Somali Girls Education Promotion Project Transition (SOMGEP-T) Endline Evaluation

Publication Date: 01/03/2022

The Somali Girls’ Education Promotion Project – Transition (SOMGEP-T), funded by UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) and USAID, was implemented from 2017-2022 in rural and remote areas of Somaliland, Puntland, and Galmudug, reaching an estimated 20,000 girls and 10,000 boys directly and another 20,000 students through indirect benefits. The implementation of SOMGEP-T followed on the successes of SOMGEP (2013-17, funded by FCDO), with a particular focus on enhancing learning outcomes and transition rates for marginalised adolescent girls. SOMGEP-T was implemented by a consortium formed by CARE International, ADRA, local women’s rights network NAGAAD, and local non-governmental organisations HAVOYOCO (a youth-led committee) and TASS. The project’s activities were conducted in close collaboration with state- and national-level Ministries of Education, responding to priority areas identified in state and Federal-level sector development plans.
SOMGEP-T used a mixed-methods, quasi-experimental design for impact measurement. The endline evaluation sample included 69 primary schools, split between 37 intervention and 32 comparison schools. Additionally, a pre-post evaluation design was used to assess progress on accelerated education programming. Data collection took place in an additional 32 Alternative Learning Programme (ALP) centres and 35 Accelerated Basic Education (ABE) centres, which are located in the same communities as SOMGEP-T intervention schools. In total, the endline sample included 1,802 girls and their households, 965 of whom were re-contacted from the baseline and interviewed successfully. The endline data collection took place in December 2021.
A few key findings emerged from the learning analysis. Firstly, although improvements were observed in numeracy, Somali literacy, English literacy, and financial literacy amongst girls in intervention schools, these improvements were also simultaneously observed in girls in comparison schools. Secondly, learning improvements occurred largely within the first two years of the programme, prior to the ML2 evaluation – a finding which can largely be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting long-running school closures that occurred between the ML2 and endline evaluations.
At the endline, it became evident that SOMGEP-T had a much larger impact on learning among a few specific groups of ultra-marginalised girls, especially those marginalised along multiple overlapping axes, such as girls from relatively poor or pastoralist households who were out-of-school at the baseline, girls with physical disabilities, and the lowest-performing students at the baseline. For instance, girls from pastoralist households who were out-of-school at baseline gained an average of 10.8 percentage points in Somali literacy, over and above the comparison group. A similar, but less stark, pattern was observed in average numeracy scores (3.9 percentage points over and above the comparison group). In both cases gains among this subgroup were larger than among other out-of-school girls or pastoralist girls who were already in school when the programme started.

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