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The development of a context-appropriate program to delay marriage in rural Ethiopia took place over many years and in stages. The program that ultimately became known as “Berhane Hewan” was developed by building an evidence base of understanding on the populations being served and developing partnerships between the Population Council and like-minded agencies with complementary expertise. The Berhane Hewan pilot demonstrated that significant impacts can be made on the social, educational, and health status of adolescent girls in a short period of time, through well designed and implemented support programs. However, high levels of exposure to all project components, make it difficult to ascertain if specific program components were more influential in bringing about change than others. Berhane Hewan has faced challenges in implementation, including budget delays and bureaucratic procedures that hinder effective implementation. Nevertheless, Berhane Hewan, one of the first programs in Africa to have the explicit objective to delay marriage age for girls, remains a groundbreaking and influential program addressing child marriage in Africa, and has paved the way for a second generation of program development on the topic.






Berhane Hewan; Building an Evidence Base to Delay Marriage in Sub-Saharan Africa