Evaluating Girl’s Education During Conflict

Currently there are 3.7. million children out of school in Afghanistan, with 60% of those being female. Girls continue to be among the most marginalized and vulnerable across the country, and a often the last in their household to be provided with livelihood and education opportunities. As a result of the protracted conflict, rigid and conservative socio-cultural norms and limited education facilities, girls continue to be denied education opportunities. 

As part of DFID’s Girls’ Education Challenge, programmes such as STAGES have been introduced to provide remote and marginalized girls with access to community based education opportunities. STAGES currently provides community based school for over 10,000 girls from grade 1 to grade 10 across the country. Furthermore, the project as provided employment and training opportunities to teachers, in an environment where teaching opportunities are scarce. 

Sayara has been working with the STAGES programme since 2014, conducting monitoring and verification activities of CBE classes in addition to implementing the baseline and midline evaluations for STAGES Phase 2 in 2017 and 2018. The baseline and midline evaluations were complex, multistage, mixed method longitudinal studies, following a random cohort of girls throughout their journey in the STAGES programme. The evaluation included a series of household surveys, girls life skill and leadership skill assessment, learning tests (EGRA / EGMA), school observation studies and teacher classroom participatory observations. The evaluation interviewed over 2400 girls, their male and female care givers and influential community leaders and teachers from targeted sites. 

Sayara’s findings contributed to a body of evidence on girls education internationally through the GEC and DFID. In addition, results provided STAGES implementing partners with a key set of recommendations to adjust their safeguarding approaches, areas of particular focus to improve learning outcomes, and overall body of evidence on barriers inhibiting girls access to school.