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Adolescent experiences in Chittagong and Sylhet divisions, Bangladesh

Research reports

Written by Nicola Jones

To address adolescent-specific obstacles, including high female drop-out rates in secondary school, the government of Bangladesh (GoB) is implementing a comprehensive Adolescent Student Program (ASP) with World Bank support, and seeks to scale the most successful elements of the intervention to all schools in Chittagong and Sylhet regions in 2022. This report draws on mixed-methods evidence from the Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence (GAGE) research programme, to support the evaluation of the ASP. This research aims to identify effective, scalable and sustainable strategies for improving school retention and overall well-being, including safety, voice, agency and empowerment of Bangladeshi adolescent girls and boys.

This report draws on quantitative data collected from 2,220 adolescents in February and March 2020 through face-to-face interviews and qualitative interviews with 100 adolescents, their parents and key informants between August and September 2020 via virtual, telephone- based semi-structured interviews. We present findings on adolescent transitions, particularly how adolescent lives are shaped by intersecting socio-economic characteristics, including gender, age, vulnerability and geographical location, and gender norms. The report concludes with policy and programming implications.

Authors: Silvia Guglielmi, Jennifer Seager, Maheen Sultan, Farhana Alam, Sarah Baird, Nicola Jones, T.M. Asaduzzaman, Deepika Ramachandran and Shwetlena Sabarwal