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Supporting girls’ education

Education has the power to transform girls’ lives around the world. We work to strengthen systems to improve learning outcomes and empower girls through quality teaching and learning.

Education offers marginalised girls a chance to change their lives for the better, but educating girls benefits everyone. Schooling is critical to tackling harmful gender norms and unlocking girls’ potential to lead more fulfilling lives, to fully contribute to the economies and societies in which they live, and to become leaders in their communities. Educated girls tend to marry later and to earn more as adults, better enabling them to provide for their families. They also have lower rates of maternal and infant mortality – and their children tend to be healthier. What’s more, improving the quality of education available to girls benefits all students – including boys.

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 system-level girls’ education programmes and a wealth of relevant research, we are a trusted partner of governments and organisations seeking to improve girls’ learning. Our innovative, evidence-based and holistic approach enables us to successfully deliver at scale and empower key stakeholders to create lasting change.

Our experience shows us that to maximise the return on investment in girls’ education, we need a combination of general interventions to increase the quality of teaching and learning for all children and girl-specific interventions. 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 approaches ensure the best results for the girls we work with and for. Our combination of delivery expertise and our extensive research portfolio gives our consultants a strong understanding of the challenges to girls' learning - and how to overcome them. We also invest public research, generating, disseminating and applying evidence to gain a stronger understanding of what works.

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

Our model for girls’ education focuses on five key areas: supporting gender-responsive systems, data for decision-making, quality pedagogy for learning and equity, family and community engagement and supporting positive gender perspectives.

Girls’ education in our programmes

Girls’ education is fundamental to much of our programmatic work, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Our Wasichana Wetu Wafaulu (Let our girls succeed) programme in Kenya is 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 builds 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 whom 80% are disadvantaged or marginalised. Girls are comprehensively supported in school, in their community, at home, in girls’ clubs and through personal development. As well as improving academic 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 our teams have been leading the work on reviewing Rwanda’s Girls Education Policy.