Program Efforts to Delay Marriage through Improved Opportunities: Some Evidence from Rural Bangladesh

Luciana Suran, Population Council

Programs geared toward adolescents are increasingly the focus of NGOs and other organizations working in developing countries. Yet little documentation concerning the challenges and effectiveness of such programs exists. Using longitudinal panel data from an adolescent study in rural Bangladesh, this paper analyzes the impact of an adolescent livelihoods program using the propensity-score matching method. The data suggest that, while such programs can achieve delayed marriage, these changes can be limited to a small subset of girls with relatively unusual characteristics. The results suggest that programs working with adolescents might benefit from targeting vulnerable populations rather than heterogeneous groups. For example, the targeting of younger adolescents in poor areas may lead to greater success.

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Presented in Session 28: Marriage Patterns in Developing Countries