We believe that girls are at the forefront of change.
We envision a world in which every girl has access to the information, services, resources, skills, and support necessary to decide when, if, and whom to marry so that she can live a healthy and equal life and have a brighter future.
OUR THEORY OF CHANGE STATEMENT
If community-based organizations (CBOs) are essential to ending child marriage but they are currently underfunded and we can radically expand resources to CBOs to deliver locally relevant, girl-centered and gender-transformative strategies then we (grantee-partners and donors) will contribute not only to accelerating reductions in child marriage, but also to driving positive shifts toward gender equality and bringing about beneficial impacts across a range of development outcomes.
- Contributing to the growth and development of thriving, well-supported, and connected CBOs and movements, prioritizing those led by girls and women, who are working holistically to transform gender norms
- Building girls’ power, voice and choice
- Holding those in power to account, and
- Building solidarity across communities and borders.
To accomplish this, the fund will contribute to the radical expansion of financial resources and related support for CBOs, movements, and locally-focused national and sub-national organizations.
The Girls First Fund believes deeply that those most impacted by inequality are best served to design solutions.
The Girls First Fund works across five strategic areas of work:
- Increase donor collaboration: We will channel new money to community-led, girl-centered, and gender-transformative initiatives and leverage existing investments to accelerate impact. We will raise awareness of this global problem and show how ending it can be a step toward achieving broader gender equality.
- Radically expand resources: Alongside other investments in ending child marriage and early unions, our support will expand both the total amount of funding to the field and the specific amount dedicated to CBOs. The fund will prioritize historically-neglected and under-funded groups. In addition to providing core support and multi-year funding, we will provide non-grant support, such as capacity building and technical assistance.
- Support locally-relevant strategies: The fund will prioritize grantee-partners with strong roots in the community that place girls at the center of their work—whether in the design of programs, the implementation of work, or evaluating the effectiveness of strategy.
- Connect CBOs to the larger ecosystem: We will connect CBOs to key stakeholders so they can lead, shape, and participate in local, national, regional, and global movements. We will layer community-based interventions across other efforts and systems to strengthen the overall approach to ending child marriage.
- Generate new evidence: We will gather new evidence on the impact, research, and learning of local approaches to demonstrate how funding CBOs is critical to ending child marriage and early unions. We will create continual feedback loops with grantee-partners to amplify local solutions so that others can learn from CBOs’ expertise—and so CBOs can integrate learnings into their own practices.