YouthPower Learning Event    

Giving Adolescents a Voice: Age-Appropriate Methods that Work for Measuring Gender Norms Across Contexts

WHEN: Thursday, April 6, 2017, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM ET
WHERE: Results for Development Institute (R4D), 1111 19th Street NW, Suite 700, Washington, D.C. 20036

Holistic interventions reach adolescents at an early age, and donors, governments, practitioners, and policymakers are increasingly looking to a PYD approach to provide more holistic support for youth in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). These types of interventions attend to macro-level factors in communities, including social and gender norms, but also build the resilience of youth and increase their social assets. They hold the most promise for helping boys and girls complete their education and achieve their long-term personal, health, and educational aspirations. Many recognize the importance of adolescents in shaping gender-transformative PYD work but struggle to harness the potential of adolescents. Questions remain like:

  • What role do adolescents play in ensuring gender integration in positive youth development (PYD) programming?
  • What are some developmentally-appropriate indicators, measures, tools, and approaches for working with young adolescents on gender norms?
  • What are the lessons learned in designing interventions and research studies that support children/young adolescents in exercising their voice and agency to construct their own identities?

The Youth Power Learning Gender and PYD Community of Practice (CoP) held a panel discussion that explored developmentally-appropriate, participatory methods and tools to engage adolescents in effective research and intervention design for transforming gender norms. Dr. Rebecka Lundgren and a panel of global experts on adolescents shared their experiences supporting adolescents in Uganda, India, Nepal, and Rwanda in constructing their identities through voice and agency. 

Event presentation: application/pdf YouthPower Learning Gender and PYD Event 4-6-2017.pdf (1.63 MB)     

About the panelists:

Default image, no image supplied by the user.Rebecka Lundgren
Deputy Director and Director of Research, IRH
Rebecka provides leadership, direction, and guidance to the project for design and implementation of project activities and represents the project to USAID/W and Missions and international organizations. She brings over 25 years’ experience in implementation science, including the design, implementation, management, and evaluation of sustainable SRH and behavior change programs with a proven track record of developing and managing research-to-practice partnerships. Her recent work has focused on developing and testing scalable interventions to establish social norms that support FP use and reduce GBV, and she has significant expertise in developing and testing interventions targeting very young adolescents (VYAs).

Default image, no image supplied by the user.Pranita Achyut
Senior Technical Specialist – Adolescent & Gender
International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)
Pranita Achyut is working as Adolescent and Gender Specialist with the International Center for Research on Women Asia Regional Office. She brings in around 15 years of experience and expertise in research and programming in the areas of reproductive and child health, family planning, education, and violence. She has worked extensively with state and district health program managers, medical colleges, NGOs and other community level organizations. Pranita is, currently, managing multi-site school-based project aiming to promote gender equality among school children, and Measurement, Learning and Evaluation (MLE) project on family planning. She holds Master’s in statistics and population studies.
Default image, no image supplied by the user.Sarah Baird, Ph. D. 
Associate Professor
Department of Global Health, Milken Institute School of Public Health
The George Washington University
Sarah Baird is an Associate Professor of Global Health and Economics in the Department of Global Health in the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University. Dr. Baird is a development economist whose research focuses on the microeconomics of health and education in developing countries with an emphasis on Sub-Saharan Africa. Lately, her research largely focuses on issues faced by adolescents. She received her Ph.D. in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at UC Berkeley in 2007.

Default image, no image supplied by the user.Alice Welbourn, Ph.D.  
Author of Stepping Stones
Salamander Trust

Alice has worked on international gender and health issues for over 30 years. After completing a Ph.D. at Cambridge University, she lived and worked in rural areas of East, Southern and West Africa for several years, as an international development consultant. Diagnosed HIV positive in 1992, she wrote a training package on gender, HIV, communication and relationship skills called “Stepping Stones” (, now widely used across Africa, Asia, the Pacific, Latin America, and beyond. 

Default image, no image supplied by the user.Kristin Mmari
Associate Professor, Population, Family and Reproductive Health
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
With a degree in medical anthropology and a doctorate in international health, Kristin has been extensively trained in cross-cultural research, qualitative methods and analysis, and program evaluation. Currently, Kristin is the lead qualitative investigator on the Global Early Adolescent Study (GEAS), which is a 15-country study aimed at exploring how the acquisition of gender norms and gender socialization shapes very early adolescent relationships and health behaviors. Kristin was also the lead qualitative investigator on the WAVE study, which was one of the first global studies on adolescents living in disadvantaged urban environments to examine how health and the factors that influence adolescent health compare across different urban environments. Kristin has also provided technical assistance to numerous international organizations over the past two decades on adolescent monitoring and evaluation projects, including UNAIDS, UNICEF, WHO, and Pathfinder International.

Default image, no image supplied by the user.Eugene C. Roehlkepartain, Ph.D.
Vice President, Research and Development
Search Institute
Eugene C. Roehlkepartain is Vice President of Research and Development at Search Institute, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. He leads a team of quantitative and qualitative researchers who focus on discovering what young people need to succeed in their families, schools, and communities. Since joining Search Institute 25 years ago, Gene has contributed to the organization’s groundbreaking work on developmental assets and, more recently, developmental relationships. He has led Search Institute’s global work, including collaborations with Save the Children and World Vision International to measure developmental assets in the lives of young people in more than 30 countries. He holds a doctorate in education from the University of Minnesota.


About the Gender and PYD Community of Practice:
The YouthPower Learning Gender and PYD Community of Practice is a community of youth-serving individuals that promotes gender and PYD integration across development programming. The community promotes provides recommended entry points for gender transformative and PYD programs; curates gender, girl-focused, and PYD resources and tools; hosts a working group on adolescent girls to develop recommendations for gender-sensitive indicators for positive youth development programs; and hosts webinars on various topics including what youth engagement looks like in the field.


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