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The United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative Global Advisory Committee sets path to 2015 and beyond

©UNICEF/Uganda 2011/Sekandi?
Group photo of all participants to the UNGEI Global Action Committee meeting at the Kabira Country Club in Kampala

KAMPALA, Uganda, 11 May 2012 - The Global Advisory Committee (GAC) of the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI) today concluded a five-day meeting in Kampala. The meeting focused on a strategic review of the partnership in the lead-up to the Millennium Development Goals target date and following the recent formative evaluation of the partnership [PDF].

The meeting provided the GAC with an opportunity to work side by side with members of the national and district level partnership and to gain a greater understanding of the achievements and challenges faced at country level.

“The Ugandan government has taken great strides in the education of the girl child, which has seen many positive changes,” said Minister of State for Primary Education, Hon. Kamanda Bataringaya at the opening of the meeting. “However, while we have achieved gender parity at national level, the challenges around enrolment and retention of girls in rural areas remain a priority.”

The evaluation, commissioned by the GAC in 2010, was conducted ten years after the establishment of UNGEI and looked at the partnership at global and regional levels and four countries (Egypt, Nepal, Nigeria and Uganda). The purpose was to document achievements and challenges in the three UNGEI outcome areas: policy and advocacy for girls’ education and gender equality; good practice identification and dissemination; and an effective partnership.

Successful country-level initiative

The meeting included visits to the Ministry of Education and Sports, Makerere University and Uganda’s Girls’ Education Movement (GEM) to look at successful country-level initiatives.

“Today we met courageous and determined young people, who were standing up for themselves and taking actions to help girls return to school and stay in school,” said UNGEI GAC Co-Chair Nora Fyles from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) on the visit to GEM.

GEM in Uganda is a voluntary child-led movement of children and young people, whose motto is “Girls in the lead, Boys as allies while tapping the wisdom of Elders.”  It has been in operation since 2001, with a presence in 45 districts; just last year, it has helped over 5,000 children return to school and provided scholarships to 1,000 girls from underprivileged regions.

In GEM clubs, primary and secondary school children take part in a variety of activities such as mapping out-of-school girls, visiting communities and performing dance, music and drama to encourage community members to enrol and keep their children in school.

© UNICEF/Uganda 2010/Hofer
Minister of State for Pre-primary & Primary Education, Hon. Kamanda Bataringaya, talks with members of UNGEI GAC meeting after officially launched the meeting.

2015 and beyond
 “The evaluation has provided us with an opportunity to reflect on where UNGEI is and to think critically about strategic directions and interventions that would ensure we have a road map going further,” said UNGEI Co-Chair Nitya Rao from ASBAE at the conclusion of the meeting.

“The world is continually changing and it’s important to take time to reevaluate UNGEI to ensure we are leading the way in policy advocacy alongside identifying and sharing key strategies that work on the ground,” added Ms Rao. “We need at the same time to continue to work with other actors and partnerships like the Global Partnership for Education to ensure we are moving towards our goal, especially by targeting countries with the greatest disparities” 

Formative Evaluation of UNGEI: Main Findings and Selected Recommendations
Global Evaluation
Management Response to the Evaluation
EAP Evaluation
Egypt Evaluation - coming shortly
Nepal Evaluation - coming shortly
Nigeria Evaluation  - coming shortly
Uganda Evaluation


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