Created by members of the Coalition for Adolescent Girls (CAG), this toolkit is meant to be a resource for practitioners, policy-makers, advocates, researchers, donors, and governments interested in engaging adolescent girls as partners and allies in activities and structures of institutions, programmes, and projects. The goal is to enable institutions, programmes, and project teams to strategically and meaningfully engage girls as equal and active participants in the leadership and development of their communities in relation to all areas of development, including sexual health, governance, and humanitarian aid.
As stated in the toolkit,“[G]irls’ voices, experiences, and insights are key to the development of sustainable and effective programs, projects, and institutions, and yet they are often sidelined or excluded altogether. If we are to achieve global, national, and local programmatic and policy objectives, we need to trust, listen to, and partner with girls. We can do this by providing the space, support, and opportunity for girls to drive their own development agenda and by engaging them in creating the policies, programming, and research that affect their lives and communities.” The toolkit defines meaningful girl engagement as “a participatory process in which girls’ opinions, ideas, and experiences are integrated into an organization’s activities or structure in an effort to make the organization or its activities more effective, accountable, and/or relevant to the girl population.”
The contents of the toolkit are designed to allow organisations to: make the case for engaging adolescent girls; improve established or develop new girl engagement processes (by outlining a theory of change and offering guidance on promising practices); assess the extent to which their institution, programme, or project is ready to meaningfully engage girls (through a Readiness Assessment Worksheet); and to monitor and evaluate adolescent engagement once a programme has been implemented. A series of case studies (found in Appendix A) provide illustrative examples of how programmers, advocates, and researchers have meaningfully engaged adolescent girls.
The toolkit is divided into the following sections:
- Why Meaningfully Engage Adolescent Girls?
- Theory of Change for Adolescent Girl Engagement
- Promising Practices of Adolescent Girl Engagement
- Readiness Assessment Worksheet and Action Plan
- How to Measure Girl Engagement
- Appendix A: Case Studies Demonstrating Promising Adolescent Girl Engagement Practicies
- Appendix B Detailed Descriptions of Promising Practices
- Appendix C: Tools and Resources
- Appendix D: How the Toolkit was Developed
- Appendix E: Extended Acknowledgements
The toolkit explains the production process as follows:“Adolescent girls, youth, and adult professionals collaborated for over a year to generate the content presented in the toolkit. This toolkit is a compilation of knowledge and understanding about adolescent girl engagement derived from the CAG’s literature review on the subject, a technical consultation conducted in October 2014 for CAG members, youth, and adolescent girls, learnings from a series of E-forums held for CAG members and all consultation participants in February 2015, an external stakeholder consultation held in March 2015 for adult professionals, youth, and adolescent girls and contributions from members of the CAG Girl Engagement Tool Working Group. In all, 80 individuals participants in the two consultations with 34% of participants under the age of 25.”
Advocacates for Youth website on December 13 2016.