The GESS project aims to increase enrolment, retention and levels achievement for girls in South Sudan. This review finds good progress on all three outputs. The continuing insecurity in the three Greater Upper Nile States has clearly impacted project progress, and a programme level Interim Strategy has been put in place to ensure GESS is able to deliver in these states. Overall progress has been generally at or above expectations in remaining states.
GESS has very strong ownership by both National and State governments. A significant achievement of the programme has been the gradual funding of all Capitation Grants by the Government of the Republic of South Sudan (GRSS).
GESS is strongly placed to support and influence other major programmes. Its key advantages are its specific focus on girls, its national coverage with presence in all states and its engagement across a number of key sectoral areas. Close engagement with other Development Partners (e.g. through technical working groups, scoping and design activities, monitoring and review processes and dissemination of its knowledge, research and evidence work) provides entry points for GESS to ensure efforts and resources fully take into account the education of girls, both outside and inside school.
The major achievements of GESS over the past year have been:
- Rolling out the community awareness and mobilisation programme, reaching almost one million people through the radio broadcasts and over five hundred schools through the community mobilisation programme.
- Currently completing the process of reaching over 67,000 girls with Cash Transfers of 125 South Sudanese pounds.
- Almost all of 2,718 primary schools and 204 secondary schools approved in 2014 have now received the first tranche (50%) of their Capitation Grant.
- Distributing the School Governance Toolkit to 3,225 schools and providing one-day briefing/ training for 2,143 schools.
- Completing four major studies and the first Learning Assessment survey as part of establishing programme Baselines.