Research project ‘Sexual and Reproductive Resilience of Adolescents in East and West Africa’


More than half of the world population is less than 25 years old. Adolescents hold the key to the future of the nation, however, they face multiple and complex challenges. A key concern is their sexual and reproductive health (SRH). Adolescent pregnancy exposes young women to medical, social and economic risks. A better understanding is needed about what sexuality, gender, family and having children means, not only for academic purposes but to guide young women and men towards responsible parenthood.

Using a multi-method approach the project aims at identifying and understanding supportive environments for youth. In this context the project looks at how female adolescents in a particular locality deal with reproductive health challenges, and in which ways the interplay between female adolescents and social actors, institutions and organizations contributes to resilience building processes and supports female adolescents’ scopes of decision-making and action. Resilience thinking provides researchers a competences and strengths driven way of thinking about populations at risk.

In order to allow for a comparison between West and East Africa, urban and rural areas, the project will be active in Tanzania and Ghana. The team consists of 2 post docs, 3 PhD students and 2 MA students. 

Project Leader: Dr. C. Pfeiffer and Dr. C. Ahorlu 

Duration: 07.2009 - 06.2013

Funding: National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South

The project is supported by an international advisory board consisting of Prof. Brigit Obrist, Prof. Trudy Harpham, Prof. Fred Krüger and Dr. Claudia Kessler.

Research partners: