This program was piloted with support from the Innovation for Education Fund, a partnership between the Governments of Rwanda and the UK, managed by Cambridge Education
The main aim of this project was to provide support for girls in lower secondary school to stay in school and continue to upper secondary school. A multi-pronged approach was developed to address the multiple challenges faced by girls that impact their attendance, retention and achievement in secondary school. This approach incorporated (1) school-based mentoring, (2) the establishment of girls’ clubs, (3) saving and loan activities with associated training in financial management, and (4) a community score card allowing girls to participate in decision making. The project was implemented in 30 schools in three districts of Southern Province and a total of 239 teachers and 6,178 girls were involved in KGAS activities.
1,617 individual girls were supported with one-on-one sessions by mentors during the project’s life (which represented 107.8% of the project target). 3,433 girls participated in saving and loans activities, exceeding the initial the target of 2,500 girls. The pilot achieved cumulative savings between January 2014 and March 2015 of 10,859,445 RFW (GBP 10,816) with an average saving of 3,165 RFW (GBP 3.1) per girl. In addition, those cumulative savings generated 1,323,615 RFW (GBP 1,318) of retained earnings (returns on savings) which represented 12.1% of savings. 231 girls’ clubs in the 30 pilot schools evaluated school services using the School Score Card and voiced their needs and rights. Girls selected the domains of scoring, developed indicators, met with schools authorities to evaluate the quality, accessibility and availability of services and developed action plans to address the issues raised.The project represents a new way of working in inclusive education by bringing together the distinct activities of saving and loans, score cards, girls’ clubs and mentoring as a holistic approach for addressing girls’ diverse challenges.
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ScaleTotal learners served30Schools use the program
- CARE will discuss with MINEDUC about the proposed package and the ownership and willingness of the Ministry to scale this innovation up within GoR frameworks
- Provide enhanced analysis and clarity about which costs should be borne by which stakeholder. If the Ministry needs to make funding available, the implications of this will have to be very clear. If external funding is required, a strategy for attracting donor funds will be needed.
- Clarify CARE’s future role and develop a clear strategy with MINEDUC as to how the GoR can lead with CARE providing support and capacity building for the Ministry at central and the intedrveecennttioranli.sed levels. MINEDUC can thus be prepared to take over the management of the entire package. The good news is that CARE has secured alternative scale-up funding to replicate the innovation project in the remaining Districts in Southern Province and this will help develop a joint approach with MINEDUC.
- This project is very closely linked with DFID strategic priorities and DFID may consider ways to support the sustainability of this intervention.
Monitoring & EvaluationYes
The quasi-experimental design involved control and treatment schools investigated at baseline and end-line. However, the choice of schools and high attrition rates complicated the analysis method. The prime indicator of outcome was the drop-out rate of girls, and also measures of their self-confidence and economic empowerment, and school environment in relation to girls’ learning and well-being. Qualitative and quantitative measures were used with school data on drop out and quantitative surveys for other measures, supported by semi-structured interviews.Student retentionDownloadNoDownloadDownloadYes
While KGAS did not show a significant impact on drop-out (other factors, such as policy change, impacted the results for dropout rates), the evaluation suggests significant changes in girls’ attitudes towards financial management. The girls who participated in KGAS had an 18% higher probability of spending on education and a 34% higher probability of saving than those who had not participated in the program (based on three different regression models). This is supported by
insightful interview data which suggests that the clubs helped girls by increasing their confidence and developing peer relationships, with some finding the mentoring process one where they could share personal problems.
As indicated above there were problems with the study in terms of samples that necessitated a variety of models of analysis to be examined to determine impact and consequently strong conclusions were difficult to make. The study was nevertheless conducted very professionally and suitably cautious conclusions drawn. Although the transparency was very high and a serious attempt was made to examine threats to validity and reliability, including the use of existing instruments with published details, there were still some unexamined validity issues with the survey measures. The modest conclusions are justified both from the design and instruments issues noted here.