Özler, Berk

Development Research Group
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Poverty and inequality, Social Protection, Gender, Maternal and Child Health
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Last updated August 22, 2023
Berk Özler is a lead economist in the Development Research Group, Poverty Cluster. He received his B.Sc. in Mathematics from Bosphorous University in 1991, and his Ph.D in Economics from Cornell University in 2001. After working on poverty and inequality measurement, poverty mapping, and the 2006 World Development Report on Equity and Development earlier, he decided to combine his interests in cash transfer programs and HIV risks facing young women in Africa by designing a field experiment in Malawi. He has since been involved in a number of cluster-randomized field experiments. He is a co-founder of and a regular contributor to the Development Impact blog.
Citations 237 Scopus

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
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    Combining Mentoring Programs with Cash Transfers for Adolescent Girls in Liberia: Baseline Report
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-08) Hallman, Kelly ; Kelvin, Elizabeth ; Ozler, Berk ; Seban, Juliette ; Kuhlik, Erica ; Alton, Cooper ; Kamara, Joseph ; Goodman, Sarah
    This report presents findings from the baseline assessment of International Rescue Committee's (IRC) Girl Empower (GE) program in Nimba County, Liberia. GE seeks to help 13 to 14 year-old girls make healthy life choices and decrease their risk of sexual abuse. The program centers on weekly meetings between girls and trained local mentors, during which the girls learn about life skills and financial literacy. GE also holds monthly discussion groups for participants' caregivers, and trains local health and psychosocial care providers on how to improve and expand services for survivors of gender-based violence. This baseline report is part of a cluster-randomized controlled trial, which aims to assess the program's impact 24 months after baseline. 21 percent of the baseline sample of 13-14 year-old females reported having previously had sex. Within this group, 29 percent indicated that their first sexual act was non-consensual. Among all GE girls, 37 percent reported having experienced sexual violence of some type, such as being physically forced to have sex, non-physically pressured (coerced/persuaded) to have sex, someone unsuccessfully attempting to have sex with them, and being touched in a sexual way. The levels of nonconsensual first sex and any experience of nonconsensual sex are at the high end of the range reported by the UNICEF Violence against Children Surveys (VACS) in Swaziland, Tanzania, Kenya and Zimbabwe. As the VACS reporting is for (a variety of) age ranges, each of which is higher than that in this study, the levels of sexual violence reported here are very high in comparison.
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    Girl Empower – A Gender Transformative Mentoring and Cash Transfer Intervention to Promote Adolescent Wellbeing: Impact Findings from a Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial in Liberia
    (Elsevier, 2020-04) Ozler, Berk ; Hallman, Kelly ; Guimond, Marie-France ; Kelvin, Elizabeth A. ; Rogers, Marian ; Karnley, Esther
    We evaluated Girl Empower – an intervention that aimed to equip adolescent girls with the skills to make healthy, strategic life choices and to stay safe from sexual abuse using a cluster-randomized controlled trial. Girl Empower led to sustained improvements in several important domains, including sexual and reproductive health, but did not reduce sexual violence among the target population.