CRANK Research Spotlight: How to ensure efforts to address child marriage reach the most marginalised girls
Research spotlight covering evidence on latest research and evidence related to child marriage programming in hard-to-reach contexts – such as conflict settings – and targeting girls who have been the most marginalised.
This Research Spotlight summarises the latest research and evidence related to child marriage programming in hard-to-reach contexts – like conflict settings – and targeting girls who have been the most marginalised. It includes learnings from studies published between 2020 and 2022 that contribute to the knowledge base on how to do inclusive child marriage programming that effectively reaches girls who have to date often been excluded.
In it, you will find:
- Key takeaways from featured studies
- Highlighted current evidence gaps and under-researched geographical areas
- An overview of where evidence needs to be strengthened
- Key questions for consideration in future programme design and evaluations
- Tools for practitioners to strengthen the design and implementation of child marriage programming working with and for marginalised groups
These recent studies contribute to the overall knowledge base for inclusive child marriage programming that explicitly seeks to reach girls who have been marginalised in different contexts. A common learning that emerges from the limited number of evaluations available is that interventions aimed at building girls’ skills, including agency and access to education, health care and income earning opportunities in marginalised contexts are more likely to be successful if paired with engagement with the wider community around social norms. This appears to be the case across sectors, and applies to education, health and safe space and empowerment programming.
Engaging male relatives, in particular husbands, also emerges as a common critical success factor. Overall, however, the evidence for how best to do inclusive child marriage programming remains limited and more research is needed.
The evidence around the intersecting factors that put girls form minority or otherwise marginalised groups at risk of child marriage remains a particularly under-researched area. There is still very little known about how girls living with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ girls, and – to a lesser extent – girls from ethnic and religious minorities may or may not experience increased risks of child marriage in different contexts. Programmes that specifically aim to include married girls continue to be limited as a proportion of child marriage programming.
As is the case with much of the evidence base on child marriage, recent evidence about inclusive child marriage programming largely neglects the Latin America and the Caribbean region, with the exception of the Bayan Associations Hey! education programme.
This Research Spotlight contributes to the CRANK's aim of encouraging the uptake of research by advocates, donors, policymakers and practitioners. You can submit your research and check what others are working on in the latest version of our new on line Research Tracker .