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Training opportunity announcement : Empower girl and promote gender equity in francophone West Africa


The Girl Innovation, Research & Learning Center (The GIRL Center) at the Population Council is a crosscutting research hub, established in 2017, that leverages the Council’s 20 years of research and programming expertise in adolescent girls and brings together today’s leading scholars in adolescence to generate, synthesize, and translate evidence effectively for decision-making. Through rigorous research about what works — and does not work — we aim to ensure that investments in adolescent girls are based on evidence. Working with country counterparts in governments and NGOs (NonGovernmental Organization), we identify best practices, refine the critical elements of girl-centered programs, and use solid evidence to help organizations and donors allocate scarce resources to the most effective programs.

The GIRL Center applies Population Council’s large body of research and evaluation evidence to programming as part of the World Bank’s Sahel Women’s Empowerment and Demographic Dividend (SWEDD) Initiative. SWEDD works to accelerate the demographic transition and position the region to benefit from a demographic dividend in nine (expanding to 13) countries. Within the SWEDD initiative, the GIRL Center works with UNFPA’s West and Central Africa Office to provide technical assistance and implementation and learning support. This collaboration aims to strengthen the capacity of governments and implementing partners to improve the coverage, quality, and effectiveness of girlcentered programming.
The GIRL Center’s SWEDD team is expanding by training professionals in the Sahel region who are passionate about adolescent girls, gender equity, and the role of evidence and data in strengthening programming.

Learn, build skills, foster connections, and become part of the SWEDD team through active participation in an intensive 5-day interactive workshop. The workshop will be held in Dakar, Senegal on December 4- 8, 2023. For participants in the full 5-day workshop, expenses will be covered.

Training goal : To build the capacity of regional resources on adolescent research and evidence-based
programming. In the workshop, participants will:

  • Improve knowledge on priority topics for donors and the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) including the SWEDD Initiative
  • Build skills in adolescent-centered program design, implementation, MEL (Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning), and research
  • Gain access to evidence-informed program tools
  • Bond and build relationships with regionally-based colleagues with shared interests; join a community of practice on evidence-informed adolescent girl programming

Participants will receive a certificate designating them as trained GIRL Center consultants, which will facilitate and give early access to consulting opportunities within SWEDD and more broadly through the GIRL Center on program, learning, and research support. They also will be added to a listserv that will provide early access to consultant opportunities and further training events.

Over the course of five days, workshop attendees will gain knowledge via participatory learning on
topics including:

  1. Adolescence as a distinct and formative life phase when gender differences intensify.
  2. Making the most of SWEDD to ensure that vulnerable adolescents—who are often overlooked by traditional youth programs—have opportunities to participate in programming.
  3. Why it is vital to work beyond individual program participants to engage families and communities, especially when working to transform gender norms.
  4. Enabling entrée and work in marginalized communities; fostering community acceptance and ownership including in highly conservative settings
  5. Methods to monitor and evaluate the types of changes that community-based group programs may generate.
  6. Workshop tactics to foster participatory learning and promote evidence-informed action.
  7. Using community-based groups as platforms to deliver accessible programming.
  8. Population Council’s suite of evidence-informed program planning and MEL tools

We currently are accepting applications to take part in this opportunity. We recognize that strong candidates may not have every qualification listed here, and encourage individuals to apply who bring passion and experience in many or most of these areas.


  • Research skills including: monitoring and evaluation; experience with mixed-method study design and implementation
  • Management skills including: clear written and verbal communications with ability to write briefs, draft reports, and make presentations; attention to detail, self-starter, and effective team player; familiarity with on-line knowledge management and information-sharing systems
  • Results-oriented and committed to excellence; flexible and self-motivated
  • Experience as a trainer and/or provider of technical assistance to implementing organizations
  • Ability to travel regionally in West Africa
  • Interest in adolescent health and rights, as well as development including education, sexual and reproductive health, child marriage, empowerment, migration, digital access, and gender-based violence
  • Familiarity with what works to promote girls’ education, health, rights, and development from both the evidence base and programmatic experience


  • A Masters degree in related field + minimum three years of post-Masters work experience
  • Based in the Sahel region, ideally Guinea, Mauritanie, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Cameroun, Togo, or Senegal, with familiarity with French West Africa
  • Bilingual (or close to it) in French/English
  • Knowledge of and experience working with regional partners
  • Optimistic and resourceful with strong self-awareness, cultural competence, emotional intelligence, and humilit

To be considered for this opportunity, please send a CV and accompanying note that expresses your interest in participating to Anne-Caroline Midy, Project Coordinator : [email protected]. Your cover note should clearly describe the reasons for your interest in the training workshop; your relevant skills and experience; and how you hope to use the new knowledge, skills, and connections gained in the workshop. Application materials may be submitted in French and/or English. The application deadline is October 10, 2023.
For questions about this opportunity, please write to Anne-Caroline Midy, [email protected].

The Population Council confronts critical health and development issues, from reducing preventable maternal and newborn deaths and stopping the spread of HIV to enhancing access to quality care and ensuring that young people lead full and productive lives. Through biomedical, social science, and public health research in 50 countries, we work with partners to deliver solutions that lead to more effective policies, programs, and technologies that improve lives around the world.


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