child marriage

Topics: Marriage, Childhood, Child marriage Pages: 65 (11821 words) Published: September 22, 2013
Solutions to End Child Marriage
WHAT THE EVIDENCE SHOWS

Anju Malhotra
Ann Warner
Allison McGonagle
Susan Lee-Rife

ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR RESEARCH ON WOMEN (ICRW) For 35 years, ICRW has worked to empower women, advance gender equality and fight poverty in the developing world. ICRW works with partners in the public and private sectors and civil society to conduct empirical research, build capacity and advocate for evidence-based practical ways to change policies and programs.

To learn more about our work on child marriage, visit

www.icrw.org/childmarriage

ICRW gratefully acknowledges the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation and the World Health Organization for their generous support of this research.

© 2011 International Center for Research on Women (ICRW).
Portions of this report may be reproduced without express permission from but with acknowledgment to ICRW.
Cover photos: Robyne Hayes in Ethiopia and David Snyder in India Design: Do Good Design

Solutions to End Child Marriage
WHAT THE EVIDENCE SHOWS

2

Introduction

2

The Problem
FIGURE 1: Youth Cohort Size and Child Marriage Prevalence

4

Solutions: What Do We Know?

6

What Works: A Systematic Review
EVALUATED PROGRAMS: AN OVERVIEW
FIGURE 2: Program Initiation Year
Evaluation Publication Year
FIGURE 3: Scale of Program Outreach
FIGURE 4: Child Marriage Prevention as a Deliberate Objective in Programs FIGURE 5: Geographic Distribution of Programs
PROGRAM STRATEGIES
TABLE 1: Program Strategies
SUMMARY TABLE: Evaluated Child Marriage Prevention Programs: 1973-2009

20

Evaluation Approach and Methodologies
EVALUATION RESULTS
FIGURE 6: Results: Change in Knowledge/Attitudes by Evaluation Rigor FIGURE 7: Results: Change in Behavior by Evaluation Rigor

24

Concluding Insights
1. DEPTH VERSUS SCALE AND SUSTAINABILITY
2. EVALUATION RIGOR
3. TIME HORIZON
4. SELECTION BIAS AND TIPPING POINT

26

Summary of Findings

27

Agenda for Future Action

28

Program and Evaluation References

30

References

Solutions to End Child Marriage WHAT THE EVIDENCE SHOWS

INTRODUCTION
National and international communities are increasingly recognizing child marriage as a serious problem, both as a violation of girls’ human rights and as a hindrance to key development outcomes. As more program, policy, donor and advocacy constituencies pledge commitment, resources and action to address this problem, it becomes important to examine past efforts and how well they have worked. Finding model solutions to address child marriage has been a challenge because, while there has been increasing investment in programs during the last decade, many are not well-documented, and even fewer are well-evaluated.

In this brief, we summarize a systematic review of child marriage prevention programs that have documented evaluations. Based on this synthesis of evaluated programs, we offer an analysis of the broader implications for viable solutions to child marriage. Our findings show that child marriage prevention programs have indeed expanded in number and scope during the last decade; almost two dozen have documented some type of an evaluation. The largest number of evaluated programs is in South Asia, especially in Bangladesh and India. Programs in a broader range of African and Middle Eastern countries, including Ethiopia and Egypt, are also adding to the evidence base. On balance, the results from this composite of evaluations lean toward positive findings, indicating that a set of strategies focusing on girls’ empowerment, community mobilization, enhanced schooling, economic incentives and policy changes have improved knowledge, attitudes, and behavior related to child marriage prevention. The strongest, most consistent results are shown in a subset of programs fostering information, skills, and networks for girls in combination with community mobilization. While...
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