolescents' Lives in South Asia" program, with interventions in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The overall aim of the program implementation is to contribute to developing a model for scale-up in South Asia.
In India, the program operates in four states: In Andhra Pradesh (southeast India), the neighboring states of West Bengal and Jharkhand (east India) and in Assam (northeast India). As part of the program, context-specific pilot activities were launched in each state, with the goal of improving adolescents' lives by impacting the adolescents, parents and communities as a whole. The interventions include information dissemination through media outlets such as radios, print media, and television, as well as capacity building activities geared toward adolescents, their parents, and other members of the community. Therefore, outputs and outcomes are defined around three pillars: Pillar I on adolescents, Pillar II on stakeholders (parents and communities) and Pillar III on service providers. Therefore, the strategies of the program aim at enabling adolescents to protect themselves and enhancing supportive community and law enforcement structures through awareness raising, capacity building and mobilization of all stakeholders. Through these various channels, the interventions aim to shape attitudes towards marriage, gender roles, education, and adolescent empowerment, to thereby have an impact in reducing child marriage, increasing secondary education enrollment and decreasing adolescent pregnancy. This is the "Basic Package" that was provided across all states.
The evaluation design followed a two-stage randomization, where in the first stage a Basic Package including the aforementioned activities was applied, while the second-stage randomization included additional activities under the "Plus Package". The Plus Package activities were not uniformly implemented throughout the assigned program areas, but were rather randomly assigned to receive a package of interventions.
While the Basic Package was designed to include outreach, awareness raising, and capacity building activities across the three pillars and adolescent girls' groups, the Plus Package activities additionally comprised adolescent boys' groups, parents' groups, or a combination of both. Therefore, villages that received these additional efforts may experience greater improvements in the outcomes of interest through an increased engagement of additional target groups, as more comprehensive awareness and capacity building is expected to be linked with greater effectiveness.

Intervention Start Date
2017-01-01
Intervention End Date
2019-12-01
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
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, and attitudes towards education.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Information on program delivery (awareness, implementation, take-up); 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), social norms and practices (on child marriage, child rights, equal opportunities)

Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
(Clustered) Randomized Control Trial (RCT)
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Random allocation with matching at the block level. A re-randomization procedure was used to allocate the treatment arms.
Randomization Unit
Two stage randomization at block and village level
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
700 villages in 82 blocks
Sample size: planned number of observations
7000 adolescents, parents and community leaders; due to the COVID-19 outbreak we are in the process of amending our plan. The overall target is to collect information from 7 people per village, asking the adolescents and parents as well as the community leaders
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Between 63 and 73 treatment and 40 or 80 for control villages (clusters) per treatment arms, for the second stage randomization. For the first stage, 42 treated blocks versus 40 control blocks.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Basic power calculations show that the school enrollment indicator has close to 100% power with the given sample size (for effect sizes between 3% and 5%). Adolescent pregnancy has power of 70% for a change in effect size of about 3%. Other indicators that appear to have sufficient power (for changes in effect sizes in the range of 9% and 12%) of at least 80% are improvement in awareness of harms of child marriage and menstrual hygiene.
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Catalyse Foundation Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
2020-07-14
IRB Approval Number
N/A
Analysis Plan

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