Adolescent Girls in Crisis: Research Series

The Adolescent Girls in Crisis is a series of research reports capturing the voices and experiences of adolescent girls in protracted crises.

Research to date has been conducted in South Sudan, the Lake Chad Basin (Cameroon, Nigeria and Niger), the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh host, refugee and host communities in Beirut, Lebanon and in internally displaced persons and host communities in the Sahel (Burkina Faso and Mali).

Using an ‘adolescent girl centred’ research framework, 5 reports were published in 2018-2020 on girls’ experiences of protracted crises. The first 4 reports aimed to understand the unique impact crises have on adolescent girls; how they experience and navigate insecurity and the specific and unique needs of adolescent girls and opportunities to support them.

The latest iteration of the research series, for the Sahel, aimed to dig deeper into the possibilities for change. It acknowledges the importance of wider institutional, policy and socio-economic factors in supporting community-level resilience.

The key issues that have emerged to date include:

  • Security: physical security plus increased vulnerability to all forms of violence.
  • Participation, Voice and Visibility: increased restrictions on girls’ lives, and a lack of control and power over their lives. 
  • Education: lack of access, while wanting to attend school.
  • Health: challenges to staying mentally, barriers to mental health and psychosocial support and challenges to stay physically healthy in crisis settings, low levels of sexual and reproductive healthcare.
  • Restrictive norms and attitudes of communities which limit their opportunities
  • Livelihoods: ambitions to earn and contribute to families and help secure their future.
  • Optimism: despite challenges girls are ambitious and engaged with issues that affect their lives.

This research also seeks to delve into agency, participation, and mobilisation of youth and adolescent girls and discovering ways their voices could be further amplified and included in humanitarian response and potential early recovery efforts.

Currently a sixth report is under development which will focus on adolescent girls affected by the Ukraine crisis.