This third session of the CRANK global convening brought practitioners and funders together to reflect on the priorities, gaps and opportunities in child marriage research and funding.
This session showed examples and reflections on:
- An overview of current evidence and practitioner-based research priorities and gaps.
- A panel discussion with funders on the child marriage funding landscape, focusing on:
- Insights into funding strategies, how research agendas are shaped, and funding priorities and opportunities.
- How funders see priorities evolving, and factors that may shape this and influence new funding.
- Panellist ambitions for funding child marriage.
- A facilitated discussion between funders and practitioners on opportunities to work together.
- Funding for research stimulates funding for programmes. Research and learning need to be integrated into every intervention from the beginning, rather than implemented as a standalone effort requiring separate funding.
- There is appetite to fund solutions rather than diagnoses. Investment cases are strengthened by positive messaging around solutions – showing that change is possible – rather than a focus on the scale of the problem, including prevalence, drivers and consequences.
- Funding should be channelled towards learning. This includes learning on what works and what could be improved. Addressing child marriage requires a holistic approach, which is reflected in the diversity of approaches taken by community-based organisations (CBOs). Given their contextualised understanding, CBOs – and the girls and adolescents they work with – need to be included in defining what success looks like, and in the design and implementation of efforts to document impact and improve programme effectiveness.
- Funding inclusive research plays a part in reaching the most marginalised groups. Investments around child marriage are opportunities to support those who have been most marginalised. Evidence-based research around key populations – like LGBTQIA+ people and girls who are married, pregnant or mothers – is also crucial to raising funding for such initiatives.
- There is a new funding landscape, and a need to diversity the sources and recipients of funds. With global attention on climate, food security and social protection, we need to better integrate child marriage into these sectors to support the child marriage learning agenda. There is already some useful knowledge and learning around food security and how it can successfully be integrated into work on harmful practices.
- Creating spaces and fora to connect funders, practitioners, academics, activists and researchers is important. Such spaces help strengthen the links between sectors and thematic areas, agree joint agendas and accelerate progress.
- Dr Satvika Chalasani, Lead on Ending Child Marriage Technical Specialist, United Nations Population Fund
- Mieke Vogels, Senior Policy Advisor Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Benin
- Lakshmi Moore, Programme Director, Girls First Fund
- Dena Kimball, Executive Director, Kendeda Fund
- Hilde Roren, Senior Advisor, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad)
- Ali Hendy, Child Marriage and Child Protection Policy Adviser, Gender and Equalities Department, United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office