Project profile — GIRL/ Gender Innovation and Regional Learning


IBRD Trust Funds - World Bank (44001)
2021-03-31 - 2025-03-31
Global Affairs Canada
WGM Africa

Country / region 

• Cameroon (11.00%)
• Guinea (11.00%)
• Niger (11.00%)
• Chad (11.00%)
• Côte d'Ivoire (11.00%)
• Mali (11.00%)
• Mauritania (11.00%)
• Burkina Faso (11.00%)
• Benin (12.00%)


• Population policy and administrative management:
Population policy and administrative management (13010) (50.00%)
Family planning (13030) (25.00%)
• Government And Civil Society, General: Ending violence against women and girls (15180) (25.00%)

Policy marker 

• Gender equality (principal objective)
• Environmental sustainability (cross-cutting) (not targeted)
• Participatory development and good governance (not targeted)
• Trade development (not targeted)
• Biodiversity (not targeted)
• Climate change mitigation (not targeted)
• Climate Change Adaptation (not targeted)
• Desertification (not targeted)
• Urban issues (not targeted)
• Children's issues (not targeted)
• Youth Issues (principal objective)
• Disaster Risk Reduction(DRR) (not targeted)
• Indigenous Issues (not targeted)
• Disability (not targeted)
• Nutrition (not targeted)
• ICT as a tool for development (not targeted)


This project aims to support the empowerment of adolescent girls by addressing discriminatory norms and attitudes that contribute to gender inequalities, like child, early and forced marriage, early school drop-out, and issues surrounding adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). This is done by generating evidence to guide the design and implementation of laws, policies and programs at sub-national, national and regional levels that address inequalities in girls’ education and access to healthcare and SRHR services. Project activities include: (1) piloting initiatives to improve the enabling environment for adolescent girls’ empowerment. This includes influencing health workers’ beliefs around women and girls’ rights to access contraception and addressing norms, attitudes and beliefs around women and girls’ empowerment through interventions with parents, community and religious leaders, boys and men in communities; (2) conducting detailed research, such as impact evaluations and experimentation, including for the initiatives piloted by the project. This generates evidence on effective approaches to addressing discriminatory norms and attitudes; and (3) strengthening the capacity of decision-makers to use evidence to enhance the quality of policies and programs. The findings and evidence directly informs, guides, influences, and leverages the regional Sahel Women Empowerment and Demographic Dividend project, implemented by the World Bank. The GIRL project aims to benefit 40,000 girls through the pilot interventions, and research, directly, and indirectly, benefit more than 500, 000 girls through other programs informed by the evidence generated.

Expected results 

The expected outcomes for this project include: (1) Increased women’s and girl agency and ability to make their own sexual and reproductive life choices, and control over important life decisions; and (2) Increased rights based policy making around women’s and girls sexual and reproductive agency across the Sahel and beyond.

Results achieved 

Results achieved as of March 2023 include: (1) started initial work for the design of four pilot interventions on: (a) improving access and utilization of family planning services; (b) training of health workers to deliver sexual and reproductive health services to adolescent girls in safe spaces, in cross-border or conflict areas; (c) using radios and digital technologies for sexual and reproductive health training in safe spaces and (d) entrepreneurship training and gender based violence prevention to increase economic opportunities for girls; (2) generated four studies and reports from impact evaluations conducted on: (a) the provision of community safe spaces associated with interventions on income-generating activities, and husband and future husbands’ sensitization clubs;(b) on the provision of scholarships and tutoring to adolescent girls leading to improved educational outcomes, increased professional aspirations and to postponed marriage; and (c) on the impact of Covid 19 on adolescent girls in Sub-Saharan Africa; and (3) deployed 13 Gender and Women’s empowerment Specialists of whom eight women to reinforce national and regional capacity of policy makers, civil society and community leaders to use the evidence generated to design, advocate for and implement programs that support gender through improved SRH and women’s empowerment.

Budget and spending 

Original budget $2,000,000
Planned disbursement $2,000,000
Country percentages by sector
Type of finance Aid grant excluding debt reorganisation
Collaboration type Bilateral
Type of aid Contributions to specific-purpose programmes and funds managed by implementing partners
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