We will implement a randomized control trial in Blantyre (Malawi) and Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) to estimate the incremental effect of three interventions aimed at facilitating adolescent mothers’ (re)entry into school or vocation training: a cash transfer conditioned on (re)enrollment into school or vocational training; subsidized childcare; and life skills training offered by community health workers that will cover nurturing childcare, sexual and reproductive health, and financial literacy. We will also examine the effect of the intervention on sexual and reproductive health outcomes and mental health.
Adolescent mothers (N=270, per site) will be randomized into one of three study arms. Adolescent mothers in all arms will receive life skills training through adolescent mothers’ clubs. The adolescent mothers’ clubs will be facilitated by community health workers. Given their role as a bridge between the community and the health sector, we expect that working with community health workers will also help increase access to sexual and reproductive health and child health services for adolescent mothers and their children. The second arm will also receive subsidized childcare, while the third arm will incorporate all three interventions. Comparing the first (mothers’ clubs only) and second (mothers’ clubs + subsidized childcare) will allow us to test the additional benefit of the childcare subsidy. Comparing the second and third (mothers’ clubs + subsidized childcare + cash transfer) will allow us to test the additional benefit of the cash transfer. Comparing the first and third will allow us to test the combined benefit of the subsidized childcare and cash transfers. At the endline, we will assess the average treatment effect across the three groups following intent-to-treat (ITT) analysis, comparing school or vocational training enrolment and retention, contraceptive use, and mental health at baseline and endline.