Our Work

Delivering excellence in social development consultancy and research

DFID Girls' Education Challenge Fund (GEC)

GEC photo STAGES_Afghanistan_2013.jpg

SDDirect leads on providing gender and social inclusion expertise to DFID’s flagship Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC), the largest international fund supporting up to 1 million marginalised girls to enrol in school, stay in education and learn. Our partners in the fund management consortium are the lead contractor PwC, Nathan Associates and FHI 360.

The GEC is a £300m programme that funds 37 projects in 18 countries across sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. These projects include an Innovation Window (small-scale pilots testing new models), Step Change Window (large-scale projects rolling out and scaling up proven approaches) and Strategic Partnerships with the private sector to explore new ways of supporting girls in education.

Countries covered by our team include Afghanistan, Burma, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Our team of Social Development Advisers work on different geographical areas and provide tailored social development advice to the 37 projects, supporting them from the proposal stage through baseline and midline evaluations and conducting in-country annual reviews. Our team also includes Education Advisers, Project Managers and in-country Monitors and Coordinators.

We provide technical advice to projects and lead on a number of technical lesson learning areas across the programme, including:

  • marginalisation
  • violence against children
  • self-esteem and empowerment
  • community attitudes and behaviours
  • disability
  • extra-curricular activities
  • school management

We have played a key role in developing the GEC’s approach to monitoring, advising on the development of M&E frameworks, log frames, and baseline and midline studies, with a particular focus on theory of change, qualitative research, and M&E for learning.

For further detail on the GEC programme, visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/girls-education-challenge.

The programme started in 2012 and will end in 2017.

Photo credit: Aga Khan Foundation