This paper is one of a series of thematic reviews produced by the Fund Manager of the Girls’ Education Challenge, an alliance led by PwC, working with organisations including FHI 360, Nathan Associates and Social Development Direct.
The Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC) was set up to support improved attendance and learning for up to one million marginalised girls and has provided the opportunity to develop evidence on what works in girls’ education. Overall across a number of GEC projects, evidence was found of communities’ motivation, investment and commitment to educate their children, for example donating land, raising funds for bursaries and increasing their workload to pay for school fees. In general, GEC projects have not found communities are opposed to the principle of girls’ education, but that their support interacts with other norms that can make it harder for girls to attend school and learn. In particular, there is a perceived (or actual) low return for the family as the investment is sometimes considered to be lost when girls get married.
There are several key considerations for practitioners and policy makers in light of the literature and GEC findings; projects implementing community interventions should target the most prevalent and relevant attitudes and behaviours rather than generic ones, and projects should be prepared to adapt activities where required, recognising that norms are affected by changes in context and power dynamics.
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