Girls for Health: Empowering Rural Girls’ Transition from School to Employment as Health Workers

Girls for Health (G4H) is a complementary educational and career pipelines model that seeks to promote the economic empowerment, agency, and voice of rural adolescent girls in Northern Nigeria by supporting their transition from secondary school to tertiary training institutions—primarily in health (medicine, nursing, and midwifery) as well as teaching. The program is a 2 year bridge training and Safe Spaces program within secondary schools that is focused on building girls’ academic competencies and critical life skills they would need to succeed in school and beyond. For those that transition to a health training institution specifically, the intervention also includes an additional 4-month academic preparation program. By improving rural girls’ secondary school performance and retention and increasing their access to tertiary education, the program will open formal employment pathways to girls who would not otherwise have this opportunity.

As the external evaluator, Dr. Raj will lead the evaluation of the intervention—which uses a school cluster randomized controlled trial design with 2,700 adolescent girls (age 16-19) across 32 senior secondary schools block randomized by state to receive G4H or the control condition—and assess its effectiveness in increasing secondary school and subsequently tertiary education participation as well as delayed marriage and improved agency and voice among girls attending secondary school from rural backgrounds. Process monitoring and costing analysis will be conducted to support quality implementation and dissemination efforts. As a result, a robust evidence base will be available to guide policy and programmatic efforts to broaden rural girls’ participation in educational and labor market opportunities in low resource settings. Northern Nigeria—with some of the lowest rates of girls’ secondary school completion (only 1 in 20) and highest rates of early marriage (two-thirds marry before age 18)—offers an important context in which to pilot and evaluate such interventions, with regional and global implications.


The Center for Girls Education 

*Funding Provided by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and HPI


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Professor Anita Raj 

Primary Investigators:

Anita Raj, PhD (UCSD)

Daniel Perlman, PhD (UC Berkeley)

Fatima Adamu, PhD

Project Contact:

Jennifer Yore

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