Project: Impact Evaluation of Girls’ Education in Zimbabwe

Across rural Zimbabwe, girls face unique challenges to success. Poverty, early marriage and pregnancy, and a range of other factors lead girls to be less likely than boys to complete higher levels of education. The Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC) is a Department for International Development program that aims to improve outcomes for girls in Zimbabwe and in 17 other countries around the world by funding girls’ education projects. IGATE (Improving Gender Attitudes, Transition and Education Outcomes) is a World Vision led initiative that uses this funding to encourage community development in ten of the poorest districts in rural Zimbabwe.

Limestone has been selected by World Vision and DFID to serve as the External Evaluator of the project for the baseline, midline, and endline impact evaluations for the second wave of the Girls Education Challenge (GEC-T) project in Zimbabwe. The work includes:

  • Designing the Monitoring and Evaluation strategy; 
  • Developing, calibrating, programming, and implementing qualitative and quantitative evaluation instruments;
  • Consulting on project implementation plans;
  • Overseeing data collection and monitoring data quality; 
  • Using qualitative and quantitative analysis methods to conduct a mixed-methods impact evaluation that included the use of innovative econometric and machine learning techniques. This will include Outcome Harvesting techniques for the endline evaluation to study the project’s impact since COVID-19.

Impact: Focusing on learning, transition, and sustainability outcomes, in addition to several intermediate outcomes, the team found qualitative and quantitative evidence that IGATE-T increased household and community support for girls education, while also leading to a significant improvement in essential foundational literacy skills. The team was able to further demonstrate that the project successfully improved transition rates for girls who were originally struggling most in literacy. 

Limestone is currently conducting the Endline evaluation for the IGATE-T evaluation, which will integrate traditional mixed-methods evaluation approaches with Outcome Harvesting to study the impact that the project has had on education outcomes since COVID-19 led to widespread school closures.

Clients / Partners

Timeline

2017-2019

Impact Evaluation: Baseline
  • Designing of a quasi experimental evaluation to address knowledge gaps
  • Designing a monitoring and evaluation framework in compliance with DFID GEC-T
  • Developing and piloting qualitative and quantitative data collection instruments and sampling frameworks
  • Training more than 80 enumerators for baseline data collection
  • Monitoring data quality
  • Analyzing data and developing baseline report

2019-2020

Impact Evaluation: Midline
  • Updating the project’s monitoring and evaluation framework and logframe in compliance with DFID GEC-T requirements
  • Training more than 80 enumerators for midline data collection, with teams specializing in both qualitative and quantitative data collection
  • Developing and piloting qualitative and quantitative data collection instruments and sampling frameworks
  • Monitoring data quality during data collection
  • Using econometric and machine learning methods to conduct an impact evaluation
  • Using the results of both qualitative and quantitative analysis to complete a mixed-methods evaluation of the program at midline, and make recommendations for program and evaluation design changes for endline

2021

Impact Evaluation: Endline
  • Updating the project’s monitoring and evaluation strategy using an integrated blend of Outcome Harvesting and mixed-methods approaches
  • Adapting the evaluation methodology to reflect the program’s response to COVID-19 and widespread school closures
  • Developing and piloting qualitative and quantitative data collection using inclusive and gender-sensitive approaches
  • Using econometric and machine learning methods to conduct an impact evaluation in combination with Outcome Harvesting and qualitative techniques to study emergent outcomes