Community youth teams facilitating participatory adolescent groups, youth leadership activities and livelihood promotion to improve school attendance, dietary diversity and mental health among adolescent girls in rural eastern India: Protocol for a cluster-randomised controlled trial

Suchitra Rath, Audrey Prost, Subhashree Samal, Hemanta Pradhan, Andrew Copas, Sumitra Gagrai, Shibanand Rath, Raj Kumar Gope, Nirmala Nair, Prasanta Tripathy, Komal Bhatia, Kelly Rose-Clarke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Improving the health and development of adolescents aged 10-19 years is a global health priority. One in five adolescents globally live in India. The Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK), India's national adolescent health strategy, recommends supporting community-based peer educators to conduct group meetings with boys and girls. Groups aim to give adolescents a space to discuss the social and health issues affecting them and build their capacity to become active community members and leaders. There have been no evaluations of the community component of RKSK to date. In this protocol, we describe the evaluation of the Jharkhand Initiative for Adolescent Health (JIAH), a community intervention aligned with RKSK and designed to improve school attendance, dietary diversity and mental health among adolescent girls aged 10-19 years in rural Jharkhand, eastern India.

METHODS: The JIAH intervention is delivered by a community youth team consisting of yuva saathis (friends of youth), youth leadership facilitators and livelihood promoters. Teams conduct (a) peer-led Participatory Learning and Action meetings with girls and boys, mobilising adolescents, parents, health workers, teachers and the wider community to make changes for adolescent health and development; (b) group-based youth leadership activities to build adolescents' confidence and resilience; and (c) livelihood promotion with adolescents and their families to provide training and practical skills. We are evaluating the JIAH intervention through a parallel-group, two-arm, superiority, cluster-randomised controlled trial. The unit of randomisation is a geographic cluster of ~1000 people. A total of 38 clusters covering an estimated population of 40,676 have been randomised to control or intervention arms. Nineteen intervention clusters have adolescent groups, youth leadership activities and livelihood promotion. Nineteen control clusters receive livelihood promotion only. Study participants are adolescent girls aged 10-19 years, married or unmarried, in or out of school, living in the study area. Intervention activities are open to all adolescent boys and girls, regardless of their participation in surveys. We will collect data through baseline and endline surveys. Primary trial outcomes are school attendance, dietary diversity and internalising and externalising mental health problems. Secondary outcomes include access to school-related entitlements, emotional or physical violence, self-efficacy and resilience.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN17206016. Registered on 27 June 2018.

Original languageEnglish
Article number52
Pages (from-to)52
JournalTrials
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2020

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Education
  • Livelihood promotion
  • Mental health
  • Nutrition
  • Participation
  • Participatory Learning and Action
  • Peer-led
  • Youth leadership

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