To evaluate and report changes on the Girls Education Challenge (GEC) Fund’s four key educational outcomes: learning, attendance, retention and enrollment, for the EGEP program. SI also provided recommendations for RI, local grant organizations, community education committees and donors as guidelines for future interventions that aim to bring positive change.
Between 2014-16 SI conducted the following activities for the EGEP:
- Baseline, midline and endline evaluations and a pre-post, panel design methodology, to better understand the influence of the subjects’ personal characteristics and motivations on learning outcomes.
- At baseline, SI observed a cohort of 1,260 girls consisting of school goers (enrolled in the 121 selected schools) as well as out-of-school girls (OOSG) living in the same geographic areas. We tested older girls, creating benchmarks to gauge the school performance of participating girls without intervention. Then, SI compared the cohort girls’ scores at midline and endline to targets created from these benchmarks.
- At midline, we used electronic data collection to facilitate quantitative surveying and ensure more effective data collection.
- At endline, SI visited 1,091 households, surveyed 106 primary schools and administered primary learning tests to 1,500 girls and 299 boys. We conducted 49 separate qualitative focus group discussions and key informant interviews.
From baseline to endline, EGEP activities saw progressively positive improvements for most of its outcome-level indicators:
- OOSG surpassed their learning targets at midline. OOSG and 3rd grade girls exceeded their numeracy targets at endline. Secondary school girls exceeded midline targets for numeracy.
- Attendance of cohort girls rose by 9.2%o 72% of baseline cohort girls were still in school at midline, 82% were still in school at endline, and, of, OOSG at baseline who were successfully re-contacted at endline, 93% had enrolled in school.
SI found that combining certain interventions and focusing them on specific target populations of girls has the potential to increase the value for money of project activities. Some examples are:
- Combining school feeding programs with sanitary kit distribution in rural, drought-affected, and IDP areas.
- Linking radio awareness messaging and financial support interventions (such as bursaries) in urban areas,
- Combining functional, private latrines with the presence of a female mentor/advisor
Drought, hunger, and financial burden appear to be the largest barriers to achieving positive increases in key outcomes. In order to achieve the greatest impact, interventions should target drought-affected and displaced populations of girls.
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