In September to October 2016, four CIDT consultants, Mary Surridge, Lilla Oliver, Sarah Thomas and Rufsana and two external consultants in Zimbabwe and Tanzania were contracted to undertake a qualitative study of Camfed’s Girls’ Education Challenge Step Change Window (GEC SCW) project in Tanzania and Zimbabwe, in order to contribute to, and complement the quantitative end line survey and better understand which elements of the project are working (or not), how and why.
Camfed’s GEC SCW project targets marginalised girls in rural communities of Zimbabwe and Tanzania with an aim of increasing girls’ retention through a full cycle of early secondary education and improving their opportunities to learn. The project interventions are targeted in 24 districts in Zimbabwe and 11 in Tanzania, in 991 secondary schools, and include:
- Providing financial support to meet girls’ material needs, combined with targeted local initiatives to tackle obstacles to girls’ retention and ensure a supportive educational environment.
- Developing and distributing low-cost, self-directed study guides in core curriculum subjects to support academic learning as well as a broader life skills curriculum.
- Enabling young women on leaving school to play a role as Learner Guides, supporting children in their local schools while gaining status and opportunities.
- Reinforcing existing local government and community structures to respond to the needs of marginalised girls, safeguard their rights and entitlements and reinforce children protection, and ultimately to influence policy.
- Pioneering use of mobile technology to capture real-time data about girls, their schools and communities, and to open up opportunities for networking and access to educational resources.
- Engaging with national education partners to develop and review the approach under the GEC, and to identify opportunities for key lessons and practices to be adopted more widely.
The consultants travelled to various districts including, Gokwe, Umguza, Kibaha and Harare in Zimbabwe and Rufiji, Morogoro, Handeni and Pangani in Tanzania to conduct their evaluation. They met with a broad range of in-country actors and stakeholders, including schools, headteachers, teachers, District Operations Secretariats/District Coordinators, Community Development Committees, School Development Committees (Zimbabwe only), Ministry of Education District Education Officers, local officials, community groups, male and female students and young girls involved in the project.
Following the country visit, the consultants successfully delivered a validation workshop in Zimbabwe and Tanzania, with stakeholders, including CAMFED representatives presenting the preliminary findings and will merge both country findings to deliver a final research report.