Preventing teen pregnancy in Benin: development of a self-esteem-based intervention to empower adolescents
The goal of this project is to reduce teen pregnancy in Benin by developing and promoting an innovative, evidence-based intervention combining sexual and reproductive health, self-esteem, and empowerment that targets adolescents.
In Benin, adolescents and youth aged 10 to 24 make up 33% of the total population, and the teen fertility rate is high. This results in lower education rates, loss of economic potential, and short and long-term health consequences. Stopgap measures have been implemented to reduce the teen pregnancy rate. However, since psychosocial and economic factors are not considered, these measures have been largely ineffective in the general adolescent population.
This action research project is based on multidisciplinary participative approaches uniting all stakeholders in adolescent sexual and reproductive health. It will use mixed methods, with evaluation research of the intervention based on a quasi-experimental pre and post-intervention study with testimonials. It will include a gender-based approach to clearly identify and take into account the power dynamics between men/boys and women/girls and the underlying social norms.
The main expected outcomes of this study include identifying and analyzing intervention factors to propose a plan and a method for scaling up. In the short and medium terms, this project will change adolescents' behaviour, making them more self-confident and empowered. In the long term, this will help significantly reduce adolescent fertility.
This is one of nine projects in a cohort of research projects focusing on two regions (West Africa and the Middle East) and addressing two thematic issues (adolescent sexual and reproductive health and health information systems).
The project is closely aligned with Canada's new Feminist International Assistance Policy, the strategic priorities outlined in the WHO's Global Strategy for Women's, Children's and Adolescents' Health (2016–2030), and the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.