Identifying Appropriate Livelihood Options for Adolescent Girls: A Program Design Tool
There are many different types of livelihood1 programs, including microfinance, conditional cash transfers, vocational skills training, scholarship programs, financial literacy, life-skills training, and so on. These programs are often applied to adolescents without distinguishing how their specific socio-cultural (e.g., age, gender, religion, marital status, residence, and school attendance) and economic situation (employment, ownership of assets, and educational attainment) may impact the success of a given livelihood strategy. Recent evaluations have generated increasing evidence that adolescent girls have very different livelihood needs depending on a number of different socioeconomic and cultural factors that shape the contexts in which they live—all of which influence the sexual and reproductive decisions they make. New research demonstrates that social and economic factors influence the sexual and reproductive options adolescents perceive to be available and the decisions they make, often putting them at increased risk of acquiring HIV.