skip to primary navigation skip to content


Girl in field

Camfed-REAL partnership: What works to promote girls’ secondary education

Project summary

At the Girls’ Education Forum in London in July, the Vice Chancellor of Cambridge announced the REAL Centre commitment to a partnership with Camfed – a commitment to analyse the true cost of supporting a marginalised girl through secondary school and improving her learning. This will provide a reference point for the global community, ensuring that no girl is left behind in the drive for quality education for all.
Drawing on data generated under DFID’s Girls’ Education Challenge together with data collected through qualitative fieldwork, the Camfed-REAL partnership intends to provide an evidence base on what works to support girls’ secondary education, with a focus on Tanzania and Zimbabwe in particular. The research will examine topics such as

  • the relationship between ‘attitudes’ (e.g. self-efficacy, engagement) and learning outcomes for marginalised girls;
  • the key association between school inputs, teacher quality and learning outcomes.
  • the cost of enabling a marginalised adolescent girl to progress through secondary school and improve her learning
  • the potential for cost-effectively scaling a community-led approach to targeting support to marginalised children so as to improve their retention and learning at secondary level
  • the extent to which Results Based Financing an appropriate mechanism for reinforcing accountability towards the improvement of learning outcomes
  • lessons for the design and use of an assessment tool for secondary-school aged children for accountability

Research team:
Principal Investigator: Professor Pauline Rose
Co-Investigators: Dr Ben Alcott; Dr Ricardo Sabates
Research Associate: Dr Marcos Delprato
Research Assistants: Ms Lisa Walker; Ms Asma Zubairi

Echnida Giving; DFID Girls’ Education Challenge (via Camfed)

June 2016 – August 2017

Alcott, B., Rose P., and Sabates, R. (2016) Targeted, Multidimensional Approaches to Overcome Inequalities in Secondary Education: Case Study of Camfed in Tanzania. Background paper for the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity

Analysing cost‐effectiveness of raising learning for marginalised girls through Camfed’s programme: A methodological note.

Blogs and media:

'A girl without education in nothing in the world'. University of Cambridge Research Horizons. February 2017

Girls’ Education Forum 2016: Summary of Commitments

real logo

Mailing list



What does the African Education Research Database te...

4 December 2017

A new blog written by REAL Centre members Dr Rafael ...

World Innovation Summit For Education - Nidhi Singal...

28 November 2017

Members of the REAL Centre, Nidhi Singal and Hannah ...

Supporting learner diversity in government schools i...

28 November 2017

A blog was written by Matt Somerville, former REAL C...