Does group-based therapy (with or without cash transfers) improve economic outcomes for adolescent females in Uganda?

Adolescent girls in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are at an elevated risk of depression, anxiety, and other forms of psychological distress, which has negative consequences for a range of future outcomes, including economic productivity. Yet, there exists little evidence on cost-effective interventions that improve the mental health of young people in LMICs, and subsequent implications for skill development and labor market participation. This project aims to first develop validated measures of skills and economic activity for young women in Kampala, Uganda, and then assess the impact of interpersonal group-based therapy (IPT-G), a low-cost intervention which has previously had success at improving mental health, both with and without a one-off cash transfer, on economic outcomes for adolescent females (aged 13-19 at baseline in 2019) in Uganda. This analysis will contribute to the scant literature in LMICs on the relationship between improved mental health, soft skills, and economic outcomes.

RFP Cycle:
Summer 2021
  • Sarah Baird
  • Berk Ozler
  • Full project