The Global State of Evidence on Interventions to Prevent Child Marriage

Growing recognition of the harmful effects of child marriage has placed its elimination on the global and national agenda. To address this problem, we reviewed the global state of evidence on what works to prevent child marriage. Our research focuses exclusively on rigorously evaluated interventions, defined as interventions evaluated as part of a randomized controlled trial (RCT), quasi-experimental study, or a natural experiment, and incorporates new results not included in previous reviews. In total, 22 interventions across 13 low- and middle-income countries met the inclusion criteria and were included in this review. The study documented the types of child-marriage interventions and approaches used, assessed what works best (and what does not work) to reduce child marriage, investigated the impact of interventions on other aspects of girls’ well-being, and reported the costs of implementing these interventions. Our findings suggest that interventions incorporating an empowerment approach, either as the sole approach or in conjunction with another approach, demonstrated the greatest success in reducing child marriage.