The problem:

Rutgers is the coordinator of Yes I Do! program in Indonesia, with the vision of “girls under the age of 18 are empowered to negotiate and decide when and with whom to marry and have children.”

Yet Indonesia has still a high prevalence of child marriage. 1 out of 6 girls get married before they turn 18 (Unicef, 2016).

So far the common approach to communication against child marriage is educating girls, their parents, and the community about the physical, psychological, and economics risks of child marriage. Yet the needle does not seem to move.

Rutgers is looking for a fresh perspective in this area, and they commission us to draft the strategy and assist their implementing partners of local CSO in Rembang, Lombok, and Sukabumi to generate ideas.

Our approach:

As a starting point, we review baseline studies that Rutgers have conducted before. The clarity and coverage of those studies really help. From the study, we choose tools we are going to use to facilitate a problem-identification workshop with Rutgers’ partners.

The workshop contributes a lot to our understanding about the problem. We come with a new perspective: what if instead of educating about risks that lie in the future, we capitalize on loss aversion in the present time? In other words, what if we can make girls become so averse to lose their awesome adolescence?

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Based from this insight, we devise a double-sided strategy. On one side, we have a push strategy whose objective is to get girls excited to experience adolescence, they are reluctant to marry too soon. One of the planned tactics is to develop a YouTube web series that show girls relatable role models who can keep enjoying their teenhood despite hardships.

On the other side, we have a pull strategy that tries to marshall parents, boyfriends, religious leaders, schools, and communities work separately and together to ensure girls’ adolescence are filled with fun or useful activities, like family-picnics, talent show and art festival. There are also activities like ulema deliberations and creating a safe-place for fathers of daughters to talk and share.

Now, Rutgers and its partners are beginning to implement the campaign plan we have helped them formulate.