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Girls’ education

Girls continue to face numerous barriers to safe and equitable learning opportunities. Our passion for girls’ education is matched by our experience and expertise, with a deep evidence base and extensive delivery of programmes that benefit girls across the world.

With experience of delivering education programmes at scale, we are a trusted partner of governments and organisations seeking to improve girls’ learning – while also recognising the challenges boys face – to achieve gender quality. Our approach to girls’ education is innovative, holistic, and – crucially – evidence based, enabling successful interventions at system level and empowering key stakeholders to create sustainable change.

Our experience has taught us that to maximise the return on investment in girls’ education, we need to combine general interventions – to increase the quality of teaching and learning for all children – with girl-specific interventions. These interventions address unique barriers girls in different contexts face, whilst also addressing issues of safety and security which continue to impact on learning. Our approach strengthens the entire system by using evidence to diagnose barriers to girls’ learning and develop, deliver, and evaluate gender-responsive solutions.


How we work in girls’ education

Barriers to girls’ learning can be complex. Our evidence-based approach ensures the best results for the girls we work with and for. We have a wealth of research, consultancy, and delivery experience and expertise in girls’ learning, giving us a strong understanding of the challenges and how to overcome them, and we invest in public research to gain a stronger understanding of what works and contribute to the global evidence base. We then disseminate and apply this evidence on what works to our own work to help ensure girls’ learning.

We also closely monitor and evaluate our own work and programmes to understand the elements of programming that are most effective and enable these elements to be scaled. We also share this evidence of what works and use data to inform decision-making at all levels, and to help our partners to target resources and develop and scale good practices.

Our girls’ education model focuses on four key areas:

  • addressing harmful gender norms and stereotypes within schools and the education system
  • ensuring a supportive policy environment for gender equality
  • quality pedagogy for learning and equity
  • ensuring inclusion for all, with family and community engagement and support throughout.


Our work in girls’ education in Africa

In addition to our research and consultancy work on girls’ education, which includes a variety of African contexts, girls’ education is fundamental to much of our programmatic work in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Our Wasichana Wetu Wafaulu (Let our girls succeed) programme in Kenya was part of the UK-funded worldwide Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC) to help some of the world’s poorest girls improve their lives through education. It built on the success of our Wasichana Wote Wasome (Let all girls learn) programme that increased school enrolment for girls from 2013-2017.

The programme has now reached a total of 254,000 learners, of which 80% are disadvantaged or marginalised. Girls are comprehensively supported in school, in their community, at home, in girls’ clubs, and through personal development. Members of girls’ clubs improved their learning performance, confidence, and aspiration towards studying science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) subjects. As well as improving academic, access, and training opportunities and outcomes, the programme develops girls’ awareness of their own socioemotional wellbeing, resilience, and sexual and reproductive health: knowledge that helps them remain in education.

We have also focused on girls’ education in our Building Learning Foundations (BLF) programme in Rwanda, where are teams have been leading the work on reviewing Rwanda’s Girls Education Policy in Rwanda. This has included amplifying the voices of girls who have benefited from girls’ club interventions. 

Contact us to find out more about our work in girls’ education.