Learning Dashboard 

learn. engage. duplicate (16).png

A360 Ethiopia: Smart Start

PSI/Ethiopia leads A360’s work in Ethiopia, which is aimed at increasing access to and use of voluntary modern contraception for 132,547 adolescent girls (aged 15 to 19 years old) in seven regions of Ethiopia.

Our Work, in brief

A360 flips traditional public health models by placing adolescents, and their key influencers, at the center of the design process. Through a hyper-tailored design driven by the insights from the girls in which A360 Ethiopia serves, A360 piloted Smart Start, an approach that initiates contraceptive counseling through a financial planning lens. Smart Start’s “baby calculator” allows girls and their husbands to map out how much a child would cost in culturally relevant terms.

The intervention is inspired and owned by young married girls. It's a method that allows girls to harness their own agency in planning for the life, and family, that she wants. And it's a solution that is driving fast and sustainable change.

Girls are adopting a contraceptive method through a single, One-hour contact with A Smart Start mobilizer. 

In Ethiopia, there are 1.1 million married 15-19-year-old girls in the Smart Start target region. More than 580 thousand girls do not want to get pregnant--but some 228 thousand girls do not have access to a family planning method.

Adolescent girls experience negative health consequences from unprotected sexual activity resulting in unwanted pregnancy and motherhood, unsafe abortion, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

But through Smart Start, A360 is working toward preventing these outcomes.

The project harnesses Human-Centered Design and its principles of increased empathy and iterative prototyping to help the project land sharp insights into adolescent girls’ reproductive health needs. To better understand these needs, A360 worked with young people as decision-making partners, embedded within a disciplined marketing process proven to work at scale.

Learn more

Explore the Smart Start story in this two-pager.  

Dive into our Emerging Insights for Design in Ethiopia by reading this A360 report.

There is a lack of evidence on the health impact of HCD-inspired projects. That is, until now. Learn how A360 Ethiopia is being evaluated here.






This document is intended to capture what we learned during the inspiration phase in Ethiopia. It reflects the voices of the people the team spoke with and provides the A360 Consortium with a springboard for design opportunities.

learn. engage. duplicate (1).png