Adolescent Girls’ Empowerment in Conflict-Affected Settings: Experimental Evidence From South Sudan

This paper studies the impact of a program designed to accelerate the economic and social empowerment of adolescent girls in South Sudan by simultaneously engaging them in vocational and life skills training through youth clubs. The evidence is built on a cluster-randomized study design and follow-up data that was collected about one year after the program ended. The time leading up to the follow-up survey was marked by the conflict that erupted in December 2013 and affected around half of the adolescents or their immediate families in the sample. Taking conflict into account as a mediator for the program’s effectiveness, it was found that the intervention had positive impacts on a range of labour market and financial outcomes for girls who were not affected by the conflict. The program increased the probability of being engaged in income generation for adolescents in treatment areas that were not exposed to the conflict by almost 10 percentage points which was largely driven by non-farm self-employment. The program also significantly increased the likelihood that girls (not affected by the conflict) had any savings and controlled some cash on their own. The impact of the program on girls’ social empowerment and control over their own bodies, however, is ambiguous.

Authors: Buehren, Niklas; Chakravarty, Shubha; Goldstein, Markus; Slavchevska, Vanya; Sulaiman, Munshi
Type: Report
Year: 2017