To protect and empower girls, programs must start with the girls themselves. This approach – one that meets girls where they are in their lives – was the foundation for an innovative participatory action research pilot project, which aimed to both understand and respond to girls’ HIV-related vulnerabilities. Working with older girls ages 12-17 and their communities in Newala District, one of the least developed and poorly resourced districts of Tanzania, the project's ultimate goal was to design and qualitatively assess a pilot intervention model to address the most pressing vulnerabilities of adolescent girls. This brief report summarizes the process and findings of the participatory action research with lessons for researchers, development practitioners and policymakers working with adolescent girls.
Jennifer McCleary-Sills, Zayid Douglas, Richard Mabala, Ellen Weiss