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DFID Girls' Education Challenge Fund (GEC)

GEC photo STAGES_Afghanistan_2013.jpg

SDDirect leads on providing gender, social inclusion and safeguarding expertise to DFID’s flagship Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC), the world’s largest global fund dedicated to girls’ education. Launched in 2012, the GEC aims to support over one million of the world’s poorest girls to enrol in school, learn and ensure they receive the best opportunities in life. Our partners in the fund management consortium are the lead contractor PwC and Nathan Associates.

DFID extended the GEC in 2017 to continue supporting existing beneficiaries as well as additional interventions focused on highly marginalised adolescent girls. The programme now operates in 17 countries, supporting 42 projects across Africa and Asia. These fall under the two funding windows: 

  • GEC Transition (GEC-T): These are existing projects supporting beneficiaries from the first phase of GEC to achieve learning outcomes and gain relevant skills to be able to transition to the next phase of education, training or into employment.
  • GEC Leave No Girl Behind (LNGB): These are new projects, launched in late 2018, to support 10 – 19 year old out-of-school girls who have never attended school or have dropped out without gaining basic education, and who require an intervention before they are able to resume education or begin work.

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

Our team work on different geographical areas and provide tailored technical advice, supporting projects through proposal stage with technical and safeguarding due diligence, logframes, MEL frameworks and Sustainability plans. Our team are also involved in reviewing evaluation reports, discussing technical self-assessments, conducting in-country monitoring visits. Our team includes Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) Managers, Safeguarding experts, in-country Portfolio Managers and specialist Monitoring Consultants. We also lead on a number of technical lesson learning areas across the programme, including:

  • marginalisation
  • violence against children and adults at risk
  • 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 MEL 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://girlseducationchallenge.org/#/

The programme started in 2012 and will end in 2025.

Photo credit: Aga Khan Foundation