The 10to19: Dasra Adolescents Collaborative is India’s leading platform that focuses on centering youth voices and creating champions to address adolescent issues at scale

This is a documentation of key learnings and impact from DAC’s 3 year journey as a collaborative, which began in 2017. India’s adolescents (between the ages of 10 to 19) comprise the world’s largest group of young people. If properly invested in, this group has the potential to change the economic course of the country and shake deeply rooted social norms across generations

India is home to

254M adolescents

accounting for ~20% of India’s population.

By 2027, India will have the largest workforce in the world

4.75M young indians

entering the workforce every year since 2012.

The world stands to gain

$50 Billion a year

in potential earnings by bringing girls into the workforce, either through formal employment or support for female entrepreneurs

With the world’s largest youth population, and a
disproportionately high burden of the SDGs,
improving SDG indicators for adolescents in India
will be critical to improving them for the world.

Despite being a high-potential population,
adolescents are also extremely vulnerable.

Addressing their wellbeing and needs requires a
collaborative, multi-level approach including a
variety of actors.

In 2015-16, the conversation about children never extended to the conversation about adolescents, even though adolescence is a such a complicated phase. Through its framework and work, 10to19 brought legitimacy to the field and was able to highlight the need for non- health interventions for adolescents

The 10to19: Dasra Adolescents Collaborative was established to address issues on multiple levels

Till about 2017, the sector's focus on bringing about transformational change within adolescent work was dispersed and limited.

The complexity and multi-dimensionality of this challenge required collaborative action. Through this approach, the expertise, resources and networks of multiple stakeholders were leveraged to bring about population-level change.

Our Solution


A transformed India where millions of adolescents thrive with dignity and equity


To drive collaborative action towards scalable impact to ensure that adolescents are educated, healthy and empowered to make positive choices

Our Approach

A collaborative approach enables scaled impact, higher visibility, and learning across partners

Impact at scale

Bringing together different stakeholders with a focus on centering youth voices drives deeper impact and higher scale

Visibility and Influence

DAC’s cohesive focus on government advisory through programming, systems strengthening, and policy campaigning has increased the visibility of adolescent issues as a field


No one actor can meet the multiple and complex needs (funds, knowledge, field presence, policy influence, networks) to build this field, different stakeholders bring complementary skills, experience and assets to the issue

Strong Learning Agenda

The collaborative invests in identifying best practices for peer-learning and knowledge sharing; learning by doing across partners enables growth of an underinvested field and demographic

Through Phase 1 (2017-2020), the Collaborative's work linked to the following SDG outcomes:

sdg 3

Good health and well being

sdg 4

Quality Education

sdg 5

Gender Equality

sdg 10

Reduced inequalities

program components


5 Government partners

CENTRE: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, NITI Aayog

STATE: Govts. Of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Assam


National: 270+ members Jharkhand: 220+ members


Kiawah Trust, USAID, CIFF, Tata Trusts, Fondation Chanel, Bank of America, Packard Foundation, and 14 individual funders.

Pan India

Campaigns in Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh

270+ CoP Partners

Field building & creating a national network

Assam, Jharkhand & Chhattisgarh

Direct Implementation in 3 states

Four key implementing partners

Work in 10 districts across 41 blocks

Our Model

Through phase 1, 10to19 worked through through four interconnected pathways to improve adolescent focused outcomes

Theory of Change

Direct programming by implentation s in partnership with Govt across three focus statutes to improve program delivery (health, education, WCD) and to equip governments to take programs to scale

Engage and advocate to government and public systems to enable policy, resources and/or program support focused on adolescents

Develop a shared identity for adolescents through leadership, funding narrative building, capacity building for partners and platform to amplify practitioner and adolescent voices

Enable success of other impact giateways by bringing together mission aligned partners and resources that operate collaboratively in service of the overarching goals

key outcomes

Reach a critical mass of 5 Million adolescents and enhance four outcomes

Delay age of marriage

Delayed age of first child birth/pregnancy

Completion of secondary school

Increased agency (e.g. self-esteem, self efficacy, decision-making)

In 10 years 10 to 19 will reach a tipping point and multiply its impact across each pathway to support 300 million adolescents to successfully transition to adulthood


USD 3.6M+

or INR 26Cr disbursed to 4 non-profit organizations across 3 states


adolescents reached directly through these programs


replicable program components identified and shared with state governments

Provided deep capacity building support to 5 government departments across 3 state governments and 10 districts.


