Programs

Improving Sexual and Reproductive Health of Young People by Increasing the Age at Marriage in Nepal, India and Bangladesh

March 22, 2016

Improving Reproductive and Sexual Health of Young People by Increasing the Age at Marriage in India, Nepal and Bangladesh

Lead Organization in Nepal: Society for Local Integrated Development (SOLID) Nepal

Implementation districts: Rasuwa, Nuwakot, Lalitpur, and Sindhupalchowk of Bagmati zone and Dolakha district of Janakpur zone

Number of implementing Village Development Committees/Municipalities: 52 VDCs, 2 Municipality, and 1 Sub-metropolis (in the beginning only 25 VDCs were selected, but others added in 2010 to cover 100,000 population from each district)

Summary

The multi-country project entitled “Improving Reproductive and Sexual Health of Young People by Increasing the Age at Marriage in India, Nepal and Bangladesh” was functioned since 2009 to 2013. SOLID Nepal implemented the project ‘Improving Sexual and Reproductive Health of Young People by Increasing the Age at Marriage in Nepal’  supported by European Union and MAMTA Health Foundation, India with the objectives of increasing the age at marriage and delay first pregnancy The project was implemented in 18 districts of 3 countries, and, it was implemented in 5 districts viz. Lalitpur, Rasuwa, Nuwakot, Sindhupalchok and Dolakha districts in Nepal.

The 5 years project was successfully completed making some activities as landmarks to enlarge community prospects; property of the organization and guides for the nation to draft policy and strategy as well. Government could not enforce the new marriage act though marriageable age should be 20 years was proposed in the parliament/constitutional assembly. However, there was an amendment made in the marriage registration act that while registering their marriage, both the couple should age at least 20.

Training to develop skills for livelihood earning was a great new achievement of the project in the 5th year that has left the impact by helping to change the life of some vulnerable young people.

More focus was given to the documentation as well as hand-overing of the project developed capitals for their sustainability beyond 2013. Regarding its impact evaluation, there was a Result Oriented Monitoring (ROM) made by a representative from European Union and a representative from MAMTA, the lead organization. Similarly, Indian Institute for Health Management Research (IIHMR) had carried out the end-line evaluation survey in five intervention districts. For the qualitative MIS support, SOLID Nepal made a documentary incorporating the case studies, success stories, with some achievements and lesson learnt.

With the high demand from the community, SOLID Nepal organized basic training on adolescent/youth friendly health (A/YFHS) for new health workers in each intervention district. Besides, no training has been carried out for other stakeholders. However, district level advocacy workshop remained worthwhile to orient new government authorities of the districts on project issues.

Media works remained unbeatable and its impact proved everlasting. Radio programmes broadcasting from more than 50 different FM radio stations made this project known not only within intervention districts but across the nation.

 

Local level implementing partners/NGOs:

  1. Rasuwa: Manekor Society Nepal (7 VDCs)
  2. Nuwakot: SOLID Nepal’s Field Office (5 VDCs and 1 Municipality)
  3. Lalitpur: Rural Institute for Community Development (12 VDCs) [1 Lalitpur Submetropolis by SOLID Nepal directly]
  4. Sindhupalchowk: Gramin Mahila Srijansil Pariwar (17 VDCs)
  5. Dolakha: Community Development Forums (12 VDCs) Total population coverage: 100,000 directly and 500,000 indirectly

Objectives:

  1. To strengthen existing policy and program environment through advocacy with identified key government departments and institutions for ‘right’ and ‘legal’ age at marriage and delayed first pregnancy.
  2. To undertake community mobilization to increase the age at marriage and delayed first pregnancy through implementing NGOs in the district
  3. To identify, develop and strengthen a network of NGOs/CBOs to mainstream the issue of early marriage in their ongoing development program and to undertake and participate in advocacy initiative on the issue
  4. To undertake media advocacy for meaningful participation of media houses to generate public opinion on right age at marriage and delayed first pregnancy
  5. To develop a Participatory Computerized Management Information System (CMIS) and facilitate knowledge management with regard to SRHR (key indices) of youth with special focus on prevention of early marriage and early pregnancy

Key activities:

  1. Advocacy with policy makers and key government functionaries at community, district and central levels
  2. Community mobilization through young people, social stakeholders and community people
  3. Networking with like-minded organizations in coordination with RHCC and other local civil society organizations
  4. Media advocacy and sensitization through meeting, YICs, radio program production & broadcasting, and magazine publication
  5. CMIS by developing online participatory Computerized Management Information System

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