POLL

Should Child marriage be a punishable offence ?

About Knowledge Hub on Child Marriage

I. What is KHub?  

The Knowledge Hub (KHub) is the process of GEPP - Getting Evidence into Policy and Practice. The concept of KHub is not only to build a repository of existing knowledge on current status but also to create new knowledge/evidences that will demystify the immense base of strategic and technical knowledge that already exists. This enables genuine cross-learning, engender greater access to research and also facilitate capacity building exercises at a decentralized level, using the enabling power of Information Technology (IT).  

II. Need of KHub in Child Marriage:

MAMTA is committed to cause of improvement of Reproductive and Sexual Health of young people by addressing issues of prevention of early marriage and early pregnancy (EMEP). Key elements of the interventions are strengthening administrative systems for enforcement of law and policies, community mobilization and empowerment of young people, networking and strengthening capacities of NGOs/CBOs on EMEP, building public opinion on the need for prevention of EMEP as sexual reproductive health rights (media advocacy), and linkages with EU outreach activities reaching to young adults.   Based on the learning and evidences from the intervention, it appears that the policy makers and program managers recognize child marriage as a serious problem, but growing awareness has not led to committed and coordinated action against the practice. At the community level, the practice of child marriage is deeply rooted in traditions and cultural beliefs; therefore there is a need of community transformation, which cannot change by the legal enforcement alone. In order to effectively plan and implement various program strategies, planners and decision makers need to have evidences on various approaches to end early marriages. There is no comprehensive one-stop platform bringing together the entire gamut of strategic and programmatic information on the child marriage issue on a national/state scale in India. Nor is there a platform which has a special focus on knowledge for policy and practice. Such a specially-tailored platform, designed with particular reference to the needs of all stakeholders, will be a valuable and empowering tool specifically for policy makers, planners and programme managers at national, state and district level. It will also be an important development in knowledge hubs for communities, partners across India (NGOs, CBOs, other private sectors- researchers, media and primary stakeholders) as it will facilitate more meaningful inputs into the planning and policy-making arena.   The compiled information and analysis report of the existing programs can help to fill the gaps in understanding the complexities of child marriage prevention and identify best practices for replication and scaling up. Policymakers/program planners and community could be benefited to get the evidences (complied information/data and policy and program analysis report) to better design or formulate the policy and program to delay marriage. Hence, in order to promote innovative, evidence-based solutions, MAMTA has initiated and established the concept of KHub with support of EU with overall goal to strengthen the evidence-based action for policy and programmatic response on child marriage issues. This system will provide the base for future action for integration and expansion of this KHub with the existing Government system covering all states and the national level. The community mobilization efforts, coupled with policies and programmes that prohibit child marriage, would contribute significantly in achieving the desired goal of the government and donors to end the practice of early marriages.  

III. Purpose of KHub:  

  1. Provide comprehensive information on child marriage issues.
  2. Effectively manage and disseminate knowledge (existing and new).
  3. Effective use of evidences into policy and practice.
  4. Create an enabling environment on child marriage issues.

  IV. Description of KHub Features:

  The KHub is a ‘one-stop-shop’ for evidences related to child marriage, for use by policymakers, programme managers, researchers, civil societies and the community. It facilitates getting enough specific information to the state and district level and aid in decentralizing the child marriage responses. Description of specific KHub features is as under:  

  1. Strategic Mapping

  The mapping feature of the KHub allows easy access for instantly getting snapshots of the following information at the country, state and district levels:  

  1. Magnitude of the problem
  2. Early marriage prevention laws, policies, programmes and schemes
  3. Interventions on delaying marriages (Government and Private)
  4. NGOs working in area
  5. Networks in Action on delaying marriages
  6. Donor funding in action

  The above information is provided based on the existing legal documents/reports/articles/data/tool kits/publications available related to child marriage issues. This online feature of the KHub will be one-stop shop for publications related to child marriage issues.  

  1. State and District specific reports

  This feature of the KHub provides reports based on analyses of primary and secondary data for state and district level pertaining to various aspects of delaying marriages. The reports primarily analyze the actual implementation of the strategy or program, assessing whether strategies are being implemented as planned and whether expected output actually produced. A mix of the following methods is used to gather the information needed for state and district specific analysis report:

  1. Review of documents
  2. Interviews with key informants (including clients)
  3. Field visits to observe programme delivery in action
  4. Evaluations of selected initiatives

  Based on the analysis, a set of recommendations for action will be provided to address child marriage issue effectively. The analysis reports will be published annually primarily for the users at two levels: (1) Policy makers and programme managers at state level (2) Functionaries (implementers) at district level   In addition, based on the findings/recommendations of the analysis report simplified key messages are developed for the community to create an enabling environment at district level (urban and rural areas) on child marriage issues. These messages are widely disseminated through various communication tools.  

  1. Advocacy at state and district

  The KHub is dedicated to advocacy initiative with policy makers/programme managers, district level functionaries and community to draw their attention on the child marriage issue and supporting them towards a solution based on the analysis report (evidences). The KHub also conduct regular follow up meetings/interactions to ascertain whether the evidences are being taken into practice (GEPP).