This rigorous literature review, commissioned by the Department for International Development (DfID), UK, focuses on 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.
The evidence reviewed indicates the importance of a mix of combined interventions which work to change institutions. Evidence suggests the following interventions:
- Resource interventions to support girls’ education (eg. conditional cash transfers or in-kind support) depend on careful targeting of students most unlikely to attend school. Complementary in-kind health interventions can enhance enrolment and may result in learning gains for girls and boys.
- Infra-structural interventions (eg.sanitation, school building) improve enrolment and potentially learning but more research is needed to show how.
- Interventions for institutional change require well trained teachers, gender equitable schools and administrators.
Interventions to shift gender norms are under-researched. Girls’ clubs, engaging faith communities, working with boys, and strategies to include marginalised women in decision-making appear promising.
An evidence brief of this review is also available to download.
This review is part of a series of DFID education rigorous literature reviews. Other reviews in this series include:
- The Impact of Tertiary Education on Development
- The role and impact of private schools in developing countries
- Literacy, Foundation Learning and Assessment in Developing Countries
- The Political Economy of Education Systems in Developing Countries
- Pedagogy, Curriculum, Teaching Practices and Teacher Education in Developing Countries
- What works to promote children’s educational access, quality of learning, and wellbeing in crisis-affected contexts?