Ethiopia, DRC, Pakistan
PROGRAM FACULTY: lindsay stark
OTHER FACULTY: Marni Sommer (Sociomedical Sciences)
STUDENTS: Kathryn Davis '16
Although there is international recognition within the humanitarian community of the vulnerable position adolescent girls occupy in humanitarian emergencies, there is a dearth of evidence on effective interventions to protect girls from violence. The IRC is developing and implementing the COMPASS program (Creating Opportunities through Mentoring, Parental Involvement and Safe Spaces). This program identifies and responds to the vulnerabilities of adolescent girls by establishing a foundation for their healthy transition into adulthood in humanitarian crises. It seeks to improve the prevention and response to violence against adolescent girls in humanitarian settings through strategies such as: safe space programming including life skills training and asset building; mentoring activities with the support of older adolescent girls; and engagement with service providers and caregivers to better prioritize and meet the needs of adolescent girls.
Professors Lindsay Stark and Marni Sommer have been working with the International Rescue Committee to evaluate the COMPASS program. The research objectives are to understand the feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of the COMPASS programming for adolescent girls in humanitarian settings, and include two randomized control trials in refugee camps in Ethiopia and in conflict-affected communities in eastern DRC, and a mixed-methods design in Khyber Pakhtunkwah province, Pakistan. This mixed-methods approach aims to establish a foundation for good programming, and generate robust learning on effective interventions to address violence against adolescent girls in humanitarian crises.