Sahel Women’s Empowerment and Demographic Dividend (SWEDD)

  • N Network/Convening/Conference

A Active

Key Information

The Sahel Women’s Empowerment and Demographic Dividend (SWEDD) regional initiative, the result of a joint response by the United Nations and the World Bank Group, is a response to a call made by the presidents of the six Sahel countries, Burkina Faso, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. The overall goal of the project is to accelerate the demographic transition, to spur the demographic dividend, and to reduce gender inequality in the Sahel region. Since its official launch in November 2015, the initiative has grown and is proceeding rapidly.

The interventions proposed by the initiative are structured around three primary components: Generate demand for reproductive, maternal, neonatal and child health, and nutrition (RMNCHN) services by promoting social and behavioral change and the empowerment of women and adolescent girls; Reinforce the regional availability of RMNCHN commodities and qualified health workers; and Reinforce advocacy and dialogue at high levels and promote policy development and the project’s implementation.

Lead Implementing Organization(s)


Sub-Saharan Africa

Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger

Government Affiliation



2015 -


The West African Health Organization

Ministry Affiliation



COVID-19 Response


Geographic Scope

Global / regional

Areas of Work Back to Top

Education areas


  • Primary completion
  • Secondary completion

Other skills

  • Vocational training


  • Literacy

Cross-cutting areas

  • Adolescent pregnancy/childbearing
  • Early/child marriage
  • Economic/livelihoods (including savings/financial inclusion, etc.)
  • Empowerment
  • Masculinities/boys
  • Other aspects of sexual and reproductive health
  • Violence (at home, in relationships)

Program participants

Target Audience(s)

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


10 - 19

School Enrolment Status

Some in school

School Level

  • Upper primary
  • Lower secondary
  • Upper secondary

Other populations reached

  • Community leaders
  • Other community members - male
  • Religious leaders

Participants include

Not applicable or unknown

Program Approaches Back to Top


  • School feeding

Health and childcare services

  • Sexual and reproductive health services (including family planning)

Increased availability of learning materials

  • Educational Radio or Television Programs

Learning while working

  • Vocational training

Reducing economic barriers

  • Scholarships/stipends for school fees

School-related gender-based violence

  • Safe transportation

Social/gender norms change

  • Work with community leaders

Program Goals Back to Top

Education goals

  • Increased re-enrolment in school among out-of-school children
  • Increased school completion (general)
  • Increased school enrolment (general)
  • Reduced absenteeism

Cross-cutting goals

  • Improved maternal, newborn, and/or child health (MNCH)
  • Improved nutrition
  • Improved sexual and reproductive health
  • Reduced adolescent pregnancy/childbearing
  • Reduced child marriage

Additional Information Back to Top

Primary Contact

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)