Batonga’s theory of change provides a framework for the empowerment programming we have developed for adolescent girls. Our model is girl-centered, focusing on the diverse needs of girls and the multiple risks they face such as social isolation or becoming a school drop-out. Through this model, our programs empower girls to make decisions and help change outcomes for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Our theory of change is grounded in the belief that equipping girls with the essential assets listed below will empower them as individuals and as groups to exercise the power of their voice, choice, and control. These new assets combined with systemic changes provided in our approach are essential in order for girls to drive gender equity in their communities and beyond.


Asset Goal Examples
Social Enhance their trusted relationships with peers and adults. Provide them health and human assets to enhance their knowledge of health services,
  • Friendships with other women
  • Access to a trusted female mentor
  • Basic understanding of sexuality and reproduction
  • Knowledge of HIV transmission, prevention, and where to be tested.
  • Know what to do if she or someone she knows is a victim of violence
Cognitive Develop girls’ literacy, problem solving capabilities, and critical consciousness.
  • Identify barriers that might prevent them from reaching their goals, and identify feasible solutions.
  • Use negotiation and problem solving skills to assert their preference
  • Know basic math and how to calculate simple costs
Economic Provide essential financial literacy and budgeting skills
  • A productive skill that earns money
  • Knowledge of how to correctly budget time and money
  • Ability to set up short-term and long-term financial goals and set a plan to meet them
Civic and Political Advance girls’ leadership and negotiation skills
  • Knowledge of the legal voting age, where to register, and where to vote
  • Government ID (such as one that would be necessary for voting)
  • Ability to present an argument to a group of peers and elders


Voice, Choice, and Control

Voice Allow girls to use their voice—their say in decision-making in households, politics, business, and other realms—through participation, leadership, and collective action.
Choice Enable girls to have the option to stay in school or join the labor force, and decide whether, when, and with whom to have sex or to marry.
Control Give girls power over their bodies and mobility, income, and other resources