Making UNGEI Work: Lessons from Four African Countries

Evaluation report

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Publication Date: 2007
Author/Publisher: UNGEI
Language: English

Download: PDF

The United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI) was instituted by the Secretary General in 2000 to build on the work done by UNICEF under the African Girls’ Education Initiative (AGEI), which began in 1994 and was operational in 34 countries. Learning from the lessons of AGEI, it was envisaged that UNGEI would be broader and would comprise many partnerships with a shared interest in gender and education issues. Thus partners would concentrate on their specialized areas of work, but would highlight a gender perspective. Girls’ education would be utilized as a strategic way to bring in added value.

The four UNGEI programmes reported in this volume were in Burundi, Lesotho, Uganda and Zambia. The programmes shared some common features, whereas others were more specific to the national and local situation. Among the common elements across the four countries were a pro-“girls’ education” policy framework and the involvement of girls themselves, along with their parents and communities, in the education programmes.

There was an across the board emphasis on quality education, and material and physical facilities were provided. Governments and partners alike provided financial support. Advocacy played a large role. This contributed to the development of partnerships for girls’ education and ultimately the institutionalization of reforms. As described herein, these approaches make interesting reading – and provide many useful lessons for girls’ (and boys’) education initiatives anywhere.


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