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The State of the World's Children 2004

Special issues in girls' education

Gordon, D., et al., 'The Distribution of Child Poverty in the Developing World: Report to UNICEF', Centre for International Poverty Research, University of Bristol, Bristol, 2003.
Using a wide range of human development indicators, this report measures the extent and depth of child poverty in the developing world. The report defines absolute poverty as the deprivation of two or more basic human rights, including shelter, food, water, sanitation, health, information and education. Findings are presented from a survey that encompassed nearly 1.2 million children in 46 countries. The authors evaluate levels of child poverty by region, urban/rural location, and gender.

Herz, Barbara et al., 'Letting Girls Learn: Promising approaches in primary and secondary education', World Bank, Washington, D.C., 1991.
This paper explores the substantial economic and social returns on investment in women’s education. It examines the cost-effectiveness of special measures designed to improve girls’ attendance. The paper addresses policy makers’ concerns by presenting both the gains accrued from girls’ education and the constraints that keep them from enrolling. The authors evaluate and advocate for strategic reforms, particularly for projects involving the World Bank.

O’Gara, Chloe, et al., 'More, But Not Yet Better: An evaluation of USAID’s programs and policies to improve girls’ education', USAID Program and Operations Assessment Report no. 25, June 1999.
This report draws on research in eight countries and details of a comprehensive literature review to evaluate sustainable strategies for improving girls’ access to, and completion of, quality education. It carefully documents the gender discrimination that continues to plague educational systems in the developing world, and investigates ways in which boys are positively affected by efforts to improve girls’ education.

Rugh, Andrea, 'Multisectoral Approaches in Advancing Girls’ Education: Lessons learned in five SAGE countries', Academy for Educational Development, Washington, D.C., 2002.
Through case studies and evaluations of field experience, this report describes the multisectoral approach of the Strategies for Advancing Girls’ Education (SAGE) project of the United States Agency for International Development. The report focuses on the a
Agency’s call to involve non-traditional sectors, such as business, media, and religious communities, in efforts to advance girls’ education and its decision to use funding for the mobilization of sectoral partners rather than for the implementation of specific projects.

Tietjen, Karen, 'Multisectoral Support of Basic and Girls’ Education', Academy for Educational Development, Washington, D.C., 2000.
This study provides an overview of the ways in which business, religious and media sectors supported girls’ education in developing countries during the 1990s. The study assesses the historical relationship of each sector with girls’ education and offers examples of successful multisectoral and public-private partnerships. It concludes that while all three sectors have made significant contributions to basic education, these efforts must supplement rather than supplant public education.

United Nations Children’s Fund, 'Accelerating Action in Girls’ Education', UNICEF, New York, 2003.
This publication summarizes the thinking behind UNICEF’s support for girls’ education and outlines its strategy in 25 selected countries for accelerating progress towards meeting the goal of gender parity in primary and secondary education by 2005.

United Nations Children’s Fund, 'Defining Quality in Education', UNICEF, New York, 2000.
This working paper broadens the definition of ‘quality’ education and underscores education as a complex system that is embedded in a political, social and economic context. The authors explore the importance of healthy learners and learning environments, relevant and comprehensive curricula, child-centred teaching and outcomes that encompass knowledge, skills and attitudes. Gender sensitivity is included as a key element of quality education.

United Nations Children’s Fund, 'Quality Education For All: From a girl’s point of view', UNICEF, New York, 2002.
This booklet provides a brief summary of issues germane to girls’ education, including learning processes that support or undermine girls’ achievement, ways in which curricula can include or exclude girls and types of learning environments that enable girls to thrive. Peppered throughout the text are anecdotes from girls about their lives and the role education plays in them. The booklet also reviews the benefit of girls’ education to individuals, families and societies.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, 'The Challenge of Achieving Gender Parity in Basic Education: A statistical review', 1990-1998, UNESCO, Paris, 2002.
This report compares girls’ and boys’ experiences of primary and secondary education in developing countries through analyses of literacy rates and data on school access and participation. It notes that the quality of teaching staff is particularly important to girls’ success in school. Therefore it takes a close look at ratios of female teachers in schools and teachers who have received pedagogical training. The bulk of the report consists of statistical tables organized by country and educational indicator.

United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Sport for Development and Peace, 'Sport as a Tool for Development and Peace: Towards achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals', 2003.
This report analyzes the potential contribution of sport to healthy child development and to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. It includes a discussion of the ways in which participation in sport can help enhance girls’ leadership skills and their confidence in school.



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