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Interventions to Reach Married Adolescents for Increased Contraceptive use in Niger

During adolescence and youth, individuals experience significant physical, emotional, and social changes. Notably, they begin to explore their sexuality. Sociocultural and structural barriers often make sexual and reproductive health and support services unavailable to adolescents and youth at a time when they need them most. This is particularly true for young, married adolescent girls in Niger—a country with the highest rate of early marriage and among the highest rates of adolescent fertility in the world. In 2016, Pathfinder International began implementation of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded Reaching Married Adolescents—a project that draws upon past Pathfinder global experience to increase contraceptive uptake among married adolescents in Niger. The project intends to build upon past lessons learned by generating evidence on how these interventions work in the Nigerien context, the relative effectiveness of three different intervention approaches, and the cost effectiveness of these interventions. This technical brief explores the project’s strategy, experience, and findings, and offers lessons learned from Niger’s first cluster, randomized-controlled trial of interventions designed to increase contraceptive use among young, married adolescent girls.

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