CERCA II: A post-hoc process analysis of the CERCA intervention

The FP7-funded intervention research project CERCA (Community-Embedded Reproductive health Care for Adolescents in Latin-America) aimed to improve global knowledge about how health systems could be more responsive to the changing sexual and reproductive health (SRH) needs of adolescents. Implemented by Latin American and European research institutes, CERCA tested community-embedded interventions to improve adolescent communication with parents, partners and peers on SRH issues; access to accurate SRH information; use of SRH services in primary health settings; and use of modern contraceptives. The evaluation design was one randomised and two non-randomised controlled studies. The study ran from March 2010 until February 2014 in research settings in three cities in Latin America: Cochabamba (Bolivia), Cuenca (Ecuador) and Managua (Nicaragua). While preliminary statistical analyses indicated that the intervention did have some positive effects, these did not live up to the expectations.
The main objective of this post-hoc evaluation is to further examine the impact of CERCA as well as understand in greater detail, how CERCA was developed and implemented. More specifically, we aim to:
-    analyse the effectiveness of the interventions in more depth;
-    identify the factors contributing to the success and failure of the intervention;
-    identify the most crucial factors that need to be presented when reporting results
     of effectiveness evaluations of interventions.
We used both quantitative and qualitative methods. For the quantitative study, we did additional analyses on the data collected pre and post intervention to evaluate the CERCA project. Data for the qualitative study were collected through Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) with adolescents, parents, teachers, community leaders, friends of youth, health care providers, project leaders, country implementers and consortium management.


Kristien Michielsen, Sara De Meyer


South Group, Bolivia; University of Cuenca, Ecuador; Instituto Centro Americano de la Salud, Nicaragua; WHO-RHR


September 01, 2014 - June 30, 2015

Project status

Project closed


Bolivia (Plurinational State of)


Adolescent and youth health
Reproductive rights