Evaluating the Power of Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs) to Delay Marriage in India

Over the next decade, 142 million girls are expected to marry before they turn 18. While this practice has diminished in many places, the pace of change has been slow in South Asia, particularly in India, where 40 percent of the world’s child marriages occur.

To help reduce child marriage, the government of India has launched several large-scale conditional cash transfer (CCT) initiatives to incentivize families to delay their daughters’ marriages. CCTs are arrangements in which governments provide individuals cash to encourage social change. CCTs represent a potentially cost-effective, high-impact strategy to delay marriage, however they have not yet been rigorously evaluated.

Through the Impact on Marriage: Program Assessment of Conditional Cash Transfers (IMPACCT) project, ICRW will evaluate the Apni Beti Apna Dhan (ABAD) program, one of the first CCT interventions in India to include delayed marriage as a specific goal. Initiated in 1994, the local government of Haryana dedicated bonds to newly-born girls that can be cashed out after the girls turn 18 and only if they are unmarried. The first beneficiaries will reach 18 in 2012, presenting the first opportunity to assess the program’s success in delaying marriage.

For its evaluation, ICRW will analyze government records and data on the ABAD effort. Experts also will survey girls and parents who participated in the program and those who did not, to compare their attitudes and behaviors related to child marriage. Finally, ICRW will interview key government officials to examine how well ABAD was implemented and identify how it might be improved for future CCT programs.

Duration: 
2010 – 2015
Partners: 
Population Foundation of India (PFI)
Project Director: 
Priya Nanda
Location(s): 
India

Related News

ICRW's research is featured in an article that details how excessive housework and lack of parental support are the main reasons why girls in Uganda drop out of school.
More »
ICRW's Kirsten Stoebenau writes for IPS news on a new ICRW report that highlights how gendered expectations and beliefs are the main contributing factor to high rates of school dropout among girls in...
More »
ICRW's GEMS program, a school-based program designed to address inequality and reduce gender-based violence, is featured in a Thomson Reuters article on efforts to combat abuse against women and...
More »
While we have made progress when it comes to girls’ rights, we are far from realizing the ideals expressed 20 years ago in Beijing. We know what we need to do to protect the rights of adolescent...
More »