Scaling ELA into ELAS: An Evaluation of Adolescent Empowerment in a School Setting
BRAC’s flagship model for youth empowerment in Africa is Empowerment and Livelihoods for Adolescents (ELA), a program that has been in operation for more than 15 years. Focused on creating safe spaces for youth and delivering mentor-led, multifaceted empowerment programming to boys and girls, the program has been rigorously evaluated in various contexts. Since 2020, BRAC has been working with the Ugandan Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) to adapt ELA to an afterschool setting as a way of scaling the program’s content through government schools. ELA in Schools, or ELAS, began with formative research engaging key stakeholders at the ministry and district levels, followed by a small-scale prototype that generated positive feedback from participants and other stakeholders. BRAC is conducting a pilot RCT evaluation in 150 schools across Uganda to assess the impact and cost of the program in order to gauge the viability of scaling the program through all government schools. Complementary qualitative research focused on school and district leadership will also provide insights into the opportunities and challenges the partnership might experience as it reaches a greater scale.