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The impact of an adolescent girls employment program : the EPAG project in Liberia

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  • Adoho, Franck
  • Chakravarty, Shubha
  • Korkoyah, Jr, Dala T.
  • Lundberg, Mattias
  • Tasneem, Afia
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    Abstract

    This paper presents findings from the impact evaluation of the Economic Empowerment of Adolescent Girls and Young Women (EPAG) project in Liberia. The EPAG project was launched by the Liberian Ministry of Gender and Development in 2009 with the goal of increasing the employment and income of 2,500 young Liberian women by providing livelihood and life skills training and facilitating their transition to productive work. The analysis in this paper is based on data collected during two rounds of quantitative surveys in 2010 and 2011, the second of which was conducted six months after the classroom-based phase of the training program ended. Strong impacts are found on the employment and earnings outcomes of program participants, relative to a control group of non-participants. The EPAG program increased employment by 47 percent and earnings by 80 percent. In addition, the impact evaluation documents positive effects on a variety of empowerment measures, including access to money, self-confidence, and anxiety about circumstances and the future. The evaluation finds no net impact on fertility or sexual behavior. At the household level, there is evidence of improved food security and shifting attitudes toward gender norms. These results reinforce the highly positive feedback received from focus group discussions with program participants. Finally, preliminary cost-benefit analysis indicates that the budgetary cost of the EPAG business development training for young women is equivalent to the value of three years of the increase in income among program beneficiaries. These preliminary results provide strong evidence for further investment and research into young women's livelihood programs in Liberia.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6832.

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    Date of creation: 01 Apr 2014
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    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6832

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    Keywords: Primary Education; Population Policies; Education For All; Access&Equity in Basic Education; Labor Policies;

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    1. Baird, Sarah & Chirwa, Ephraim & McIntosh, Craig & Ozler, Berk, 2009. "The short-term impacts of a schooling conditional cash transfer program on the sexual behavior of young women," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5089, The World Bank.
    2. Hoddinott, John & Haddad, Lawrence, 1995. "Does Female Income Share Influence Household Expenditures? Evidence from Cote d'Ivoire," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(1), pages 77-96, February.
    3. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
    4. Pablo Ibarraran & Laura Ripani & Bibiana Taboada & Juan Villa & Brigida Garcia, 2014. "Life skills, employability and training for disadvantaged youth: Evidence from a randomized evaluation design," IZA Journal of Labor & Development, Springer, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 1-24, December.
    5. Ashenfelter, Orley C, 1978. "Estimating the Effect of Training Programs on Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(1), pages 47-57, February.
    6. Orazio Attanasio & Adriana Kugler & Costas Meghir, 2008. "Training Disadvantaged Youth in Latin America: Evidence from a Randomized Trial," NBER Working Papers 13931, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Sendhil Mullainathan & Marianne Bertrand, 2001. "Do People Mean What They Say? Implications for Subjective Survey Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 67-72, May.
    8. David Card & Pablo Ibarraran & Ferdinando Regalia & David Rosas & Yuri Soares, 2007. "The Labor Market Impacts of Youth Training in the Dominican Republic: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 12883, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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