The Girls' Education Challenge (GEC) will help up to a million of the world’s poorest girls improve their lives through education and to find better ways of getting girls in school and ensuring they receive a quality of education to transform their future.
The Girls’ Education (GEC) will help up to a million of the world’s poorest girls improve their lives through education. For detailed information on the GEC programme, see our development tracker. The initiative calls on non-governmental organisations (NGOs), charities and the private sector to find better ways of getting girls in school and ensuring they receive a quality of education to transform their future.
The GEC will support projects that are able to demonstrate new and effective ways to expand education opportunities to marginalised girls, and which can be robustly evaluated to widen their impact.
Girls’ Education Challenge – the portfolio of projects
There are 3 categories of GEC projects:
- Strategic Partnerships
- Step Change projects
- Innovation projects
1. Strategic Partnerships: investing in business innovation and partnership for girls’ education
Strategic Partnerships provide match-funding to private sector partners that explore new ways of improving learning opportunities for girls in remote and/or marginalised communities.
The first strategic partnership between the Department for International Development and Discovery Communications, home of the Discovery Channel, was announced on 11 October 2013. The Discovery Project is investing £12.3 million into girls’ education in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria, which will be match-funded by the Department for International Development. The non-profit Discovery Learning Alliance will be the initiative’s implementing partner. To get more girls in school and ensure quality education, the Discovery Project will reach over 1.2 million marginalised girls, and achieve a wider impact for boys and members of their families and communities in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria by:
- establishing 1,000 Learning Centres in schools, providing technology, exciting video programming, and training to 8,000 teachers on using media to improve teaching and learning, as well as implementing community outreach strategies
- collaborating with girls and experts to develop nationally broadcast television discussion shows where issues of gender can be woven into the public dialogue
- training and supporting communities on how to develop and their own action plans to address gender marginalisation issues including supporting self-formed girls clubs for in and out-of-school girls to encourage them to attend, stay and succeed in school
The second Partnership was announced on 7 March 2014. The Coca-Cola Company and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) have joined forces to bolster the educational and economic opportunities of more than 10,000 marginalised girls and young women in Nigeria.
Together, The Coca-Cola Company and DFID will invest nearly £7 million in an initiative known as ENGINE (Educating Nigerian Girls in New Enterprises). The investment comes as part of the UK Government’s Girls’ Education and The Coca-Cola Company’s 5by20 , which seeks to enable the economic empowerment of 5 million female entrepreneurs across the global Coca-Cola value chain by 2020.
ENGINE will establish over 170 learning spaces where girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 19 will meet for academic support and training sessions over a 9 month period. About 5,400 girls who are still in school will receive after school tutoring, as well as training to advance their leadership and entrepreneurship skills. Additionally, a vocational training programme focused on business and employment readiness will be offered to about 12,600 young women who are currently out of school.
2. Step change projects
Step Change projects are led by non-state organisations and aim to quickly and effectively expand education opportunities for 650,000 girls at primary and secondary level in 9 focus countries. They complement existing support to education and demonstrate sustainability beyond the life of the GEC.
In January 2013, 15 newwere awarded funding of up to £30 million to create education opportunities for some of the world’s most marginalised girls.
The projects will provide these girls with access to education, materials, safe spaces to learn and a ‘voice’. They will help to mobilise and build capacity within governments, communities and schools, training and mentoring teachers, governors and community leaders. There will also be an emphasis on innovation - encouraging new ways of delivering learning.
3. Innovation projects
These projects present significant innovation. These include technological innovations, developing new partnerships, adapting proven solutions for new geographies, communities or age groups, and engaging females in decision-making processes.
Almost £30 million of funding has been allocated toin 12 countries that will support marginalised girls to succeed in their education. This will be matched by a further £6 million (cash and in-kind) identified by the organisations themselves.
- GEC project information
- DFID pilots payment by results
- Discovery Strategic Partnership press release
- Coca Cola Strategic Partnership press release
- Centre for Education Innovations
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The GEC is managed by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in alliance with FHI 360, Nathan Associates Ltd. and Social Development Direct Ltd.
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