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Evaluation report

2014 NEP: Evaluation of Let Us Learn Nepal: After-School Programme for Girls and Girls Access to Education Programme



Author: Edmond Gaible, PhD

Executive summary

With the aim to continuously improve transparency and use of evaluation, UNICEF Evaluation Office manages the "Global Evaluation Reports Oversight System". Within this system, an external independent company reviews and rates all evaluation reports. Please ensure that you check the quality of this evaluation report, whether it is “Outstanding, Best practice”, “Highly Satisfactory”, “Mostly Satisfactory” or “Unsatisfactory” before using it. You will find the link to the quality rating below, labelled as ‘Part 2’ of the report.

Background:

This report examines two Let Us Learn (LUL)-funded programmes in Nepal: Girls Access to Education (GATE), launched in 2011 in Saptari District, and After-school Programme for girls (ASP), launched in 2012 in Parsa District.
The GATE programme is designed to engage out-of-school girls 10-18 years-old to participate in community-based, non-formal education (NFE), thereby building literacy and numeracy skills, improving their knowledge and practice of hygiene and coping with risks of early marriage, trafficking and other potentially harmful practices. GATE in Saptari District has had over 2,100 participants since 2011, with approximately 47 percent of participants mainstreamed into government schools.
ASP comprises a “basket” of inter-related approaches to improving conditions for and increasing the enjoyment of adolescent girls in school, including sports clubs, homework clubs, and instruction in menstrual hygiene for girls in classes 6, 7 and 8, with all three of these approaches implemented at ten programme schools.
These programmes reflect LUL’s commitment to increasing equity in education through focus on its three equity pillars—reaching out-of-school children (OOSC); expanding girls’ education; and, improving the education quality for learners—and its three themes—equity, education quality and innovation. GATE and ASP focus on adolescent girls in the Terai region, with implementation of ASP in the mid-Western Region launching in 2014. Data is incomplete, however per the government estimate girls make up 54-57 percent of OOSC of primary-school age, with dropout rates among girls increasing at the lower-secondary level.

Purpose/Objective:

• To determine the extent to which GATE and ASP are relevant as designed to the needs and interests of adolescent girls, out-of-school and enrolled, respectively
• To determine the effectiveness with which GATE and ASP as implemented achieve their objectives
• To analyze issues and factors influencing the potential sustainability and scalability (or replicability) of GATE and ASP in their districts and elsewhere in Nepal
• To assess the internal and external coherence of GATE and ASP in terms of the needs of UNICEF programming

Methodology:

The evaluation is primarily qualitative, with information collection involving interviews and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) at six GATE centers out of 100 in Saptari District and at eight lower-secondary schools out of ten in Parsa District, plus interviews and FGDs in those districts with UNICEF field personnel and with government and other stakeholders and in Kathmandu with Nepal Country Office and Ministry of Education (MOE) personnel.
This evaluation is part of a global self-evaluation of LUL in four countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Madagascar and Nepal). Each national evaluation focuses on programmes selected in collaboration with respective COs, and uses mixed-method approach focusing on qualitative processes in the field.
GATE and ASP were assessed primarily in relation to three evaluative criteria: relevance, effectiveness and sustainability. This self-evaluation is formative and qualitative, based primarily on responses from beneficiaries and stakeholders.

Findings and Conclusions:

Relevance: Both programmes are relevant to the needs and priorities of beneficiaries. ASP directly addresses barriers to regular attendance by adolescent girls, including lack of friends, play and social capital, incomplete homework, and the onset of menstruation. GATE addresses barriers to girls’ school attendance via compressed and flexible classes, advocacy, and child-friendly pedagogies.
Effectiveness: Both programmes are effective in meeting objectives; their effectiveness, should be improved.
GATE objectives: to improve literacy, numeracy & life-skills among out-of-school (OOS) girls; to facilitate mainstreaming of OOS girls into formal education; improve the prospective social and economic well-being of OOS girls participating in the programme.
ASP objective: to increase the regularity of school attendance among at-risk girls enrolled in Classes 6, 7 & 8.
ASP is effective in increasing regular attendance of school. Although ASP achieves its objective in part by engaging girls in homework club that activity does not link to improved learning and participants are not at risk or disadvantaged.
GATE effectively provides literacy, numeracy & life-skills to OOS girls; 47 percent of girls are mainstreamed into government schools. Participants request additional instruction, including Technical and Vocational Education and Training.
Sustainability: Both programmes correspond to Government of Nepal (GoN) priorities and feature low unit costs.
ASP Monitoring & accountability are not well implemented and should be addressed in any replications in other districts. 
GATE is cost effective. Questions on the programme strategy & GoN participation undercut its sustainability: GATE enables girls to work AND access education. As an enjoyable instantiation of learning, GATE highlights inadequacies of formal-education (FE). Additionally, mainstreaming of girls over 14 (about 42 %) into FE is not feasible due to lack of sufficient skills gained through GATE. 

Recommendations:

Recommendations are presented in order of priority.
ASP. Recommendations for ASP center on a needed redesign of pilot activities, and include:
• Plan a redesigned pilot phase.
• Reconfigure HWC and introduce activities to support improved education quality.
• Provide orientation for principals.
• Increase focus on schools in disadvantaged Village Development Committees (VDCs) and on at-risk girls.
• Redesign the ASP monitoring framework.
• Reinforce and reconfigure partnerships.
GATE. Recommendations for GATE encompass implementation, but primarily address strategy in relation to sustainability, and include:
• Develop a comprehensive GATE strategy for the Terai Region, especially in relation to design-related issues such as mainstreaming, TVET, child labor, age range of participants, etc.
• Develop a comprehensive strategy for replication of GATE outside of the Terai Region.



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Report information

Year:
2014

Country:
Nepal

Region:
ROSA

Theme:
Education

Type:
Evaluation

Language:
English

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