What Works in Preventing Child Marriage?

Providing incentives and attempting to empower girls can be effective in preventing child marriage and can foster change relatively quickly. This paper identifies patterns in these programmatic responses and evaluations, and makes recommendations to bolster existing efforts. Through this effort, it tried to improve program and evaluation efforts to ensure that it reduces the incidence of child marriage among the large number of girls at risk in the next generation. Overall, the body of evidence presented in the paper suggests that interventions can foster changes in attitudes, knowledge, and behavior related to child marriage in relatively short time frames.

This paper analyzes 23 child marriage prevention programs carried out in low-income countries and employing a range of programmatic approaches and evaluation strategies. It also investigates the program’s strategy in preventing child marriage. It also document the types of child marriage programs that have been implemented, assess how they have been evaluated, describe the main limitations of these evaluations, summarize the evaluation results, and make recommendations to improve future prevention efforts.


Lee‐Rife, S., Malhotra, A., Warner, A., & Glinski, A. M. (2012). What works to prevent child marriage: a review of the evidence. Studies in family planning43(4), 287-303.


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