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Ending child marriage: what does the latest evidence say?
Since the landmark review of Solutions to End Child Marriage in 2011, we have seen lots of new research on what works to end child marriage. What have we learned from recent evidence reviews? And what are we will missing? Here is a recap from a webinar we held on the issue:
There is no silver bullet when it comes to ending child marriage
A number of different approaches have proven effective, but the best one will depend on your context and population. Combining different approaches in an integrated “package” is more effective than a single intervention.
Measuring progress on child marriage must go beyond the age of marriage
Change takes time and indicators used to measure progress must go beyond age of marriage alone. Indicators which look at girls’ agency and decision making power within marriage are also important.
Programme designers and donors should base programmes on evidence
- Reviewing evidence of what works and what doesn’t to avoid replicating ineffective approaches.
- Designing programmes to respond to drivers and influencers of change in that context.
- Recognising the fact that an approach worked in one place doesn’t mean it will work elsewhere.
- Focusing on the quality (e.g. who is delivering the programme, how well trained are they, etc.) and intensity (e.g. how often, over what length of time) of the implementation.
- Documenting and evaluating the implementation of programmes to better understand the impact they have.
We need more evidence in areas where there are gaps
Few studies have looked at what works at scale, or how much successful programmes cost. There is also a lack of high quality evidence on community based interventions and interventions to change social norms.
We need to build monitoring and evaluation into programme design, and we need stronger evaluations of what works and doesn’t work
Knowing what doesn’t work is just as important as knowing what works but these results are less likely to be published and shared. We need to document and share failures, not only to focus investment on what works but so that others can avoid making the same mistakes.
Watch the full webinar below ⬇️
- Amanda Kalamar, from Population Services International presented findings from her 2016 paper, Interventions to prevent child marriage among young people in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review of the published and gray literature
- Thoai Ngo and Sophia Chae from the Girl Center at Population Council presented findings from their 2017 systematic review, The global state of evidence on interventions to prevent child marriage
- Venkatraman Chandra- Mouli from the World Health Organisation presented findings from a 2016 paper What does not work in adolescent sexual and reproductive health. A review of evidence on interventions commonly accepted as best practices
- Margaret Greene, of Greeneworks, and Rachel Marcus, of the Overseas Development Institute commented on what the findings mean for the sector.
Download the webinar presentation, a full summary, and answer to questions below ⬇️.