Investments in Adolescent Girls' Physical and Financial Assets

The ability to own and control assets can lead to improved livelihoods and give girls a way out of poverty.

From natural resource capital to political capital, assets can be particularly important for adolescent girls as a means through which they can invest in their own present and future wellbeing as they move through adolescence and into adulthood.

This paper focuses on the benefits of strengthening poor adolescent girls' ability to invest in and accumulate physical and financial assets. It also analyses the effectiveness of programmes working in this area.

It is one of a series of five Issue Papers commissioned by the Department for International Development UK (DFID) and Girl Hub which synthesise key evidence on integrated approaches to economic assets,  health,  educationsocial norms and  preventing violence in improving the lives of adolescent girls. 

This report is accompanied by a mapping document which contains the results in more detail.


"Control over and ownership of assets is a critical component of well-being, for both adolescent girls and their families. Assets can be converted to cash, but they are also multi-dimensional. Assets both store wealth and can increase in value, although they can decrease in value as well. They can act as collateral and facilitate access to credit and financial services. Their flexibility can provide security through emergencies and opportunities in periods of growth. Programs to increase ownership of, and control over assets also help provide more permanent pathways out of poverty compared to programmatic measures that aim to increase incomes or consumption alone."


Agnes R. Quisumbing, Chiara Kovarik for DFID & Girl Hub