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Evaluation report

2017 Nigeria: Impact Evaluation of UNICEF Nigeria Girls’ Education Project Phase 3 (GEP3) Cash Transfer Programme (CTP) in Niger and Sokoto States



Author: Capra International- Ghubril Lte

Executive summary

 With the aim to continuously improve transparency and use of evaluation, UNICEF Evaluation Office manages the "Global Evaluation Reports Oversight System (GEROS)". Within this system, an external independent company reviews and rates all evaluation reports. The quality rating scale for evaluation reports is as follows: “Highly Satisfactory”, “Satisfactory”, “Fair” or “Unsatisfactory”. You will find the link to the quality rating below, labelled as ‘Part 2’ of the report, and the executive feedback summary labelled as ‘Part 3’

Background:

Since May 2012, UNICEF has been implementing the multi-year Girls’ Education Project Phase 3 (GEP3), funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), which aims at contributing to improved social and economic opportunity for girls in northern Nigeria through increased enrolment, completion, and learning of girls in basic education. Through community based research, UNICEF identified poverty-related issues as the primary barriers that keep girls and boys out of school. To address these findings, a cash transfer component of GEP3 was designed and implemented in selected schools in Niger and Sokoto states aiming to increase girls’ enrolment and attendance; increase girls’ transition from primary school to junior secondary school; and reduce gender inequality through the provision of cash transfers to the female caregiver of girls, accompanied by a sensitization campaign educating caregivers about the importance of girls’ enrolment and attendance in school. These inputs contribute to a greater value being placed on girls’ education, an increase in household income, and to women controlling a greater share of this income. These, in turn, lead to increased expenditure on girls’ education, and increasing girls’ enrolment and retention rates in basic education. The cash transfer progamme was implemented through a significant and successful partnership between the State Governments of Niger and Sokoto, the Economic Policy Research Institute (EPRI), and UNICEF.
In collaboration with its development partners and the UK Department for International Development (DFID), UNICEF Nigeria commissioned this impact evaluation study to determine the effectiveness and impact of the cash transfer programme and to identify lessons learnt that could be applied to future

Purpose/Objective:

As the cash transfer programme for girls’ education in Niger and Sokoto has entered the second year of
implementation, there is a need to better understand how the program me has been implemented as well as what
impact it has had thus far.
This evaluation would also provide lessons not just for the government in terms of how to carry out such
programmes and how to expand it but also to UNICEF, DFID and other stakeholders in closing the knowledge gap
in in terms of what works, where in Nigeria, how and why? Also to identify the specific enabling and risk factors
associated with the Cash Transfer programme in Niger and Sokoto. As the Federal Government is thinking of
providing cash transfer to promote education, some of the lessons learned from this evaluation will also inform
into their programmes.
The evaluation will also provide an opportunity for UNICEF to provide information on its performance and thus
serve an accountability purpose.

Methodology:

The methodological approach to this impact assessment adopts a quasi-experimental research design. The quasi-experimental design is adopted because the Randomized Control Trial (RCT), though more scientific, is considered not feasible in this study. This is due to the fact that programme placement and participation decisions were already made prior to the design of the impact assessment, implying lack of randomization. Consequently, for the purpose of establishing the counterfactual and attribution in the intervention, the Propensity Score Matching (PSM) method and the Difference-in-Difference (DD) estimator are employed.
Propensity Score Matching selects CTP beneficiaries among GEP3 schools and also non-beneficiaries among GEP3 schools so that beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries are as similar as possible in terms of observable characteristics expected to affect programme participation as well as outcomes. DD is also appropriate for the Impact Assessment because it enables the analysis of data collected at two points in time. By measuring the value of cases on an independent variable and a dependent variable at different times, it can be determined whether variation in the independent variable precedes variation in the dependent variable.
An exploration of existing data on GEP3-CTP during the EA revealed that baseline data exist only for some of the identified variables for the impact assessment. As shown in Annex B (Table A1), baseline data exist for the following variables: school enrolment, school attendance, reasons for out of school children, demographic data on caregivers, teachers-pupil ratio, teachers' attendance, and gender distribution of teachers. Data on other indicators shown in Annex B (Table A1) were obtained through household and school surveys, Focus Group Discussions, and interviews of key informants in Niger and Sokoto States.

