The drivers of marriage and pregnancy among adolescents and young people in low and middle income countries are increasingly well understood. However, little is known about the perspectives and experiences of young people who are married, cohabit or are parents. YMAPS, a collaboration between Young Lives and Child Frontiers, is a comparative study across four countries - Ethiopia, India, Peru and Zambia - to examine the experience and impact of young marriage, cohabitation and parenthood. The study aims to provide evidence that will inform policy interventions to support young people who in their adolescence have experienced cohabitation, marriage and parenthood.
We conducted qualitative research with young people in urban, peri-urban and rural communities in Ethiopia, Peru and Zambia. We followed a socio-ecological, life-course approach and used a combination of data collection techniques including individual interviews, focus groups and community mapping techniques. We analysed recent Young Lives survey data to deepen understanding of the consequences, for those already living in poverty, of marrying or giving birth as a teenager within the four Young Lives countries.
Outputs planned include research reports on Ethiopia and Peru, an international report comparing cross country findings, including Young Lives earlier research in India, and analysis and policy reports for both national and international audiences.
Young Lives and Child Frontiers are also working with the cohort of project partners funded by IDRC in their Early Child Forced Marriage (ECFM) programme. This collaboration will produce an edited book in early 2020 and will support partners to amplify their findings to a wider audience.