Empowering Adolescent Girls: Interventions from Bangladesh to Detroit

May 12, 2017 9:00 am - 5:00 pm


Columbia School of Social Work, 1255 Amsterdam Ave., New York 10027

Event Organizer

Office of Professional Excellence

6.5 contact hours are available for NYS, NJ and CT Licensed Social Workers

$250 single; $200 each for 5 or more

Alumni will receive a $50 discount. Please email swope@columbia.edu for the promotional code. Your email should contain your name and the year you graduated.

*Open to the public



In every country, adolescent girls are falling between the cracks in the social welfare sector. NOT ANYMORE. Interventions in the United States and Global South are now underway to promote the rights and welfare of adolescent girls. From micro to macro, this workshop will cover designing, evaluating and scaling programs that encompass girl-centered practices and strategies such as:

  • prevention and response to violence against girls;
  • programming in a humanitarian / emergency context;
  • and social norm change with a focus on gender norms.

Workshop Description

The workshop will include a mix of interactive lectures including case studies from around the world, small group discussions and introduction to tools that students can use in their work to design programs with and for girls nationally and globally.

Learning Objectives

Participants will learn to:

  • Define barriers and opportunities facing adolescent girls in the U.S. and Global South.
  • List evidence-based programming examples focused on adolescent girls and their families / communities.
  • Apply adolescent girl empowerment theory of change and logical framework for social work interventions at the micro, mezzo, and macro level.
  • Apply human-centered (girl-centered) design to social work practice.
  • Describe shifting gender norms and behavior change programming.
  • Delineate why specific segments of adolescent girls are often underserved or unreached most of the time.


Kristen Woolf is a “social work engineer” committed to working with girls and their allies to find better ways of reaching the right girls, at the right time, with the right things. She is quite frankly obsessed with working on efforts that aim to have a sustained and transformational impact for adolescent girls and young women. She has a 15-year track record of designing and managing programmes, advocacy, and research initiatives in the US, the UK, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Malawi, South Africa, and Nigeria.

Most recently, Kristen has been a senior consultant and strategist to the Malala Fund, The Population Council, The NoVo Foundation, The British Asian Trust, Social Development Direct, and Glamour/Condé Nast. In these roles she developed and delivered investment strategies and portfolio priorities centred on building protective and social assets for adolescent girls; preventing and mitigating the impact of child marriage, trafficking, unsafe migration; and equipping girls to realise their full potential.

Kristen received a Master’s Degree in Social Work and International Social Welfare Policy from Columbia University in 2002. Read more about Kristen here.

Jody Myrum directs the NoVo Foundation’s Initiative to Advance Adolescent Girls’ Rights as well as the foundation’s portfolio to end violence against girls and women in conflict and post-conflict affected settings.

In this role, Jody oversees six grantmaking areas: deepening the movement for girls and young women of color in the U.S.; girls and migration; improving conditions for girls in humanitarian contexts; ending sexual violence, including child marriage; supporting the grassroots movement of girls in the Global South; and ending violence against girls and women in conflict-affected settings.

Jody has devoted her career to ensuring that all adolescent girls have the opportunity to live in their full power. Through work across ten countries, she has led and championed programs that put girls and their lived experiences at the center of social change. Given the pervasive violence girls and women face, much of Jody’s work has been focused on ending violence against girls and access to healing. Whether through organizing, direct services, program design, or participatory action research, Jody has supported programs that show the promise of change efforts that are girl-led, girl-driven and girl-designed.

Prior to her current role at NoVo, Jody served as a NoVo Fellow to the Nike Foundation, where she led efforts to embed social justice into program design. Before that, she worked with the International Rescue Committee, managing efforts to end violence against girls and women in Ethiopia and Somalia.

In previous roles, Jody has served as a Fellow with the International Center for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care; Project Director at Girls International Forum; and a volunteer in US Peace Corps, focusing on direct programming for girls and community organizing to end violence against girls in Togo. Jody currently serves on the board of Beyond Borders and co-founded the Friends of Sierra Leone Adolescent Girls Network in response to the unique needs of adolescent girls during the Ebola crisis in West Africa.

Jody holds a B.S. from Colorado State University in Human Development and Family Studies with a focus on adolescence and a Masters in Social Work from Columbia University. Read more about Jody here.