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Advancing life skills measurement: the ALSA for Girls Synthesis Report and How-To Guide

March 31, 2022

Publication & Reports Girls' Education Life Skills Insights

At Room to Read, we are committed to high-quality program measurement, including the development of new measurement approaches where needed. We’re also committed to sharing those approaches and our findings with the global education community so that we can all learn from each other’s experiences. In that collaborative spirit, we are excited to announce today’s public launch of the Adolescent Life Skills Assessment for Girls, or ALSA for Girls.

The ALSA for Girls represents the culmination of years of development, testing and refinement — from our initial project scoping in 2015 to extensive piloting with thousands of adolescent girls across seven countries. Included in today’s launch are two new resources on the ALSA: a Synthesis Report and a How-To Guide.

The ALSA for Girls Adaptation & Use Process, as Detailed in the ALSA How-To Guide
News Copy with Callout 1 Read: ALSA for Girls Synthesis Report


The Synthesis Report, a comprehensive documentation and analysis of lessons learned throughout our development process, includes:

  • Our approach to tool development, including previous work we’ve built on and how we’ve sought to continually strengthen reliability and validity and reduce bias, 
  • Detailed results on a wide range of statistical analyses of pilot data, 
  • The process steps we’ve found most critical for producing high-quality evidence, and 
  • Critical reflections on successes and remaining challenges. 
News Copy with Callout 2 Read: ALSA for Girls How-To Guide

The How-To Guide, which is a practical manual for those who may wish to adapt the ALSA for use in their own evaluations and research, and includes:  

  • Considerations for evaluation planning and their implications for timing, budget, and complexity of administration, 
  • Instructions for adaptation and pre-testing in new contexts and languages, 
  • Recommendations for enumerator training, including a sample training agenda, 
  • Suggested roles and responsibilities of various team members, and 
  • Simple checklists for key processes, equipment lists, and other helpful references.

Life skills are increasingly regarded as critical components to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, with particular relevance to SDG 4 on quality education. However, there has been a dearth of reliable measurement approaches to assess these complex skills, and much of what does exist is not well-adapted for low-income communities around the world.

Thankfully, through the efforts of implementing organizations, researchers, funders and others, rapid advancements are now being made. The ALSA for Girls represents Room to Read’s unique contribution to this important body of work. And we’re not done yet: we will continue to iterate the ALSA through our own evaluations and research studies and by learning from the work of others. We have also begun testing a version of the ALSA with boys, which will deepen our understanding of how the development of life skills and the approaches to measure them varies across genders.

It is our hope that both reports will serve as valuable resources to those seeking to integrate life skills measurement into their programmatic and evaluation work. We invite you to download the two reports below.

Synthesis Report     How-To Guide