CEFM Learning Exchange-May Newsletter and Webinar

Welcome back to the biannual CEFM Learning Xchange Newsletter! We hope this finds you safe and well during this unprecedented time.

In this edition of the Learning Xchange, you can read how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting child, early and forced marriage (CEFM), access new tools for engaging communities in dialogue and research, learn about staff transformation processes in CEFM programming, and find some inspiration to keep you going in this journey. Please peruse and enjoy!

You can stay engaged with the CEFM Learning Xchange through workplace, this listserv and our webinars.

In Solidarity, Tipping Point Initiative 

COVID-19 and Child Marriage

Poverty, inequity, and gender-based violence are increasing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All of these factors are known to be root causes of CEFM. At the same time, programs that work to end CEFM are not able to operate normally due to shelter-in-place directives. Check out some resources that can help us navigate CEFM programming during this challenging time.

Girls Not Brides Agenda for Action on Coronavirus and CEFM (available in English, Spanish, and French)

Resources on COVID-19 and GBV in general

New from TP

Inter-group Dialogues for Gender and Social Norms Change Brief

This technical brief provides an overview of the way that Tipping Point facilitates inter-group dialogues by bringing together girls, boys and parents to share reflections in a way that links to the sessions each group is doing separately. This brief accompanies Tipping Point’s Inter-Group Dialogue implementation manual, which contains session facilitation guides and pointers for frontline workers.

Community Participatory Analysis Toolkit

The Tipping Point Community Participatory Analysis (CPA) Study was designed to deepen understanding of the contextual factors and root causes driving the prevalence of CEFM in a particular region of Bangladesh which has high rates of the practice. The collection of tools used in this study in Bangladesh are made available for adaptation publicly. These tools were used as part of the formative research for the Tipping Point Initiative Phase 1 in Sunamganj, Bangladesh.

Tipping Point RCT: Baseline Reports

The results are in! Tipping Points’ RCT baseline evaluation, measuring the rates of child marriage, adolescent girls’ agency and social norms in Bangladesh and Nepal demonstrate the key drivers of child, early and forced marriage in Tipping Point program areas, and contain recommendations for policy and practice.

Staff Transformation

CEFM Learning Xchange released a webinar on Staff transformation covering both Social Analysis and Action and Gender, Equity, and Diversity trainings. 

For those who were not able to attend, please check out the recording (password: 1U*ly&M7)  and the slide presentation

The 3 takeaways that people working to end CEFM should take away from the webinar are:

  1. Staff at all levels need a safe space to reflect and challenge their own biases and norms related to gender, sexuality, and rights for effective programming.
  2. In order for SAA and GED to be effective, staff members must feel safe to surface their real thoughts, feelings, and fears – especially as they relate to sexuality, as this is often a taboo subject.
  3. Staff transformation does not usually happen as a result of one training, but staff should have space for periodic and consistent group reflection as a part of their job.

A few resources related to this webinar:

Inspiration for the Journey

Working toward gender justice and against CEFM can be difficult and personal. Check out three things that the Learning Xchange hopes will inspire you to keep up the work, and to do it with health and happiness!

  • Safety and Sexuality: “Safety and Sexuality… in these uncertain times of COVID-19 when most of the world is in some form or other of quarantine, safety has taken on a new meaning all together.” Tipping Point’s Gender Advisor Suniti Neogy contributes to this month’s issue of TARSHI’s In Plainspeak online magazine on the topic of safety and sexuality.
  • The face of feminism is no longer just white and middle class: “Middle-class, white women still seem to gain the most visibility because of their privilege. Yet, the reality is changing. Activism is no longer just the domain of the privileged, but has become the duty of the oppressed.” This Al Jazeera op-ed illustrates how the dominant narratives within feminism are now less dominated by those of middle-class white women.
  • Though it can be hard to see past the daily deluge of devastating headlines, there is plenty of good news in the world right now — and a great deal of interest in reading it. This article highlights where you can check out some happy and true headlines. 

Safety and Sexuality

“Safety and Sexuality… in these uncertain times of COVID-19 when most of the world is in some form or other of quarantine, safety has taken on a new meaning all together.”

Tipping Point’s Gender Advisor Suniti Neogy contributes to this month’s issue of TARSHI’s In Plainspeak online magazine- on the topic of safety and sexuality.

Research and Programming: Tensions, Learning, and Compromise from Tipping Point’s RCT Evaluation

In a recent two-part blog series on CARE Insights, Tipping Point’s project director Anne Sprinkel, our Nepal team lead Dipendra Sharma, and our research partners at Emory University share some reflections about balancing the needs of an RCT and a heavy implementation package.

Randomized Control Trials and the Tipping Point Initiative’s Journey to Align the Gold Standard with our Mission

When we joined CARE’s Failing Forward podcast, we had little idea that we would discuss everything from logistical nightmares to ethical conundrums related to Tipping Point’s Phase 2 research study. On air. Live. And the day after the famous “Randomistas”, Esther Duflo, Abhijit Banerjee, and Michael Kremer, were awarded a Nobel Prize in economics for their use of experimental methods in evaluation – also known as the randomized control trial (RCT). See the full blog here

 Tensions and Learnings in Research Program Partnerships Undertaking RCTs

In this response, Cari Jo Clark and Kathryn Yount (Emory University) and Sudhindra Sharma (IDA) responds with reflections on the possibilities and tensions of RCT designs to evaluate programs designed to prevent critical social problems that primarily affect girls and women—such as child, early and forced marriage and other forms of gender-based violence (GBV). Discussions about RCTs are underway in various fields, including in a special series in the journal World Development. The field of GBV prevention has not yet had the same level of public debate, so they share a contribution here. See the full blog here.