Findings and Conclusions:

The results of the evaluation are put in context of the programme’s five impact criteria: Impact and Effectiveness, Process, Efficiency, Relevance, and Sustainability.
The CTP had a positive impact on household consumption and welfare in Niger and Sokoto States. The CT intervention significantly increased the income of poor households, in the CTP communities of both states, allowing them to eat better quality food (higher protein content) more frequently. In Niger State, there was an increase of ₦1,742 in household average monthly expenditure on health. In Sokoto State there was an increase of ₦758.32 in household average monthly expenditure on health. Besides its positive impact on household welfare, the CTP promoted income-generating activities among caregivers in the CTP communities in the two states, and the household decision about sending girls to school was to a very large extent influenced by the cash transfer as well as CTP sensitization and mobilization activities at the community level in both states. The CTP however had a negative impact on some parents’ attitude to boys’ enrolment and attendance at school.
The CTP payment system was effective in providing the cash transfer to the correct recipient in Niger and Sokoto States. The payment system in Niger State was able to pay between 86 to 96.1 percent of the correct recipients.Niger State is keen on promoting educational development and the CTP is viewed by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and SUBEB as an important instrument of achieving the state policy objective of increasing girls’ enrolment in schools and improving women’s participation in social and economic development activities. The targets of the Sokoto Strategic Education Sector Plan are in line with the goal and objectives of the CTP. The Federal Government advocates inclusiveness in all dimensions and cash transfer has in recent years been a major development policy instrument.

Recommendations:

Recommendation 1:
Organise a national stakeholder dissemination workshop
Responsible Actor: UNICEF Chief of Education Section.
Collaborating actors: SUBEB, State Ministry of Education, UNICEF Chief of Social Policy Section; DFID Education Advisor
Recommendation 2:
Organise a stakeholder meeting for more proper planning of the sustainability and scale-up of the CTP in Niger and Sokoto States respectively Responsible Actor: State Ministry of Education
Collaborating actors: SUBEB, UNICEF Chief of Education Section; UNICEF Chief of Social Policy Section; DFID Education Advisor
Recommendation 3:
Execute high level advocacy for funding support for the improvement of the school physical infrastructure in CTP schools
Responsible Actor: UNICEF Chief of Education Section
Collaborating actors: UNICEF Chief of Social Policy Section, DFID Education Advisor,
SUBEB, LGEA, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economic Planning, Ministry of Education, SBMC.
Recommendation 4:
Garner funding support for the improvement of the school physical infrastructure in CTP schools
Responsible Actor: SUBEB
Collaborating actors: UNICEF Chief of Education Section; Social Policy Section, DFID Education Advisor,
LGEA, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economic Planning, Ministry of Education, SBMC.
Recommendation 5:
Recruit and deploy teachers ahead of the sustainability and scale up of the CTP in Niger and Sokoto States respectively.
Responsible Actor: SUBEB
Collaborating actors: Ministry of Education, LGEA, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economic Planning
Recommendation 6:
Strengthened the MIS infrastructure before the registration of beneficiaries commences for the scale-up of CTP in Niger and Sokoto States.
Responsible Actors: Director of Planning at the Ministry of Education
Collaborating actors: UNICEF Chief of M&E Section; UNICEF Chief of Education, SUBEB

Lessons Learned:

The two major aspects of the programme identified for modification are the unconditionality of the cash transfer and level of community participation in programme monitoring. It was repeatedly suggested by the project managers interviewed in the two states that conditionality would make the CTP more effective in achieving the twin objective of girls’ school enrolment as well as attendance. It was also suggested that the empowerment of the community level agents (e.g., SBMCs and MAs) to be more involved in programme monitoring would enhance programme performance especially with respect to school attendance.



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Report information

Year:
2017

Country:
Nigeria

Region:
WCAR

Type:
Evaluation

Theme:
Education

Partners:
the State Governments of Sokoto and Niger, for their commitment to this important social protection intervention; the Special Adviser on Social Protection Plan, the Office of the Vice-President, the Presidency, and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) for their unwavering support and sincere commitment to promoting the empowerment of Nigerian girls and women; and the Federal Ministry of Education and Ministry of Budget and National Planning.

Language:
English

Sequence:
2017/002

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