IMAGINE - CARE
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IMAGINE

Adolescent Health

To design and test interventions that hold promise for delaying the timing of first birth among married adolescents (ages 15-19) in Niger and Bangladesh.

Background

Ninety percent of adolescent pregnancies in the global South are to married girls, and complications from pregnancy and childbirth are a leading cause of death among this population. Empowering adolescents to delay the timing of their first pregnancy can result in positive health and economic outcomes, such as healthy pregnancies and infants, completing their education, and economic prosperity. Unfortunately, married adolescent girls face numerous social and structural barriers that impact their ability to delay childbearing.

Intervention

IMAGINE uses a holistic approach that combines education on reproductive health, business skills, and life skills for married and unmarried adolescent girls and husbands, as well as health provider training on adolescent and youth-friendly health services, community dialogue sessions to address harmful social norms impacting adolescent childbearing, and income-generating opportunities so that motherhood is not girls’ only option. Activities are designed to inform and equip girls while engaging families and communities and influencing systems to create a better environment for girls to exercise their rights and make decisions about their health and lives.

Program achievements

Results will be captured through ongoing monitoring and will be analyzed and summarized after implementation is complete.

of adolescent pregnancies in the global South are to married girls

The importance of IMAGINE

Married adolescents are often neglected by development and health programs, which tend to focus on either preventing child marriage or meeting the reproductive health needs of adult women. IMAGINE is addressing this gap by testing a comprehensive adolescent empowerment package aimed at building married girls’ capacity and agency to make decisions about their lives. The project addresses the social and structural barriers that impede their ability to pursue alternative futures to early motherhood.

Resources

IMAGINE Project Brief (English)

Project brief on IMAGINE, design and test interventions that hold promise for delaying the timing of first birth among married adolescents in Niger and Bangladesh. (English)

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IMAGINE Project Brief (French)

Project brief on IMAGINE, design and test interventions that hold promise for delaying the timing of first birth among married adolescents in Niger and Bangladesh. (French)

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IMAGINE Intervention: Girls’ Collectives

In both Niger and Bangladesh, Girls’ Collectives underpin the implementation of the IMAGINE project. Led by trained female facilitators from the region, these important platforms ensure married and unmarried adolescent girls’ social support and access to information.

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IMAGINE Intervention: Health Worker Transformation

Drawing on CARE’s Social Analysis and Action approach and other reflective dialogue practices, trained facilitators led health workers through a process of self-reflection and action planning to transform provider attitudes and biases around providing family planning counseling and services to married adolescent girls without children.

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IMAGINE: Implementation Learning Approach

This brief shares information on how CARE implemented an adaptive management approach, Implementation Learning, in the IMAGINE program.

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IMAGINE: Implementation Learning Tools

A resource document sharing tools for how to reflect and analyze project challenges and successes, as used in the IMAGINE program.

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Research brief: Learnings from conducting market analyses for married adolescent girls in two countries

The research process, led by MarketShare Associates (MSA) and CARE staff, incorporated perspectives from academic researchers, development program implementers, target beneficiary populations and market actors.

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Harnessing the market systems approach to delay first birth among married adolescents

Identifying if and how market systems and larger socio-economic shifts could be harnessed as potential alternative futures to immediate childbearing for married girls.

Read the report on Beam Exchange

Peer-reviewed: “It is a thing that depends on God”: barriers to delaying first birth and pursuing alternative futures among newly married adolescent girls in Niger

In July of 2017, researchers conducted in-depth interviews with a non-probability sample of community members in three communes of Zinder Region, Niger.

Read the report on NCBI