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What is it?

What is the theory of change?

Every year 12 million girls are married before the age of 18. How do we get from here to a world without child marriage, where girls and women enjoy equality with boys and men, and are empowered to reach their full potential?

There is no single solution to end child marriage, but there are a number of steps that can set girls on a path to a better future.

Girls Not Brides integrated the collective expertise of more than 150 member organisations, partners and other experts to develop a collective Theory of Change which maps out the critical strategies to end child marriage and support married girls.

For more information on how the Theory of Change was developed, read the background brief

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Why a theory of change?

The Girls Not Brides theory of change has been designed to:

Inform and inspire more work to end child marriage - whether you are working on the issue already and wish to develop your work, or are new to it and considering how your work can contribute.

Facilitate partnership and collaboration among all those who have a role to play – from the grassroots to government, local to international, civil society to donors.

Serve as a foundation to build consensus about actions needed to address child marriage and support married girls.

How can I use it?

How can I use the theory of change?

  1. Support your advocacy efforts
  2. Inform your programmes or planning
  3. Demonstrate your impact and mobilise resources
  4. Identify and foster new partnerships
  5. Inform national frameworks or strategies to end child marriage
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Case studies

The Theory of Change in practice

How are Girls Not Brides members putting the Theory Of Change into practice?

Our new case studies aim to highlight and bring to life the four areas of the Theory of Change through the work of our members.

Measuring progress

How can we measure progress?

Tracking progress towards ending child marriage can often seem daunting. Yet having appropriate indicators is important to assess and record changes on child marriage and the welfare of married girls.

In partnership with Girls Not Brides, The Aspen Institute developed a list of recommended indicators based on the Theory Of Change to help measure intermediate progress towards ending child marriage.

Guide to using the indicators
Explore the Theory of Change