Publication info


Project Name: TESFA+

Donor: Diedra Wagner

Duration: 2018-

Location: Ethiopia

Objective: TESFA+ aims to capitalize on seven years of research and program experience from TESFA to unlock the power and futures of adolescent girls at scale.



Over the years we have made tremendous strides to unlock the power and potential of married adolescent girls in Ethiopia. Our new challenge is to innovate on our TESFA experience in Ethiopia to catalyze and scale the impact of this successful model in order to improve the lives of married adolescent girls and their communities in Ethiopia and beyond. To achieve this goal, we are applying a systematic process to investigate, develop and test a more impactful and scalable version of the TESFA model – a TESFA+ model.


Business as usual – more TESFA groups in more places- will not get us to scale fast enough. Rather, to improve girls’ lives across Ethiopia and beyond, we need to identify and test catalytic levers for scaling and amplifying the impact of the TESFA model. Borrowing from design thinking and scaling frameworks, we are employing a systematic and phased approach to exploring, creating and testing a new TESFA+ model.

During the TESFA+ design phase in 2019, we identified components from the original model to amplify as well as new prototypes (‘innovations’ or ‘enhancements’) that will powerfully contribute to scaling the model. In holding to design-thinking principles, we carried out the design process in partnership with original TESFA participants, their communities and government stakeholders to ensure the new TESFA model works for them and takes their unique insights, needs and priorities into account, laying the foundation for the new model’s success. The new prototypes that TESFA+ will test include the following:

  • Graduation: TESFA girls will graduate into a formalized women’s group to recruit new members, act as mentors for new TESFA girls and play a family planning and savings advisory role in their community.
  • Re-branding and accrediting Social Accountability in Action (SAA): We will develop a new marketing strategy for broader government uptake of SAA. As part of this effort we will develop accreditation standards for new SAA facilitators to ensure quality.
  • Targeting scalers as end users: we will create a social media or electronic platform to share TESFA success stories with government partners to promote interest and uptake in the new model.
  • Leveraging religious institutions: we will develop a new manual with reference to scripture for religious institutions to use as these institutions preach against child marriage.


We plan to do a formal evaluation during the Model Implementation and Testing Phase to assess the impact of the intervention on the primary outcomes outlined in the TESFA+ model’s theory of change.
Our hypothesis is that the newly designed model will 1) have a positive impact on girls’ and their communities’ lives, and 2) self-replicate, and scale through other means. We also hypothesize that engagement of partners and stakeholders in this project and sharing of project learning will increase the understanding among stakeholders about a scalable, effective model to improve the lives of girls and their communities.


TESFA+ investigative research: brief and full report

TESFA+ scale-up investigation: research brief and report summary