This report highlights the successes and challenges of the approaches taken in Ethiopia and the states of West Bengal and Bihar in India. It identifies practical ways to embed work to end child marriage within existing education, social protection, economic opportunities, poverty reduction and sexual and reproductive health programming. It is particularly relevant for policymakers and those working in international organisations with the capacity to deliver large-scale interventions.
The first chapter examines how each of the three case studies illuminates the importance of investigating the different pathways that affect adolescent girls and child marriage. It also highlights the need for empirical research, strong data and clear conceptual frameworks to inform the work and impacts of single-sector interventions to reduce child marriage.
While all three case studies have a cash transfer component at their core, the programmes differ in terms of their overall aims, design, implementation and delivery modalities, and additional “cash plus” components. The Protective Safety Net Programme in Ethiopia has been shown to reduce child marriage; both the Kanyashree Prakalpa scheme in West Bengal and the Mukhyamantri Kanya Utthan Yojana programme in Bihar have shown potential to do so but have not been evaluated.
The chapter emphasises the potential of large-scale interventions to reduce child marriage, demonstrating that:
- The pathways to ending child marriage are complex and differ according to context.
- What works in one setting will not necessarily work elsewhere.
- Government and donor commitment are essential prerequisites for successful leveraging of large-scale interventions.
- State and district plans of action to end child marriage can provide a framework for collaboration across departments and agencies.
Paramount among the skills, capacities and resources that are required to successfully influence large-scale programmes are: strategic vision, leadership, long-term commitment and continuity; multisectoral collaboration; and experienced, creative and strategic advocacy.