In 2012, the Department for International Development (DFID) launched the £355 million Girls’ Education Challenge Fund (GEC), which intends to support up to a million of the world’s most marginalised girls to improve their lives through education. The GEC will provide this support through three separate funding windows: (1) the Step Change Window (SCW); (2) the Innovation Window (IW); and (3) the Strategic Partnerships Window (SPW).
The Strategic Partnerships Window (SPW) contributes to the same high level GEC outcomes of improving attendance in education and learning for marginalised girls. But it has a specific and distinct focus on achieving these outcomes by building strategic partnerships with the private sector. The SPW was designed to identify and develop partnerships with the private sector that combine the social and commercial business cases for delivering sustainable education outcomes for marginalised girls.
The first phase of the SPW was launched in October 2013. There are four SPW projects: (1) Coca-Cola Company’s Educating Nigerian Girls in New Enterprises (ENGINE) programme covering four states in Nigeria; (2) Discovery Communications’ Girls project working in schools in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya; (3) Avanti Communications’ i-Mlango project working across four counties in Kenya; and (4) Ericsson’s Connect to Learn project in Burma.