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An evaluation of Pathfinder's early marriage education program in Indonesia, November-December 1984.
Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, Pathfinder Fund, 1986 Feb. 41 p. (Pathfinder Fund Working Papers No. 4)Indonesian government officials determined in the early 1970's that an increase in marriage age as well as in the use of contraceptives would be needed to reduce the country's growth rate. In 1974, the Marriage Law Reform Act increased the minimun marriageable age, but compliance was rare. In 1981, Pathfinder initiated a campaign to address this. The 1st objective was to educate influentials (e.g. religious leaders). The 2nd objective was to gather information and promote discussion of societal norms that lead to early marriage and childbearing. The underlying assumptions were that non-compliance arose from a lack of knowledge about the marriage law and that norms promoting early marriage and fertility were amenable to change. The program reviewed in this working paper covers 6 projects with 5 prominent Indonesian organizations--3 women's groups, a national public health association, and a branch of the Family Planning Coordinating Board. The activities began with national seminars to discuss objectives. National and local-level activities followed, ranging from the publication of a national bulletin to training marriage counselors. Women's groups incorporated the education program into their ongoing functions. Program effects were widespread. Evaluators' assessment in 1984 found that the controversial topic of adolescent fertility has been intensively discussed at national and local levels. Their recommendations include: focusing work on large-impact organizations, evaluation of certain projects, support for various projects, concentrating on key issues. The training project management should be integrated into Pathfinder's schedule. Studies should be performed to make sure this desin is not too ambitious. Baseline data should be incorporated. The 2-year approach should be extended to 5, since the impact of marriage age legislation will not be felt for several years.