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Reaching out of school adolescents

This question was posted the Adolescent nutrition forum area and has 3 replies.

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Emily Mates

Technical Director

Normal user

18 Jun 2018, 14:35

Is there anyone implementing programming for out-of-school adolescents, and if so, what are they doing and are there any particular successes or challenges being faced?

Emily Keats

Senior research associate

Technical expert

19 Jun 2018, 12:14

Much of the available literature touches on programming work that has been done in East and South Asia. For example, Thailand has a health education programme for out-of-school adolescents that utilize community theatre to convey messages about sexual and reproductive health and rights. In Malaysia, the Ministry of Health partnered with UNICEF and PROSTAR (Programme for Staying Healthy without AIDS for Youth) to provide life skills building information, including nutrition information, through peer education. A systematic review (link below) looking at effective interventions aimed at reaching out-of-school children (including lower-secondary school age children) in South Asia outlines the impact of pro-poor economic incentives, such as cash transfers, as well as non-formal education solutions, such as community-led programmes and vocational and skills training, for educating these youth. Educating girls and boys is one of the best means to promote good health and nutrition. The paper concludes that there is no one solution for out-of-school children in this region; approaches need to be tailored to reflect the situation analysis of communities, households, development partners, and governments, including the education sector. Success of incentive programmes, like cash transfers or food-for-education programmes, rely on effective targeting of families and children who are in need. Communities that are located in remote areas require additional support. In Myanmar, the development and success of Community Learning Centers for providing basic literacy and post-literacy activities could be a model for other isolated communities. While the mention of out-of-school adolescents has begun to more frequently show up in strategic plans, specific nutrition programmes to reach this population are less well established and evaluations of these programmes are even less prominent.

Link to systematic review:


Technical expert

19 Jun 2018, 15:50


I remember reading this 2016 article from IMC about including adolescent girls in their community Care groups:

I think there could be a lot to learn from the existing "women's groups / peer support group" models which could be applied to reaching out-of-school adolescents


Mica Jenkins

Research and Evidence Officer, WFP Nutrition

Normal user

22 Jun 2018, 14:56

WFP Niger has recently scaled-up its adolescent nutrition programming and adapted its targeting strategy to ensure that all girls between 10 and 19 years of age in target households receive nutrition support, including daily iron and folic acid supplements. An article on this effort is forthcoming in Field Exchange - hope you'll find it useful!

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