Plan-It Girls: Understanding the Influence of Plan-It Girls and the Lived Experiences of Program Participants

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A Qualitative Inquiry

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The declining rate of female labor force participation in India has been attributed to inequitable gender norms, poor access to quality education and skilling opportunities and poor linkages to the labor market. Despite improvements in school enrolment rates, girls are left out of economic participation, which is critical to achieving the goals of empowerment and gender equality. With a focus on bridging this gap between formal education and employability of women, the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) designed the Plan-It Girls program for adolescent girls.

Plan-It Girls is a multi-level and multi-stakeholder program that seeks to build agency of adolescent girls and promote gender equality to support their aspirations. The program was implemented in ten secondary schools in Delhi and in ten schools in two districts of Jharkhand— Deoghar and Pakur. The program design accounts for the ecosystems of girls’ social environments, including their peers, families, schools and broader communities and places the girls themselves at the center.

This qualitative study further enhances the understanding of the impact of the Plan-It Girls program on the girls, boys, parents, teachers and community members who participated. It also provides a better insight into the involvement of the participants, their experience of participating in the program, feedback and recommendations on if or how the program could be improved for future implementation and scale-up. The study underscores the need for a comprehensive ecosystem approach for enhancing the agency of adolescent girls, amplifying their voice, and building employability skills. This report details the findings of the qualitative research study which was undertaken to further inform and supplement the findings of the quantitative study.

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This document presents the economic analysis of the costs incurred in implementing the Plan-It Girls program in partnership with Restless Development and Pravah. The program was supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The facts and information in this report may be reproduced/quoted/cited only for non-commercial use and with appropriate attribution.