Alison M. Glinski
Magnolia Sexton
Lis Meyers
Publication Date
Publication Date: 
September 1, 2015

This resource guide provides information on how the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) sectors, missions, and staff can integrate child, early, and forced marriage (CEFM) prevention and response into their programming. It provides both the rationale of why and approaches to how USAID's efforts can address CEFM. Prepared by Banyan Global and the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), it reflects an effort to document how the global health, gender-based violence (GBV), youth, education, economic growth and workforce development, agriculture and food security, and legal reform sectors approach child marriage, including entry points, approaches, interventions, and monitoring and evaluation, and provides concrete recommendations on how to improve these approaches in the future.

In March 2012, USAID released its Gender Equality and Female Empowerment Policy [PDF], with the goal to "improve the lives of citizens around the world by advancing equality between females and males, and empowering women and girls to fully participate in and benefit from the development of their societies." The policy directs USAID investments toward the following outcomes, which can be adapted and translated at the country level:

  • reduce gender disparities in access to, control over, and benefits from resources, wealth, opportunities, economic services, social services, political services, and cultural services;
  • reduce GBV and mitigate its effects on individuals and communities; and
  • increase the capability of women and girls to recognise their rights, determine their life outcomes, and influence decision-making in households, communities, and societies.

Along those lines, the Guide provides information on how to incorporate CEFM considerations into gender analyses to produce findings and recommendations on how to design strategies, programmes, projects, and activities that prevent and respond to CEFM, address CEFM risk factors, and address and empower women and girls at risk of CEFM or those who have experienced CEFM. With regard to involving women: "For women to become champions for reducing CEFM, programs should engage them in group dialogues to discuss their experiences with marriage, the harmful effects of CEFM, and alternatives that exist in their communities. While women can be strong advocates for girls' rights, these programs will be more sustainable if both males and females are involved. Programs should educate women about harmful health, educational, and economic outcomes of CEFM and how delaying marriage can help girls transition into a healthier and more productive adulthood."

Contents include:

Acroymns and Abbreviatons
Top 12 Ways to Use the Child, Early and Forced Marriage (CEFM) Resource Guide

Part 1

  • 1.1 Why Develop a Resource Guide on CEFM?
  • 1.2 Understanding Child, Early, and Forced Marriage

Part 2

  • 2.1 Multi-sectoral Approaches to Addressing CEFM
    • Promising Interventions to End Child Marriage and Serve Married Children
    • Working Across Key Sectors and Strategies
  • 2.2 Incorporating CEFM Prevention and Response throughout USAID's Program Cycle
  • 2.3 Considerations for Gender Analysis
  • 2.4 Incorporating CEFM Prevention and Response across Key USAID Sectors and Strategies
    • GBV
    • Global Health
    • Education
    • Economic Growth and Workforce Development
    • Agriculture and Food Security
    • Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance
    • Crisis and Conflict
    • Multi-sectoral Programming
  • 2.5 Guidance on Working with Key Stakeholders
    • Girls Who Are at Risk of CEFM or Who Are Already Married
    • Boys (Including Boys at Risk of Early Marriage or Already Married)
    • Male Family Members, Particularly Fathers and Brothers
    • Parents and Guardians
    • In-laws and Other Key Gatekeepers
    • Teachers and School Administrators
    • Community, Traditional, and Religious Leaders
    • Members of the Law Enforcement and Judicial Community
    • Civil Society and the Media
    • Women Leaders and Women's Organizations
    • Lawmakers and Parliamentarians
    • Governments
  • 2.6 Program Considerations for Regional Variations and Key Country Profiles

    South Asia

    • Bangladesh
    • India
    • Nepal

    East and Southern Africa

    • Ethiopia
    • Tanzania

    West and Central Africa

    • Burkina Faso

    Latin America and the Caribbean

    • Guatemala

Part 3: CEFM Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Indicators

Part 4

Key Resources

  • 4.1 Seminal CEFM Resources
  • 4.2 Other Important Resources
  • 4.3 Table of Key Toolkits

Media Kit

  • Key Messages on Child, Early, and Forced Marriage
  • Talking Points on CEFM and the Guide
  • Social Media Kit for the CEFM Guide
  • How Does Child, Early, and Forced Marriage Impact Your Work Infographic


Number of Pages: 



USAID website, August 14 2017. Image credit: David Snyder/ICRW