government front line workers trained & worked with 1624 officials to generate awareness of 10to19’s programs.


strategically placed senior level government officials converted to champion adolescent causes


Raised from over 34 funders for the adolescent sector

Amplified adolescent voices and perspectives, reaching


people across initiatives and platforms. Also reached readership of 651 M people through  media mentions and media sensitization efforts

Established learning network of


Organizations participating in regular learning, data and insights cross-sharing

Brought together:
22 Funders
4 Implementing Partners
network of 282 NGOs
Government partners
across 3
states and the center &
Experts and Strategic Advisors

to the Collaborative to successfully operationalize the other three pathways

Program Delivery

We identify, demonstrate and document effective models by working with partners on program design and innovation. We aim to equip governments with data and evidence so as to scale-up adolescent-focused programs and prepare civil society and communities to address adolescent-focused issues.

What we did

Funded and supported design of program delivery and program innovations through implementation partners

Collected data and evidence from the field on best practices and program impact

Built capacities of partner organizations to enable them to scale program

Documented and shared best practices on program delivery with government and civil society stakeholders

Collaborated with government to identify scaling mechanisms and other program efficiency levers

what we have achieved


adolescents directly through these programs


Cross-partner trainings conducted to improve program alignment and knowledge sharing


peer educators engaged to mobilize and support adolescents


community members sensitized on adolescent-focused issues


Frontline workers trained


local self-governing body members trained

Public Systems Strengthening

We aim to support effective implementation by working closely with the government to build capacity of public systems, enable policy-making that is more responsive to adolescent needs and incorporate adolescent voices within existing government programs.

what we did

Partnered with and build capacity of governments and public systems at all levels (district, state etc.)

Equipped government stakeholders with research, recommendations, knowledge and evidence on adolescent focused programs and issues

Built champions for adolescent issues within government stakeholders

Advocated for changes in better program design and delivery to better incorporate youth voices

Supported interdepartmental convergence and advised governments to prioritize adolescents in budgetary commitments

Supported the creation of systems and processes that integrate adolescent needs into government structures

what we have achieved

Secured official partnership with the Government of India and the Governemnt of Jharkhand to amplify youth voice

as an official partner to integrate adolescent and youth voices into systems

Partnered with the the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

to provide a platform for young people to voice their opinions and support social change during the COVID-19 pandemic

Provided recommendations to government bodies

on key adolescent needs

Strengthened implementation of RKSK

by improving program delivery and unlocking a greater share of its budget

Successfully initiated national and state level scale up of adolescent SRH delivery solutions

of innovations in SRH service delivery for adolescents under RKSK’s Adolescent Days program

Increased regular intra-department reviews and inter-department convergence to improve overall system accountability

Field Building

We aim to further strengthen the field by mobilizing multiple stakeholders, increasing funding, research and thought leadership, providing capacity building support to partners, and creating platforms to amplify practitioner and adolescent voices on issues pertinent to adolescent health and wellbeing.

What we did

Developed and leveraged knowledge base by conducting research and disseminating best practices

Channeled funding by aligning stakeholders

Created network of focused organizations by convening stakeholders

Changed the narrative to enable field growth

Created strong talent pool through targeted capacity building

what we have achieved


collaborative research studies conducted


audience reached both online and offline about adolescent issues

US $34M

raised from 17 funders

4 formal commitments

received from central and state government bodies to scale innovations for adolescents and young people through government channels

Developed the Youth Advocacy Guide

in coordination with Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

Increased stakeholder awareness and action by facilitating peer learning and knowledge sharing

community of practice

400 Individuals

270+ organisations

Created open-source tools and resources collaboratively

for the sector to improve access to tools and knowledge

Launched 3 adolescent-driven campaigns launched

Empowered 800 Youth Champions

and volunteers to advocate for their rights

Increased knowledge, motivation and behavior

of youth leaders vis-à-vis adolescent issues through youth engagement efforts

Collaborative Action

This is the functional backbone that enables the other impact pathways to achieve their outcomes

Having made significant progress in our first phase of implementation, 10to19 recognized the need for necessary evolutions to our model to continue to transform the lives of adolescents in the next phase of our journey.

In August of 2020, we kicked off a strategic review and future planning exercise for the Collaborative- documenting our progress, assessing what went well and what are key areas of improvement and future focus. We are now beginning to put in place plans and goals for the next 5 years.

