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Solutions to End Child Marriage

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.