Results from the Samata Trial: An intervention to reduce child marriage and increase secondary school completion among adolescent girls in south India - Ravi Prakash and Tara Beattie

This Learning Lab presents findings from the Samata cluster randomised-control Trial, in rural south India. The study tested whether the Samata programme – a comprehensive behavioural intervention – could reduce secondary school drop-out and child marriage among marginalised adolescent girls.

The research involved a random selection of 80 village clusters (40 intervention; 40 control), and a total of 2,457 13-14 year old adolescent girls in their final year of primary school were enrolled into the study. Follow-up surveys were conducted at the end of secondary school. At the end of the trial, researchers assessed whether the intervention was effective at increasing secondary school entry and completion, and reducing child marriage and age at sexual debut, among girls in the intervention compared with the control villages.

Ravi Prakash is the director of research and monitoring and evaluation at Karnataka Health Promotion Trust (KHPT). He is primarily a quantitative researcher with 10 years of experience in planning, designing, managing, and monitoring large studies; setting up monitoring and evaluation systems for large-scale interventions; and analysing large data sets using sophisticated statistical techniques. In his present role at KHPT, he is primarily involved in managing STRIVE research studies.

Tara Beattie is a social epidemiologist at The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She has been working in collaboration with KHPT and the University of Manitoba for over a decade, evaluating HIV prevention programming in south India with key populations. In her current role under STRIVE, she has been working on the evaluation of projects Samata and Samvedana Plus in north Karnataka,  south India.

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