This report explores behavioural outcomes related to child marriage, schooling, work, and pregnancy, as well as indicators related to knowledge and attitudes, based on cross-sectional surveys in intervention and comparison villages conducted with adolescent girls ages 12-19 at three time points (2016/7, 2018, 2020) and with parents of adolescent girls or other adults living in households with adolescent girls at endline (2020).
The implementation of multisectoral programs in widely varied settings where child marriage is either highly prevalent or presents a large burden for girls and their families, allows the MNCP programme to make an important contribution by capturing results of a similar programme model implemented across diverse contexts.
The four countries included in the MNCP evaluation varied widely in terms of past investments and achievements in child marriage prevention. The evaluation includes India, where child marriage prevalence has been declining over the last decade, and Niger where it remains stubbornly high. These contexts also differ by specific drivers of child marriage that may not be drivers in other contexts: eg, premarital sex and pregnancy in Malawi and Mali.
The results of this evaluation also challenge the assumption that it is easier for programs to demonstrate effectiveness on reducing child marriage in areas where child marriage is highest: even in lower prevalence areas in India MNCP still showed impact. Overall, the MTBA data suggest that programs such as MNCP can make an important contribution to ending the practice of child marriage even in areas where child marriage already appears to be declining. These results are promising and should encourage continued investments to bring about positive change in the lives of adolescent girls living in these challenging environments.