The next phase of 10to19 will see sharper strategic priorities, a more fleshed out operating plan and an evolved implementation model to meet the changing needs of young people and the field, while optimizing the current project portfolio.

We hope to carry forth our momentum and unique role towards better articulate our differentiated role in building up the field of adolescent health and wellbeing into a more mature and sustainable sector

Reference Example for easy understanding

Table 1

The policy gap(s) addressed by the program

The exclusion of young people in the decision-making process for policy issues surrounding adolescents

Community need(s) addressed by the program

Greater awareness and understanding of adolescent issues regarding their education, sexual and reproductive health, and early marriage

Opportunity for innovation addressed by the program

The opportunity to bring and work together with critical stakeholders on a single platform

Table 2

Day-to-day program activities

Stakeholder management, vendor management

Periodic program activities

Monitoring, Reporting, Training of Personnel

One-off program activities

Government advocacy, designing campaigns

Tools/frameworks/systems & processes/ways of working from the program

Systems Change Framework

Table 3

Program practices

Is the practice impactful? If yes, list down why?

Is the practice sustainable? If yes, list down why?   

Is the practice scalable? If yes, list down why?  

Is the practice innovative and/or unique? If yes, list down why?  

Youth-led social audits and presenting youth-centric priorities directly to decision makers

Yes, as it allows young people to directly engage with decision makers and contribute to the decision-making process

Yes, as it equips young people with leadership skills. It is also cost effective due to the long-term gains it offers upon initial investment

Yes, as such training modules can be replicated across multiple initiatives by other practitioners & organizations. In addition, trained young people can also train other young people

Yes, as it follows an approach which centers its design and delivery around young people, in an end-to-end manner






Table 4

Promising Practice

Youth-led social audits and presenting youth-centric priorities directly to decision makers to: (i) create a platform for youth to exercise their agency (ii) effectively engage decision makers


  • Verbal evidence from community
  • Verbal feedback from on-ground team members
  • Project report & surveys


Community feedback of adolescents feeling confident, understood, and acknowledge

On-ground team feedback on creation of government champions for the project’s objectives

Project report and surveys observe greater youth involvement and efficacy in engaging directly with decision maker

Table 5


Promising Practice

Youth-led social audits and presenting youth-centric priorities directly to decision makers to: (i) create a platform for youth to exercise their agency (ii) effectively engage decision makers

The demographic it addresses

Adolescents from the age of 10 to 19 years

The gap/ need/ opportunity it addresses

The exclusion of adolescents and young people in the decision-making process for policy issues regarding adolescents and young people

Govt stakeholders

Holding consultations with critical stakeholders and young people from the inception of a program


Taking inputs from all stakeholders and young people before initiating a new project to ensure a deeper visibility and understanding of their demographic and its needs

Other Practitioners

Engaging young people in decision-making processes to adopt a more collaborative approach between stakeholders and young people

Community Stakeholders

Undertaking youth-led social audits and engagement with decision makers to engage directly with young people, understand their needs & concerns and influence change at the community level


Objective Review


Promising Practices and recommendations ratified by at least one member/ partner organization/ community/ MEL partners outside of ‘the team’


Objective Review


To validate the final promising practice and recommendation(s) by at least one person/ partner organization/ community/ MEL partners outside of the team.




2-3 promising practices documenting:


  • What gap/need is addressed
  • How it is addressed and the change that is created
  • The potential for replicating along with recommendations for implementing




To document the promising practices in a detailed manner


Develop into a recommendation


Well-articulated recommendation(s) addressing:


  • Demographic to cater to
  • Gaps/needs/opportunities addressed by the practice
  • The change brought in by implementing such a practice




To construct a recommendation in a brief, specific and clear-cut format which would assist other initiatives in implementing the same




Obtaining qualitative and/or quantitative data to assess the promise of the shortlisted practices according to the five guiding factors

Arriving at first list of promising practices




To substantiate the shortlisted practices by collating gathered data in the form of:


  • Feedback from the community
  • Verbal accounts of the ground team
  • Documentation reports
  • Other valuable data


List & Shortlist



  • Policy gaps
  • Community needs
  • Opportunities for innovation and other aspects that the program is addressing.

    Creating a list of program practices that are working on-ground in bridging gaps/needs/opportunities.


List & Shortlist


To identify gaps/needs/opportunities and to shortlist program practices that are impactful, sustainable, scalable, innovative and/or unique.