Inspiring Married Adolescent Girls to Imagine New Empowered Futures (IMAGINE)

  • P Project/Program

I Inactive

Key Information

Ninety percent of adolescent pregnancies in the developing world are to married girls and complications from pregnancy and childbirth are a leading cause of death among this population. Despite the unacceptable risks to married girls’ lives, sexual and reproductive health and other development initiatives often fail to reach them, leaving these extremely marginalized girls without the services and support they need. Delaying first birth among newly married girls can help to mitigate the risks associated with adolescent pregnancy, but a complex constellation of social and structural barriers impedes married girls’ ability to delay. With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CARE launched a project to design and test interventions that hold promise for delaying the timing of first birth among married adolescents in Niger and Bangladesh. IMAGINE will take a holistic approach, one that builds married girls’ capacity and agency to make decisions about their life courses, addresses social and structural barriers that prevent delaying and critically, presents alternative economic opportunities for girls so that early motherhood is not their only option. We aim to document and share learning from this initiative with the wider development community to inform others working to address the issue of adolescent childbearing.

Lead Implementing Organization(s)


South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa

Bangladesh, Niger

Government Affiliation

Non-governmental program


2016 - 2022


Not applicable or unknown

Ministry Affiliation


COVID-19 Response


Geographic Scope

Global / regional

Areas of Work Back to Top

Education areas

Other skills

  • Life skills/sexuality education
  • Vocational training

Cross-cutting areas

  • Adolescent pregnancy/childbearing
  • Economic/livelihoods (including savings/financial inclusion, etc.)
  • Empowerment
  • Gender equality
  • HIV and STIs
  • Masculinities/boys
  • Other aspects of sexual and reproductive health
  • Social and gender norms and beliefs

Program participants

Target Audience(s)

Girls (both in school and out of school), Youth


Not applicable or unknown

School Enrolment Status

Some in school

School Level

Not applicable or unknown

Other populations reached

  • Boys (both in school and out of school)
  • Community leaders
  • Fathers
  • Mothers
  • Other caregivers
  • Other community members - female
  • Other community members - male
  • Religious leaders

Participants include

Not applicable or unknown

Program Approaches Back to Top

Community engagement/advocacy/sensitization

  • General awareness-raising/community engagement

Health and childcare services

  • Adolescent-friendly health services
  • Condom distribution
  • Sexual and reproductive health services (including family planning)

Learning while working

  • Vocational training

Life skills education

  • Negotiation skills
  • Sexual and reproductive health (including puberty education)

Reducing economic barriers

  • Income-generating activities

Social/gender norms change

  • Engaging parents/caregivers of students or school-age children/adolescents

Women's empowerment programs

  • Empowerment training

Program Goals Back to Top

Education goals

  • Improved social and emotional learning/skills and mindsets

Cross-cutting goals

  • Changed social norms
  • Improved critical consciousness
  • Improved maternal, newborn, and/or child health (MNCH)
  • Improved sexual and reproductive health
  • Improved understanding of sexual harassment, coercion, and consent
  • Increased advocacy/civic engagement
  • Increased agency and empowerment
  • Increased employment/job-related skills
  • Increased knowledge of HIV, puberty, and sexual and reproductive health
  • Increased knowledge of rights
  • More equal power in relationships
  • More equitable gender attitudes and norms
  • Reduced adolescent pregnancy/childbearing
  • Reduced intimate partner violence
  • Reduced poverty/increase household well-being
  • Reduced STI/HIV/AIDS