Tipping Point Spotlight- February 2020

Welcome to the first Spotlight of 2020! In this issue, you will find a recap of our Phase 3 Learning and Design Workshop , where many of us came together to learn from each other and look forward to the next four years of the initiative. Additionally, our member spotlight is with Rawnak Jahan of CARE Bangladesh. We’ve also included a brief overview of the baseline studies from Nepal and Bangladesh . Finally, there are a few program updates and resources. Keep reading to see what we’ve been up to at Tipping Point! Sincerely,Tipping Point Global teammates

Phase 3 Learning and Design Workshop

From January 27-31, Tipping Point teammates from across the globe gathered with movement actors, program participants, and colleagues from across the CARE federation to learn about girl-led movement building, cast vision for Phase 3 , and sketch activities surrounding three key areas of work: Influencing how CARE approaches girls’ rights programming, influencing governments and donors to invest in evidence-based and root cause approaches, and increasing girls’ visibility and participation in movements. The workshop generated a series of strategic objectives that will contribute to the success of these workstreams in Phase 3 (July 2020 – December 2023). 

Staff Spotlight: Rawnak Jahan

Rawnak holds a master’s degree in Law and has vast experience working in NGOs, INGOs and Regional Organizations on development and women rights. In her professional life at different organizations she has designed, implemented, and monitored different events for promoting of women rights. She has led and participates in a variety of policy enactment movements in Bangladesh, including coordination of the CIDV (Citizen’s Initiative against Domestic Violence), a coalition of more than 25 women rights organizations for enactment and implementation of Domestic Violence Protection and Prevention Act. Rawnak’s passion is to fight against the discrimination and oppression of women, and we are privileged that she is a key member of the Tipping Point team. You can see Rawnak discussing Tipping Point with Laurie Lee, the CEO of CARE UK in this video.
1.       What do you do in your position? What’s the most motivating part of your work with Tipping Point?
Currently I am leading the TP Bangladesh team. Generally, I coordinate team members, partners, and our CARE USA counterparts. One of my main responsibilities is organizing and coordinating advocacy initiatives at different levels. My work involves identifying and developing advocacy strategies in coordination with other stakeholders, conducting policy and context analysis, identifying influencing opportunities through key partners or coalitions. I represent Tipping Point in different national networks like Girls Not Bride Bangladesh, Citizens Initiative against Domestic Violence and Men Engagement Alliance. I also lead a process to identify key advocacy issues that are very relevant to bring about a change in social norms and policy improvements for preventing child marriage. Additionally, I support my team for smooth implementation of planned activities. The position also involves working as a senior team member to lead, organize and mainstream gender in all initiatives.

Read more of Rawnak’s interview here

Baseline Studies: The Context of Program areas

The results are in! Tipping Points’ RCT baseline evaluation is ready. Kudos to Shikha Sunuwar and Rajan Subedi at CARE Nepal, Mahmud Khan at CARE Bangladesh, Sadhvi Kalra at CARE USA, and our partners at icddr,b, GBK, Emory University, Interdisciplinary Analysts, DSDC and SSS for making these products possible.If you missed our Learning Xchange webinar on the findings, have a listen!

Read Phase 2 Evaluation Reports here

We hope you enjoyed the resources, updates, and staff insights from this edition of Spotlight. As always, if you have any ideas, inputs, resources, or updates that you want included here or in the Learning Xchange, please let us know so that it can be arranged

Initiative Updates

  1. Each country team has developed a map of policy opportunities and a SWOT analysis to prioritize strategies and targets for Phase 3 based on a thorough understanding of their respective context
  2. Girl-led movement groups have now launched in all program areas. In Rangpur (Bangladesh), the girl activists have chosen to advocate for their voices to be heard. In Kapilvastu and Rupandehi (Nepal), the girl activists have chosen to advocate for increased mobility.
  3. Attendance in Tipping Point groups is generally improving, thanks to innovations from the teams on the ground, including snacks for the fathers, adjusting session time and pairing participants together for accountability.

News and resources

  1. Make sure you check out the CIGN Position Paper on Supporting women’s social movements and collective actions. As we plan the next phase of Tipping Point, let’s consider how we can be a convener, ally, resource partner, and amplifier of movements that strive for girls’ rights.
  2. Since the last issue of Spotlight, Tipping Point team members have been busy writing to communicate the program’s impact. Some recent reads include Suraiya Sultana’s Story of Change about how a program participant improved her relationship with her mother, and Suniti Neogy’s blog about how even the most motivated field staff working on sexual and reproductive health and rights can at times get caught in a conflict between their own values and the prevalent socio-cultural norms that control adolescent girls’ sexuality. 
  3. While at the Learning & Design workshop, a couple of us spoke and we learned about feminist slam poetry in Nepal. It is, an inspiring way that the feminist movement is expressed in Kathmandu., To share the inspiration, check out this video of Ashmina Ranjit collaborating with poet Gunjan Dixit on Day 2 of Collaborative Artivism: Silence No Longer in 2018. Gunjan performs Eve Ensler’s poem “Bodies”.