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In the early 2000s, the Population Council collaborated on the first rigorously evaluated program in Africa to delay the age of marriage and support girls married as children. Berhane Hewan (Light for Eve) targeted married and unmarried girls aged 10–19 in rural areas of Amhara. The program’s four components—community conversations to raise awareness and address cultural and social norms, provision of school supplies to remain in school, conditional asset transfer to address economic incentives to marry girls, and girls’ mentoring groups—were based on formative research and consultations with local leadership. Building on the Berhane Hewan pilot, the Council and partners initiated the second generation of work to identify the most cost-efficient and scalable models to prevent child marriage in Africa. This brief notes that the experiences with Berhane Hewan in sub-Saharan Africa are among the first studies to rigorously test how best to prevent child marriage on the continent. This research will inform governments and development partners on how to design minimum, scalable, cost-effective projects to delay age at marriage and support married girls in a range of settings in Africa.






Building an Evidence Base to Delay Marriage in Sub-Saharan Africa; Meseret Hiwott (“Base of Life”)