Growing Up GREAT!: The Way Forward / « Bien Grandir: La Voie à Suivre! »

Growing Up GREAT!: The Way Forward (GUG!) is a longitudinal multi-level intervention in Kinshasa, DRC for very young adolescents (VYAs), their parents and caregivers and other influential community members. It uses an ecological approach to provide information and address social and gender norms related to reproductive health and wellbeing at each of these levels, with the goal of improving sexual and reproductive health outcomes among in-school and out-of-school VYAs (10-14 years).

The GUG! consortium – Save the Children, the Global Early Adolescent Study/Johns Hopkins University (GEAS-JHU), UCSD/GEH, and the Institute for Reproductive Health/Georgetown University – brings together implementers, researchers, scale-up experts, and implementation scientists to generate evidence on the value of investing in interventions with early adolescents in order to foster effective contraceptive use as they enter older adolescence and young adulthood.

The GUG! consortium’s intermediate outcomes are: 1) Build understanding of how gender attitudes, behaviors, and norms are formed and transformed among very young adolescents, and their medium-term life course trajectories; 2) Institutionalize the GUG! intervention within the Ministry of Education and community-based partners in Kinshasa; and 3) Generate knowledge on how to sustain and scale gender and Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) interventions for early adolescents, including the feasibility and acceptability of engaging parents.

Supported By: Bill and Melinda Gates foundation

Project Contact: Dr. Kathryn M. Barker, Assistant Professor, katebarker@health.ucsd.edu

Cohort Study Findings on GUG!’s Impact and Gender Attitudes, Behaviors, and Norms

Profiles of Very Young Adolescents in Urban Kinshasa, Growing Up GREAT! Baseline Brief: in English and French

Growing Up GREAT! Impact Brief: in English and French

Growing Up GREAT! Wave 3 & 4 Impact Brief: in English

Global Early Adolescent Study – Longitudinal and Outcome Evaluation Findings:

GUG! Scale-Up and Institutionalization

GUG! Scale-Up Plan: in English and French

GUG! Scale-Up Assessment Report: in English and French

Integrating Family Life Education into Distance Learning during COVID-19 Closures: in English and French

Sustainability of GUG! Institutionalization in the Ministries of Health and Education: A Rapid Qualitative Learning Study: in French

GUG! Implementation

Growing Up GREAT! Implementation Guide: in English and French

Related Projects

The Passages Project

Save the Children’s Growing Up GREAT! Resource Collection

Global Early Adolescent Study/Johns Hopkins University (GEAS-JHU)

Principal Investigator


Sarah Smith, MPH

Francine Wood, PhD, MPH

Princess Luna, BSPH

Democratic Republic of the Congo


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