Delivering external evaluations for girls’ education projects in Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe

9 June 2020
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As CAMFED‘s institutional External Evaluator, CIDT’s Rachel Roland, Richard Nyirenda and Dani Baur, working with associates Patt Flett and Mariana Van Graan, have carried out midline evaluations for two girls’ education projects:

  • The Virtuous Cycle of Girls’ Education, which is being run in rural districts of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe
  • Girls Learn, Achieve and Succeed, which is running in Tanzania (urban and peri-urban areas).

The evaluations are part of a 4-year study tracking the education of marginalised girls in CAMFED-supported schools in terms of enrolment, attendance, retention and achievement, as well as onward study and income generation or employment.

In both projects CIDT led the research methodology, design, fieldwork, analysis and reporting. During the midline study, a statistically robust quantitative study was undertaken that included a test for English and Maths that was marked by national exam boards and surveys with beneficiary children, parents and caregivers and teaching staff. At the same time an extensive qualitative research programme interviewed and held focus group discussions with beneficiary girls, teachers, parents, parents support groups, government officials and CAMFED national office staff. The qualitative study covered 8-10 secondary schools in selected districts across each country and setting.

In Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, only a minority of girls in the country have the opportunity to go to a secondary school. If they get a school place, they face problems of getting to and from school, both in terms of distance, they must walk, as well as problems with sexual harassment on their ways to and from school. Harassment often increases as girls get older.

At school, key barriers to education are lack of sufficient desks, chairs, books and other educational learning equipment, as well as teaching methods that do not help girls to participate and learn, and the lack of specialist teachers in some subjects. In addition girls in particular suffer from lack of access to sufficient water and sanitation. Very often girls at school can’t afford lunch and their families can only afford one or two meals a day. CAMFED’s projects support girls to stay in school with a range of grants, equipment, support to learning and teaching and a mentoring programme for girls in school and school leavers, pioneered by their alumnus organisation. Please see the CAMFED Model for more information.

In this work CIDT collaborated with Development Data, a national consultancy firm based in Zimbabwe and Zambia and UK organisation Women and Girls Inclusive. CIDT is honoured to have had the opportunity to contribute towards ensuring quality girls’ education through leading these evaluations.

The midline reports have been signed off by the Fund Manager, PWC. CAMFED’s projects are part of the global Girls’ Education Challenge programme funded by the UK government and implemented in 18 countries. This global programme aims to improve the learning opportunities and outcomes of over one million of the world’s most marginalised girls. In Africa 33.3 million girls of primary and lower secondary school age are out of education[1].

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[1] Source: UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS, 2018). This number has risen from 28 million (UIS, 2015).