The Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC) was launched by the legacy Department for International Development (DFID) – now the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) – in 2012, as a 12-year commitment to reach the most marginalised girls in the world. It is the largest global fund dedicated to girls’ education. The UK is committed to ensuring millions of girls in some of the poorest countries, including girls who have disabilities or are at risk of being left behind, receive a quality education. Through the GEC, we aim to transform the lives of over one million of the world’s most marginalised girls through quality education and learning. Access to a good quality education and learning opportunities will empower these girls to secure a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.
The first phase of the GEC (2012 - 2017) directly provided quality education for over a million marginalised girls.
The GEC is now in its second phase (2017-2025) which is enabling existing GEC beneficiary girls to complete primary school, transition to secondary education, and progress on to technical vocational training or employment.
Within the second phase, a second cohort of girls are also being supported through the Leave No Girl Behind funding window, which consists of interventions for highly marginalised, adolescent girls who are out of school - either because they have never attended school or have dropped out without gaining a basic education. The Leave No Girl Behind will support essential interventions to provide literacy, numeracy and skills relevant for life and work. Projects will help tackle harmful social and gender norms that contribute to girls being out of school. They will address complex circumstantial barriers that have led to these high levels or marginalisation which include; girls with disabilities, orphaned girls, child brides, young mothers, nomadic girls, refugees, victims of gender-based violence and modern-day slavery, and girls living in extreme poverty.
These projects were selected through an open, robust and transparent process. They were assessed for their ability to implement innovative, effective and sustainable ways to increase girls’ enrolment in, and completion of, school, and to provide them with a good quality education.
Some projects have now completed their activities. Others will continue to close over the coming months. This is indicated on the relevant project pages. Final reflections and evaluations – in the form of reports and blogs – can also be found on these pages.
The Girls’ Education Challenge is managed on behalf of the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) by PwC and Cambridge Education, in alliance with Social Development Direct, Nathan Associates and Shan Globe.
For the FCDO’s programme-level information, please see the Development Tracker. You can also access the papers on the FCDO's approach to Value for Money and Payment by Results.
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