The impact of a child marriage edutainment intervention on education outcomes

Last registered on April 26, 2024


Trial Information

General Information

The impact of a child marriage edutainment intervention on education outcomes
Initial registration date
April 22, 2024

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
April 26, 2024, 12:01 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.



Primary Investigator

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Utrecht University
PI Affiliation
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
PI Affiliation
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial is based on or builds upon one or more prior RCTs.
We test the impact of an edutainment intervention aiming to reduce child marriage that is targeted at men, at women, or men and women jointly, on education outcomes of adolescent girls and boys. To do so, we leverage a cluster-randomized controlled trial in 177 rural villages in the provinces of Sindh and Punjab in Pakistan, which randomized whether men, women or both genders in the household received the intervention. Survey data were collected from adolescent boys and girls (aged 14-17) and their male and female caregivers. We estimate impacts on school enrollment, attendance and attainment of the target adolescent boys and girls. We also evaluate secondary impacts on other school-related outcomes, on individual preferences, attitudes, expectations and beliefs regarding girls' and boys' education, as well as spillovers on school outcomes of the target adolescents' younger siblings.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Janssens, Wendy et al. 2024. "The impact of a child marriage edutainment intervention on education outcomes." AEA RCT Registry. April 26.
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Experimental Details


Our interventions took place in Shikarpur and Larkana districts of Sindh Province, and Lodhran and Muzaffargarh districts of Punjab province in Pakistan. Joint with Oxfam Pakistan, our local implementing partners Indus Resource Centre (IRC) and Bedari prepared a movie of a theatre show that addressed child marriage and girls’ education. IRC and Bedari then visited each intervention village and organized a movie screening that was followed by a group discussion. In each village, during a subsequent visit approximately three months later, IRC and Bedari organized another structured discussion about the content of the movie.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
School enrollment of adolescent girls and boys
School attendance of adolescent girls and boys
School attainment of adolescent girls and boys
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
- Education-related outcomes: Spending on education (last 12 months), travel time to school (mins.) and type of school attended
- Individual preferences, attitudes, (incentivized and unincentivized) beliefs and expectations of mothers, fathers, girls and boys regarding girls' and boys' education
- Spillovers: Education outcomes (school enrollment, attendance and attainment, spending on education (last 12 months), travel time to school (mins.) and type of school attended of female and male siblings of the target girls and boys
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We conducted a randomized control trial in 177 villages of Sindh and Punjab provinces in Pakistan to investigate how edutainment interventions affect attitudes, beliefs, norms, and behavior about child marriage and education for girls. The villages were randomly assigned into four treatment groups to enable a rigorous evaluation of the impact of the programme:

T1. targeting the intervention at men and boys only,
T2. targeting the intervention at women and girls only,
T3. targeting the intervention at both genders, and
T4. a control group with no intervention.

First, we selected 80 villages in Sindh Province and 99 villages in Punjab Province for potential inclusion in the intervention to be implemented by IRC and Bedari, respectively. We collected village-level baseline data on key village characteristics and conducted a household listing exercise in each village to obtain a census of eligible households comprising at least one unmarried adolescent aged 14 to 17 years. We randomly selected 10 households per village from this list: 5 households with an adolescent boy and 5 households with an adolescent girl.

Next, a baseline household survey collected data amongst others on key demographic and socio-economic indicators, as well as on attitudes, (incentivized and unincentivized) beliefs, norms, expectations and behaviour regarding child marriage and adolescents' education.

After baseline data collection, villages were randomly assigned to one of the four treatment groups. Edutainment activities (movie screening and follow-up discussions) were conducted across both provinces from 28th December 2018 to 30th June 2019. The interventions were monitored through exit surveys and attendance lists.

The midline and endline surveys were conducted among the initially selected households in both Sindh and Punjab Province from November 2019 to March 2020 and from September 2020 to March 2021, respectively. The midline and endline surveys included all baseline components, as well as additional modules on experiences with the intervention, returns to education, and adolescent marriages.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
After the baseline survey, we randomly assigned villages to one of the four treatment groups: ‘men and boys only’ edutainment intervention (“T1” villages), ‘women and girls only’ edutainment intervention (“T2” villages), edutainment intervention targeted at ‘both genders’ (“T3” villages) and a control group (“T4” villages) where no intervention activities were offered. We used Mahalanobis distance matching techniques to randomly assign villages to one of the four treatment arms, stratified by province.
Randomization Unit
The unit of treatment randomization was the village-level.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
179 villages (80 villages in Sindh Province and 99 villages in Punjab Province). Due to logistical issues, two villages in Punjab were dropped from the study. Our final number of clusters is hence 177 villages (80 villages in Sindh Province, with 20 villages assigned to each of the four treatment arms, and 97 villages in Punjab Province of which 25 villages in the “women and girls only” treatment arm and 24 villages in each of the other three arms)
Sample size: planned number of observations
1,770 households (10 households in each of the 177 villages) – with 3 respondents per household: adult male, adult female, and either an unmarried adolescent boy or an unmarried adolescent girl. Due to their small size, some villages did not comprise sufficient households with adolescent teenagers, leading to a final sample size of 1,716 households.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Treatment arm 1 (men and boys only): 44 villages
Treatment arm 2 (women and girls only): 45 villages
Treatment arm 3 (both genders): 44 villages
Control arm (no intervention): 44 villages
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Social Sciences & Humanities Interdivisional Research Ethics Committee (University of Oxford)
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
No R56430/RE001