June 14, 2023

Enduring More Agency and Community Surveillance Support to Reduce Child marriage in Bangladesh

“Enduring More Agency and Community Surveillance Support to Reduce Child Marriage in Bangladesh” is an initiative aimed at addressing the persistent issue of child marriage in the country. Recognizing the harmful consequences of early marriage on the lives of young girls, this program focuses on empowering individuals and communities to take proactive measures to prevent child marriages.

The initiative emphasizes the importance of agency and community surveillance in combating child marriage. By promoting agency, it seeks to empower young girls to make informed decisions about their lives, education, and future. Through education and awareness campaigns, the program raises awareness about the negative impacts of child marriage and promotes gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Additionally, community surveillance plays a crucial role in preventing child marriage. By engaging community leaders, parents, teachers, and local stakeholders, the program fosters a supportive environment that discourages child marriage. It encourages community members to report any instances or suspicions of child marriage, enabling early intervention and support for at-risk individuals.

The initiative also advocates for legal reforms and policies that protect the rights of children and address the root causes of child marriage. It works closely with government agencies, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders to ensure the implementation of laws and regulations that safeguard children’s well-being and promote their access to education, healthcare, and opportunities for personal and professional development.

Through “Enduring More Agency and Community Surveillance Support to Reduce Child Marriage in Bangladesh,” the program envisions a society where every child, especially girls, can exercise their rights, pursue their dreams, and live a life free from the shackles of early marriage. By strengthening agency and community surveillance, it aims to create a protective environment that enables children to grow, thrive, and contribute to the development of their communities.

Reducing child marriage requires sustained efforts and collaboration at various levels. This initiative aims to mobilize individuals, communities, and institutions to work collectively toward ending child marriage and creating a brighter future for the children of Bangladesh. By empowering girls, raising awareness, and strengthening community vigilance, it strives to create lasting change and protect the rights and well-being of children in the country.


Funding authority

Grand Challenge Canada(GCC)

Project Investigators

1. Dr. Abu S, Shonchoy, Florida International University, USA.

2. Dr. Zaki Wahhaz, University of Kent, UK.

Project Duration

3.5 years.

Project Period

January 2020 – June 2023


Bangladesh has one of the highest rates of female child marriage in the world with 2 in 3 girls marrying before 18. It occurs most frequently in poor rural households where girls are often undernourished. This physical condition, coupled with early childbirth, creates the risk of premature birth and neonatal (or infant) death. Early childbearing in poor households is also associated with infant malnourishment and higher total fertility, which can create long-term poverty traps.

An opinion exchange meeting on “Child Marriage” was organized by MOMODa at the DC office of Gaibandha, Bangladesh.

MOMODa FOUNDATION proposed using digital technologies to enhance the enforcement of child marriage laws in rural areas of Bangladesh. MOMODa aims to achieve this by-

I. Ensuring universal birth registration of girls within a target group (aged 14-17); and

II. Developing mobile phone-based surveillance and reporting –connecting enforcing agencies with potential victims and reliable data on birth dates-to limit the practice of child marriage in Bangladesh.


MOMODa FOUNDATION and researchers from Florida International University and Kent University by the donation of Grand Challenge Canada (GCC) have registered the target girl’s birth registration as the Central Birth registration Server of Bangladesh.

A training session at the MOMODa project office, Gaibandha on the project understanding.
The project-specific components are:
1. Increase 50% birth registration of unmarried adolescent girls in treatment communities;
2. Increase 75% awareness of a national helpline for reporting child marriage cases among guardians in treatment communities; and
3. A lower child marriage rate (specifically marriage below the age of 18) in the treatment communities compared to the control communities at the endline by 30%.
A baseline survey going on
MOMODa FOUNDATION has previous experiences with early child marriage project implementation in Bangladesh with the collaboration of international academic and research institutions, and local non-governmental organizations. It has links with other organizations in Bangladesh tackling child marriage and interest in using birth registration information for this purpose, including BRAC Plan International, and the government’s Access to Information program.

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