Daniel Perlman, Director

Open (1) Pathways to Choice: Delaying Age of Marriage through Girl-Child Education in Niger and Northern Nigeria

Open. Apprentices needed for the fall semester. Please do NOT contact faculty before September 11th (the start of the 4th week of classes)! Enter your application on the web beginning August 16th. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, August 29th at 8 AM.

This study is a partnership between the School of Public Health at UC Berkeley and the Centre for Girls Education at Ahmadu Bello University in Northern Nigeria. The purpose of this study is to:

- identify risk factors (individual, household, community) associated with early marriage and early childbearing among Hausa people in rural Niger and Northern Nigeria and ascertain sub-populations of girls most at risk;

- develop a nuanced understanding of early marriage by talking with girls, their families, and community members about the decision-making processes relating to girls schooling and marriage;

- examine the nature of family and social support (or lack of) for the delay of marriage and shed light on the factors enabling/inhibiting such support;

- explore the day-to-day realities, subjective understandings, and needs of married adolescents;

- elicit girls’ aspirations and their perceptions of acceptable alternatives to early marriage (and the perceptions of parents and extended family members) and the likelihood that they would/could take advantage of such opportunities;

This study is employing a range of research methods—participant observation, structured observation, in-depth interviews, informal group discussions, and the review of program reports and documents. The Nigerian and Nigerien research assistants are participating in the daily life of the community, living with families with married adolescent girls, and writing fieldnotes of their observations every evening. This participant-observation is meant to bring together what people say (the content of interviews) and what they do (daily observations in the form of fieldnotes).


The undergraduate research apprentices will be trained to analyze qualitative data. They will learn to code and analyze the researchers' interviews and fieldnotes, write analytical memos, and turn the insights gathered from this process into an article.

Qualifications: Required: Qualitative research coursework or experience. We also have interviews and observations to analyze from our program in Niger. Strong French fluency will be needed for those wishing to work on that project.

Weekly Hours: to be negotiated

Related website: http://centreforgirlseducation.org