Between 2017 and 2020, Young Lives received funding from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) for two multi-country research projects. The first one, the Young Marriage and Parenthood Study (YMAPs), a collaboration between Young Lives and Child Frontiers, was a comparative study across four countries - Ethiopia, India, Peru and Zambia - to examine the experiences and impacts of young marriage, cohabitation and parenthood, through the eyes of adolescents and young people. The study’s aim was to generate evidence to inform policies and programmes so that interventions reflect the realities of their experiences and support needs.
We collected new qualitative data with young people in urban, peri-urban and rural communities in Ethiopia, Peru and Zambia, and combined insights from an earlier study conducted in India to generate comparative findings based on interviews with 345 married, cohabiting, divorced or parenting young people. 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. Analysis of Young Lives survey data deepened understanding of the consequences, for those already living in poverty, of marrying or giving birth as a teenager within the Young Lives countries.
The outputs included country research reports on Ethiopia, Peru and Zambia, an international report comparing cross country findings, including Young Lives earlier research in India, working papers, policy briefs for both national and international audiences, short films with youth, and a culminating animation.
The second project with Young Lives and Child Frontiers was to assist IDRC in synthesising and amplifying findings with other cohort grantees working in the area of early, child and forced marriage (ECFM). This collaborative exercise resulted in an edited book, ‘Dreaming of a Better Life: Child Marriage through Adolescent Eyes’, published by Young Lives.