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CAMFED's girls' education interventions in sub-Saharan Africa

children sit on a classroom floor looking up and smiling happily

Reaching marginalised secondary school girls through CAMFED’s programme in Tanzania

Project summary

At the Girls’ Education Forum in London in July 2016, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Cambridge announced the REAL Centre’s commitment to a partnership with CAMFED, a non-governmental organisation that aims to provide good quality education to marginalised girls. This commitment was 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.

CAMFED’s programme adopts a multi-dimensional approach that is aimed at reaching marginalised girls at risk of dropping out from secondary schools by using interventions that are aimed at both increasing their changes of staying in school and learning.

Drawing on quantitative data generated under FCDO’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 in particular. It assesses the potential for cost-effectively scaling a community-led approach to targeting support to marginalised girls to improve their retention and learning at secondary level.

Research team

Principal Investigator: Professor Pauline Rose

Co-Investigators: Dr Ben Alcott; Professor Ricardo Sabates

Research Associate: Dr Marcos Delprato

Research Assistants: Ms Lisa Walker; Dr Asma Zubairi


June 2016 – August 2017


Echnida Giving; FCDO Girls’ Education Challenge (via CAMFED)


Targeted and multidimensional approaches to overcome inequalities in secondary education for adolescent girls: The impact of the Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED) program in Tanzania and Zimbabwe
Rose, P., Sabates, R., Delprato, M. and Alcott, B. 2022
Comparative Education Review

Assessing cost-effectiveness with equity of a programme targeting marginalised girls in secondary schools in Tanzania
Sabates, R., Rose, P, Alcott, B. and Delprato, M. 2021 Journal of Development Effectiveness

Cost-effectiveness with equity: Raising learning for marginalised girls through Camfed’s programme in Tanzania
Sabates, R., Rose, P., Delprato, M. and Alcott, B. 2018
Research and Policy Paper No. 18/2

Analysing cost‐effectiveness of raising learning for marginalised girls through CAMFED’s programme
Delprato, M., Alcott, B., Rose, P. and Sabates, R. 2017
Methodological Note

‘A girl without education is nothing in the world. Education is everything'
Walsh, L. 2017
University of Cambridge Research Horizons 32

Targeted, multidimensional approaches to overcome inequalities in secondary education: Case study of CAMFED in Tanzania
Alcott, B., Rose P. and Sabates, R. 2016
Background paper for the Learning Generation, Education Commission


Working at the confluence of research and implementation to support girls’ education: Reflections on the REAL Centre – CAMFED partnership
Luisa Ciampi and Lilla Oliver, BAICE and CAMFED, 15 December 2022

Other media

Our journey to transforming education systems through youth-led innovations
CAMFED, 11 January 2023

Girls can be the catalyst for change in their communities - and new research in Tanzania will identify how
CAMFED, 3 October 2022

New research initiative to influence global policy and funding priorities to support girls’ education in sub-Saharan Africa
University of Cambridge Faculty of Education News, October 2021

Spill-over effects show hidden value of prioritising education of poorest children and marginalised girls
University of Cambridge Faculty of Education News, November 2020

University of Cambridge study: Girls’ education must be global priority
Camfed News, 2019

How effective is your donation? Research can help find the answers
University of Cambridge Alumni News

Girls’ Education Forum 2016: An equal right to education
Summary of Commitments

Further information

See CAMFED’s website: CAMFED