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 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 to 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.  These programs aim to:

  • Empower at-risk and already married adolescent girls with life skills
  • Increase comprehensive sexuality education and access to youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services
  • Challenge and change the social norms that sustain harmful practices 
  • Influence legal and policy frameworks to curb child marriage

The Impact

As the MTBA’s evaluation and learning partner, the Council conducts baseline, midline, and endline surveys with women and girls ages 12-19 in each of the four countries (approximately 5,000 in total; sample sizes vary by country). Evaluations aim to:

  1. Assess the impact of the intervention

  2. Better document the primary drivers of and processes surrounding early marriage in each context

  3. Examine factors [GS1] that may have an influence on early marriages in particular settings (e.g., migration in West Africa)

Principal Investigator

Journal Articles (3)

Research Publications (12)

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