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Girls Education Challenge evaluation

A young Rohingya refugee girl, Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh

Girls' Education Challenge evaluation

Project summary

The Girls’ Education Challenge was launched by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) in 2012 as a 12 year commitment to reach the most marginalised girls in the world and is the largest global fund dedicated to girls’ education. The Girls’ Education Challenge aims to transform the lives of over one million of the world’s most marginalised girls through quality education and learning. Access to a good quality education and learning opportunities is expected to empower these girls to secure a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.

The current second phase of the programme comprises of two types of projects:

  • A Girls’ transition window (GEC-T) to continue funding successful GEC Phase I projects and ensure that one million marginalised girls transition successfully from primary education into secondary education, further education, vocational education or training. This window comprises of 27 projects (selected from 37 GEC Phase I) located in 14 countries.
  • A Leave no girl behind window (LNGB) to fund 14 targeted ‘catch up’ projects for up to 500,000 highly marginalised girls in 10 countries.

These projects are being implemented by a range of organisations across 17 countries: Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The Independent Evaluation is led by Tetra Tech, with the consortium including the REAL Centre and Fab Inc, amongst others. The Evaluation will conduct approximately eight standalone research or evaluation studies. This includes primary qualitative research combined with quantitative analysis of existing project evaluation data.

The evaluation is also responsible for commissioning and managing research under Rapid Research and Learning Fund on behalf of the FCDO, which aims to answer specific research questions related to girls’ education in countries included in the GEC via shorter term research projects.

Research team

REAL Centre team:

Technical Director: Pauline Rose

Senior Research Lead: Phoebe Downing

Disability and Social Inclusion Expert: Nidhi Singal

School Governance and Management Expert: Ricardo Sabates

External partners: Simon Griffiths (Programme Director, Tetra Tech), Janki Rajpura (Programme Manager, Tetra Tech), Monazza Aslam (Team Leader), Shenila Rawal (Deputy Team Leader), Maria Jose Ogando Portela (Synthesis Lead, Fab Inc), Paul Atherton (Evaluation Studies Lead, Fab Inc), Sophie Amili (Lead Qualitative Analyst, Tetra Tech), Paola Pereznieto (Rapid Research Fund Manager), Julia Midland (Field Research Manager).


February 2020 - June 2025


The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC).


Independent Evaluation of the Girls' Education Challenge Phase II - Teachers and Teaching for Marginalised Girls Rose, P., Aslam A., Downing, P., Gupta, R., Law, B., Ogando Portela, M-J., Rawal, S. and Stewart, K. 2022
Full Report
News Article (PDF version)

Girls’ Education Challenge research feasibility study
Aslam, M., Gordon, R., Rawal, S., Rose, P. and Watson J. 2020
Full Report


Adapting interventions to strengthen teaching quality during the COVID-19 pandemic: Experience of the Girls’ Education Challenge in Afghanistan, Ghana, and Sierra Leone
Monazza Aslam, Phoebe Downing, Romanishi Gupta, Shenila Rawal, Pauline Rose and Katie Stewart, UKFIET, 5 October 2021


85% of teachers in the Global South provided extra care for girls in education Open Access Government, 7 February 2022

Teachers leading global drive to improve girls’ education became frontline workers during COVID-19 closures University of Cambridge Research News, 4 February 2022
Faculty of Education News, 4 February 2022

Teachers leading global drive to improve girls’ education took on ‘humanitarian role’ during COVID-19 closures African Eye Report, 4 February 2022
Phys.Org, 4 February 2022
EurekAlert! 3 February 2022

Further Information

See Girls’ Education Challenge website: Girls’ Education Challenge