Every year 14 million girls are married before the age of 18. There is unprecedented recognition that child marriage infringes their rights and is a major setback to development.
There is no single solution to ending this global problem, but thanks to the work of Girls Not Brides members, partners, governments and others, we are able to build an understanding of all that is necessary to achieve our ultimate vision: a world without child marriage where girls and women enjoy equal status with boys and men and are able to achieve their full potential in all aspects of their lives.
As part of this effort, Girls Not Brides has developed a ‘Theory of Change on Child Marriage’, a visual diagram that demonstrates the range of approaches needed to address child marriage and how they intersect.
Informed by the insights of Girls Not Brides members and other experts on child marriage, the Theory of Change articulates what an effective response to child marriage entails. It outlines the range of approaches needed, demonstrates how they intersect, and aims to provide a basis to identify common indicators that could be used by diverse practitioners to monitor progress.
The Theory of Change demonstrates that there is no single solution to ending child marriage and that everyone has a role to play. Ultimately efforts to address child marriage must respond to local contexts and accordingly programmes and investments may take different forms.
We hope that this Theory of Change will be a useful framework and tool for both governmental and non-governmental actors to draw from as they develop their own theories of change to respond to child marriage in their countries. It is intended both for those who are new to the issue, as well as those who work on it through one specific approach to see how their work forms part of a broader effort.
The Theory of Change has been developed to facilitate greater partnership and collaboration among and across organisations, sectors and levels. It serves as a foundation to build consensus about actions needed to address child marriage and support married girls, in both the long and short-term.
In addition, the Theory of Change provides a basis to understand where programming efforts are currently focused, in particular among Girls Not Brides members, and to highlight where further work is needed. In this sense, the Theory of Change offers both a mirror and a target.
Where does your work fit in the Theory of Change? Please complete this short survey!
Afin de mieux comprendre où se situe votre travail dans la Théorie du Changement, veuillez répondre à ce bref sondage.
Are you a Girls Not Brides member organisation? We would like to highlight the impact of members’ activities and where they fit within the Theory of Change, so do tell us more about your work. You can do so by completing this short survey.
Let us know your ideas for how we can build on the Theory of Change. In particular, we will do follow up work to understand the indicators that can be used to demonstrate progress in addressing child marriage. Let us know what kind of indicators you use in your work.
Send us your feedback and let us know if the Theory of Change is useful in your efforts. The Theory of Change is a living document that will be updated as our understanding of the issue evolves. We welcome comments, feedback and suggestions.
The Theory of Change benefited from input from over 150 members and partners of Girls Not Brides, through webinars, email and telephone. We are deeply grateful for the time and constructive input of all the contributors. We are especially grateful to organisations who shared their own organisational theories of change on child marriage with us, from which our Theory of Change was built.
The Girls Not Brides secretariat would like to pay particular thanks to Margaret Greene for her work on developing the Theory of Change, Lauren Slater for her assistance with its design, and Sophie Price for her assistance in identifying corresponding indicators.
In the time it has taken to read this article 46 girls under the age of 18 have been married
Each year, 12 million girls are married before the age of 18
That is 23 girls every minute
Nearly 1 every 3 seconds