In response to the challenges vulnerable adolescent girls face living in poverty, JLMC designed the replicable Girl Power Project curriculum and system of delivery to empower adolescent girls with the tools they need to stay in school and protect them from early child marriage, disease, early pregnancy, and violence as well as equipping them with critics assets they need to overcome these barriers and navigate adolescence successfully. Research indicates that when a girl has these assets, she is more able to succeed, specifically in negotiating life-changing decisions that affect herself and her family and also to be engaged in decision making in her community.
JLMC aims to reach 50-80% of girls aged 12-15 in communities through the Girl Power Project curriculum, thereby administering a “social vaccine” to inoculate girls against harmful cultural norms. This includes over 60 hours of in school workshops, camp experiences and after school club sessions taught by local mentors over the course of two years. JLMC understands that a critical input required for the ultimate achievement of the Girl Power Project theory of change, is the creation of an enabling environment for empowerment of girls to exist and flourish. This is accomplished by training and building the capacity of parents and local community members to sustain GPP accomplishments long term.
As of 2019, JLMC has reached over 6,000 girls in 96 communities in Central Uganda with the Girl Power Project curriculum. JLMC has engaged in data collection around the impact of the Girl Power Project for two separate research studies.
In September 2015, JLMC began gathering data internally for a monitoring and evaluation framework designed to measure the efficacy of the 2 year long Girl Power Project curriculum in shifting the attitudes and behaviors of girls who were educated with the Girl Power Project program.
Additionally, in September 2017, JLMC engaged an objective third party, Texas A&M University, to assess the impact of the Girl Power Project at the community level - on boys, parents, teachers, administrators and community leaders.
In 2015, JLMC set out to evaluate the impact of the Girl Power Project. The two year study adopted a quasi experimental phase in design to evaluate the projects causal impact on outcomes.
A survey was designed to measure girls personal empowerment via their demonstration of knowledge and attitudes based on Girl Power Project curriculum. The survey questions were administered to two cohorts of girls (treatment and control) at two points and (treatment) at three points. Over 750 girls participated in the study.
Midway through the study, the preliminary results were clear. The girl Power Project was working. The treatment group outperformed the control group across all critical indicators.
compared to 74% of girls at the beginning of the program and 76% of girls not trained in the program
compared to 40% of girls at the beginning of the program and 50% of girls not trained in the program
Without Girl Power, I wouldn't have known that my body belongs to me.
— Naluzze Joyce, age 14
compared to 61% of girls at the beginning of the program and 76% of girls not trained in the program
compared to 26% of girls at the beginning of the program and 43% of girls not trained in the program
I learned that every child has a right to live a violence-free life.
— Nakalema Joyce, age 13
compared to 21% of girls at the beginning of the program and 21% of girls not trained in the program
compared to 8% of girls at the beginning of the program and 15% of girls not trained in the program
compared to 37% of girls at the beginning of the program and 38% of girls not trained in the program
JLMC chose a phased in study design for ethical reasons as there was concern that girls in the control group would become victims of early pregnancy, marriage, disease or violence before the Girl Power Project was brought to their schools. With sufficient data with which to compare the treatment and control groups and out of a feeling of urgency for the safety of the girls, JLMC trained the control group in the Girl Power Project and continued to study gains in the treatment group through the end line.
In the second year of Girl Power Project programming, participants receive club sessions designed to put their mentorship and leadership skills into practice, strengthen their learning and provide additional information. JLMC found at the end of the second year, girls retained the information they had learned in the first year and gained additional assets.
Six dimensions of empowerment have increased in girls trained by the Girl Power Project®. Survey questions were designed, grouped and summed into indices for each dimension of empowerment.
Girls trained by the Girl Power Project® have increased their power within, power with and power to. Each question on the survey measured a girls expression of at least one of these three forms of power.
JLMC learned many lessons from the internal evaluation and immediately began implementing recommendations to further strengthen GPP programming. Moreover, JLMC is carrying out a continuous longitudinal study of 25 randomly selected girls from the Girl Power Project. These girls were selected in 2015 and will be followed for several more years, so JLMC can measure whether or not they have stayed in school, avoided early marriage, pregnancy and disease.
In order to further explore the impact of the Girl Power Project at the community level, Just Like My Child Foundation (JLMC) and Texas A&M University (TAMU) partnered to evaluate how engaging and empowering community members with knowledge of human rights and children's rights can enhance the success of the Girl Power Project. For a girl to live an empowered life, her community -- parents, teachers, law enforcement, government officials, men and boys -- must be supportive and actively involved.
Four post-graduate students from TAMU – two from the Bush School of Government and Public Service and two from TAMU's Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications were interned in Luwero, Uganda during the summer of 2018 to evaluate whether engaging adults and boys in the Girl Power Project contributes to improved conditions for a girl to live an empowered life. This investigation focused on the resulting relationships that a girl has both in and outside her home - with her neighbors, school teachers, local police/authorities, adult role models, and other members in her community.
The students conducted 143 interviews with 7 stakeholder groups (including JLMC staff; Community Legal Volunteers; Girl Power Advocates; Teachers; Parents; Partners; and Untrained Others) in 17 communities and collected 2,669 responses.
The Texas A&M study revealed Girl Power Project community impact as evidenced by an increase in:
With these internal and external monitoring and evaluation outcomes demonstrating that the GPP® is effective in empowering girls and their communities, JLMC is now poised and committed to sharing the research widely through presentations and publication as well as identifying and working with strategic partners to support the scaling up of the Girl Power Project, a proven and sustainable model of success for girls empowerment.
To learn more about the methodology and findings of these research studies and the theories that underpin them, please review the following reports:
Overview of the Impact of Just Like My Child Foundation’s Girl Power Project®
Just Like My Child Foundation Study: Final Endline Evaluation of the Girl Power Project®
Texas A&M Study: The Girl Power Project® in Uganda – An Evaluation of the Impact at the Community Level
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