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  • Writer's pictureProjet Jeune Leader

A Promising New Pathway to Scale the Impact of CSE for Vulnerable Malagasy Adolescents

A Projet Jeune Leader Educator walks with five middle school students in a village in Madagascar.

Since 2013, Projet Jeune Leader has been working to improve the health and well-being of young adolescents in Madagascar through a holistic comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) program. To date, we have reached tens of thousands of students across our partner public middle schools.

In a new effort to scale our program, we are preparing to test a new social franchise model aimed at reaching a broader population of adolescents who otherwise would not have access to our in-school model.

Comprehensive Sexuality Education: Helping Every Adolescent in Madagascar Thrive

Adolescence is a critical stage of life, bringing significant physical, emotional, and social changes. CSE equips young people with the knowledge, skills, and support they need to navigate adolescence and their transition into adulthood. Very few adolescents in Madagascar receive any sort of sexuality education or life skills education, leaving them vulnerable to violence, school dropout, early and forced marriage, and early pregnancy.

PJL has brought high-quality CSE to young adolescents in the public school system, but we recognize we’re missing critical groups of young people — including out-of-school adolescents and adolescents living with disabilities. Yet, these adolescents’ intersecting identities and greater obstacles to education and well-being make CSE particularly essential.

Only 27% of adolescents aged 11 to 14 in Madagascar are enrolled in school (INSTAT and UNICEF, 2019)
More than one in ten children in Madagascar live with a disability (UNICEF, 2022)
Qualitative data has shown that Malagasy children living with a disability experience higher levels of violence (UNICEF, 2022)

Schoolchildren walk down a dirt road in a village in rural Madagascar.

A New Pathway to Scale Impact and Reach the Most Vulnerable Adolescents

For the next three years, we will develop and test a social franchise model thanks to support from the Principality of Monaco’s Direction de la Coopération Internationale.

Social franchising is a form of partnership around a common cause. It involves a pioneering organization like PJL replicating its model in other communities in a structured manner and through independent organizations. This approach allows other organizations and their communities to benefit from expertise, support, and a proven model to address local needs.

Many organizations working with young people (private schools, religious and social service centers, local associations, international NGOs) have already sought PJL’s technical assistance to improve their young constituents’ access to sexual health information, services, and support. But we have never believed in "train-the-trainer" approaches or one-off workshops that stray too far from our effective, sustained CSE program, which has been refined and evaluated over the past 10 years. Social franchising, though, offers a more intentional path to scale our impact while also bringing CSE to youth who aren’t otherwise receiving it.

The Ins-and-Outs of our Social Franchise Model

As the "initiating organization" (in the lingo of social franchising), PJL will identify and recruit a cohort of non-governmental civil society organizations already working with young Malagasy adolescents.

Five people stand in a row smiling from Spring Impact and Projet Jeune Leader in front of a school building in Madagacar.
Ando (PJL Technical Assistant, Social Franchising Model), Ronny and Vero (PJL Educators at Ivohitra middle school), and Rachel and Tonia from Spring Impact visiting a PJL partner school in March 2024. Rachel and Tonia are offering us valuable support in the early stages of designing the social franchising pilot through a series of validation and strategic planning workshops with our team.

To have a successful approach, we first need to map out and continuously test the ‘core ingredients’ of our program alongside our civil society partners. Understanding which program components are essential (and within these, which must remain the same versus those that can be adapted and changed) and which components are supplementary (and can be removed) will be an important part of our three-year pilot.

Throughout the implementation of this pilot program, we will be supported by the international non-profit organization Spring Impact, which will provide valuable technical assistance to design, implement, and test the new pathway to scale.

The Potential Impact of this Model to Mainstream CSE in Madagascar

By 2026, Projet Jeune Leader aims to reach over 100,000 adolescents annually with our holistic, high-quality CSE program. The social franchising model is a significant step forward in helping us achieve this goal.

We expect that 20,000 additional adolescents will receive CSE for the first time through our pilot social franchising initiative. We will document our learnings, successes, and challenges along the way in our resource library. What we learn from this pilot will inform our future strategies to reach Malagasy adolescents more widely.


Stay connected with us through our newsletter (sign up in the footer!) and our blog to follow this new adventure! Would you like to learn more or support our work? Feel free to contact us!


Our pilot social franchising model is generously supported by the Principality of Monaco Department of International Cooperation.


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