Interventions to Enhance Girls' Education and Gender Equality
The central research question that this review sets out to investigate concerns the kind of interventions that research evidence suggests can lead to an expansion and improvement in girls' education. It also considered evidence on the relationship between an expansion and improvement in girls' education and a deepening of gender equality. A Theory of Change (ToC) was developed for the review. This drew on the understanding that girls' education and gender equality are affected by processes within and beyond schools. It is therefore hypothesized that the development and implementation of interventions to improve girls' schooling and enhance gender equality are affected by aspects of context at local, national and global levels. These include the level or extent of a climate of support for girls' schooling, the existence of complementary legal and regulatory frameworks, and state capacity to implement policy and engage the widest range of stakeholders in inclusive dialogue.
The ToC distinguishes between three kinds of interventions, although it is acknowledged that sometimes a single intervention has overlapping concerns. These are:
- interventions which focus on resources and infrastructure
- interventions which focus on changing institutions
- interventions which focus on changing norms and including the most marginalized in education decision making.
It is hypothesized that, while each kind of intervention can have a positive impact on improving girls' participation in school, on the quality of education they receive, and on the extent to which that education is empowering to them, impact will be greatest when a combination of different kinds of interventions comes together, and when adequate attention is paid to the context within which they occur. The ToC has thus been developed as a multi-level model to enable an examination of the relationships between context, different forms of interventions, outputs relating to girls' education and broader gender equality outcomes.