ICRW is serving as the lead research and evaluation partner for the ENGAGE initiative (Enabling Girls to Advance Gender Equity), aimed at empowering girls, local leaders and civil society organizations (CSOs) to reduce the prevalence of child marriage in Southern Malawi. In partnership with Rise Up’s Let Girls Lead (LGL) Initiative and the Girls’ Empowerment Network (GENET) of Malawi, ICRW will evaluate the effectiveness of ENGAGE’s intervention that will empower adolescent girls (ages 15-17) and CSOs to reduce the incidence of child marriage, thereby improving girls’ access to education, reducing adolescent pregnancy, and impacting the social norms and practices that negatively impact girls in two districts of Southern Malawi.
ENGAGE will employ a multi-pronged approach to empower vulnerable adolescent girls to increase their autonomy and decision-making agency, advance gender equitable social norms, and build CSO capacity to hold duty-bearers accountable for ending child marriage. ENGAGE scales up a pilot program implemented by LGL and GENET in the Chiradzulo District of Southern Malawi, which has demonstrated success in reducing child marriage in the program area. ICRW will employ a four-arm, quasi experimental study design utilizing quantitative and qualitative evaluation methodologies to evaluate the effectiveness of the program.
This research, combined with the dissemination of best practices and lessons learned by ICRW, will fill an important gap in global knowledge of girl-focused interventions.
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