Mar 2017 – Feb 2020

The Trickle-Up Effect



India – South Asia

To drive large-scale change for adolescents in India by bringing key stakeholders together to develop and implement a common agenda for adolescent health and development.

$903,561 Grant Value


Other funders

  • Kiawah Trust -

  • USAID -

  • Packard -

  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

At 250 million, India’s adolescents represent the largest cohort of young people in history. If properly invested in, this group has the potential to change the socio-economic course of the country. But girls are being left behind. Only 47.3% of adolescent girls are enrolled in secondary school, and 17.8% drop out before completion. Delaying adolescent pregnancy could add $400 billion to India’s Gross Domestic Product.

Some adolescent focused schemes are far-reaching but remain decisively poorly implemented. To help address this, civil society organisations can be engaged to drive evidence-based changes in adolescent health programmes at grassroots level.

This investment will help establish a Community of Practice (COP) as part of the Dasra Adolescent Collaborative, which brings together key stakeholders such as government bodies, the corporate sector, developmental organisations, foundations and experts to jointly influence the adolescent health agenda in India. The COP will bring together 64 adolescent-focused non-profits across 25 States in the country.

The Dasra Adolescent Collaborative will specifically: 

  • Use data from programme implementing partners to improve outcomes related to the completion of secondary education, delaying the age of marriage, delaying the age of first birth and increasing the agency of adolescent girls.
  • Review the effectiveness of different interventions and generate evidence for the adolescent health sector.
  • Generate practical guidelines of ‘what works’ that can be used by non-profits, multi-laterals and government to focus on the high-impact interventions and seek out partnerships to plug gaps in service delivery.
  • Build a Community of Practice to facilitate knowledge exchange and identify best practices and synergies to collaborate.
  • Drive awareness and behaviour change in adolescents, their communities and mainstream society.


This investment seek to drive large-scale change by bringing together key stakeholders to join efforts to influence a common agenda of adolescent health and development in India. 

It is expected to result in:

  • Development of a monitoring, evaluation and learning cell to measure and aggregate credible evidence on adolescent health and development.
  • Collation of a pool of knowledge, insights and best practices from the CoP.
  • Development of a network of 60 non-profits into a CoP, through up to four thematic task forces aligned on key objectives for adolescent health and development.
  • Facilitation of workshops and collaborative meetings with organisations in the CoP as a learning exchange.
  • Government presence and partnerships through thematic working groups.