In Bangladesh, where efforts to prevent child marriage have focused on the enforcement of laws and policies, little research exists on what approaches work best to delay marriage and why. To help fill this evidence gap, in 2012 the Population Council and partners embarked on a four-year study to understand whether skills-building approaches to empower girls can delay marriage in three districts in southern Bangladesh where child marriage rates are high. The BALIKA project reported here is the first rigorously evaluated study to provide evidence on approaches to delay child marriage in Bangladesh. BALIKA results show that programs that educate girls, build their skills for modern livelihoods, and engage their communities can reduce the likelihood of child marriage by one-third and produce better health, educational, and social outcomes for girls.
Amin, Sajeda, Johana Ahmed, Jyotirmoy Saha, Md. Irfan Hossain, and Eashita Haque. 2016. "Delaying child marriage through community-based skills-development programs for girls: Results from a randomized controlled study in rural Bangladesh." New York and Dhaka: Population Council.
BALIKA (Bangladeshi Association for Life Skills, Income, and Knowledge for Adolescents)