The Links Between Girls' Life Skills Intervention in Emergencies and their Return to Education Post-crisis and Prevention of Unwanted Pregnancies and Early Marriage

20th April 2020
Author: Tal Rafaeli

This rapid review focuses on identifying evidence and lessons learned on the links between life skills interventions in emergency settings and the prevention of unwanted pregnancies and early marriage and return to education post crisis amongst adolescent girls. It seeks to enable learning from past emergencies to inform the design of effective support to adolescent girls throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Due to the focus on adolescent girls and emergency settings, an area with limited rigorous evaluations (Nobel et al., 2019), this report is based on a rapid literature review of academic studies, grey literature and emerging evidence, to enable the capturing of any significant learnings from relevant programmes. Evidence and lessons learned from specific programmes identified in the review suggest that life skills interventions for adolescent girls in emergencies impact on areas that have the potential to lead to reduction in unwanted pregnancies and early marriage and support return to education, and limited evidence that they can have direct impact on these outcomes. Ten relevant interventions with impact or lessons learned where identified. Most of these interventions were implemented with adolescent girls from displaced communities and in refugee camps in Sub Saharan Africa. A small number of programmes reported a direct link between the interventions and the outcomes in the research question. Three mentioned impact on girls continuing and returning to education (Plan International, 2019; UNDF, 2016), three mention impact on reducing early marriage (IRC, 2018b; UNDF, 2016), and one mentions direct impact on reducing unwanted pregnancy (Bandiera et al, 2019).

Suggested Citation

Rafaeli, T. (2020). The link between girls’ life skills intervention in emergencies and their return to education post-crisis and prevention of unwanted pregnancies and early marriage. K4D Helpdesk Report 807. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies.


20th April 2020


Continent: Africa, Global

Country: Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Liberia, Sierra Leone