Testing Effective Approaches to End Child Marriage

More Than Brides Alliance partners in Mali, Niger, Malawi, and India, are developing and evaluating programs to delay and prevent child marriage.

The Issue

In low and middle-income countries, one in three girls are married before age 18 and one in nine are married before age 15.  Worldwide, fifteen million girls are married each year before the age of 18. While boys are also affected by child marriage, girls and women suffer disproportionately from this practice. Child marriage is a violation of human rights, impedes sustainable development, and often has lasting negative impacts on health, education, and access to income generation opportunities.

The Progress

The More Than Brides Alliance (MTBA), which includes Save the Children, Oxfam Novib, the Population Council, and Simavi, was established to provide alternatives to child marriage and mitigate its impact on already married girls by enhancing access to education, economic opportunities, and child protection services. 

The Population Council is evaluating the MTBA’s programs in India, Malawi, Mali, and Niger, which aim to:

  • Empower at-risk and already married adolescents with life skills
  • Increase comprehensive sexuality education and access to sexual and reproductive health and rights for young people 
  • Challenge and change social norms, including harmful customs, traditions, norms, and practices 
  • Influence legal and policy frameworks to curb child marriage

The Impact

As the MTBA’s evaluation and learning partner, the Council assesses the impact of the various programmatic intervention, identifies opportunities for learning through complementary qualitative research, and tracks program metrics.

In each of the four countries, the Council conducts baseline, midline, and endline surveys with women and girls ages 12-19 (approximately 5,000 in total; sample sizes vary by country) to:

  1. Assess programmatic impact
  2. Better understanding the process of early marriage and the context in which it occurs
  3. Examine other factors that may influence early marriage in particular settings (e.g., migration in West Africa)

Principal Investigator

Research Publications (6)

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