Promoting behaviour change programs to address socio-emotional, mental and physical challenges in schools
Project Abstract

Prevailing negative social norms and stigma around adolescent health, self-care and safety perpetuate harm that disproportionately affects girls’ schooling and learning trajectories. Puberty is a critical stage when social norms begin to shape adolescents and persist into adulthood, making it a critical time to intervene with rights-based frameworks that directly address gender, power, equity, inclusion and child protection.

Focusing on pastoralist communities and refugee camps in semi desertic Kenyan regions, the project aims to adapt a proven behavior-change innovation, the “NIA Program”, tailoring it to local contexts.

With a multisectoral approach focusing on girls' empowerment, teacher capacity, and tool development, NIA’s education model utilises puberty as an entry point to teach about gender, power, consent, and rights, addressing socio-emotional, mental, and physical challenges hindering gender equality for girls. 

Issues addressed through the program are improved menstruation management for girls, more positive menstruation attitudes, sexual and reproductive health and teenage pregnancy knowledge, and self-efficacy and agency.

Building on the manifested interest and committed support of the Kenyan Ministry of Education and the involvement of the research institutions in the Technical Working Group that is reviewing Kenya’s Gender and Education Policy, the project aims to generate a solid scaling strategy within the public education systems. The research will delve into the necessary adaptations and implementation processes allowing such content and results to be addressed effectively and with impact at the local level, and scaled through local education systems.  

Project Stats

Implementing Organizations: Zana Africa Programmes (Lead), Dignitas, Education Design Unlimited
Project Leader:Roopal Thaker
Implementing Countries: Kenya
Duration: 24 months