Client name: UK Department for International Development (DFID)

Duration: 2012 – 2016

Location: Global

Coffey is evaluating DFID’s Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC) Fund, undertaking one of the biggest evaluations DFID has ever commissioned. The evaluation will look at the effectiveness, impact and value-for-money of the fund. 


The DFID Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC) Fund provides funding to projects that help overcome obstacles to girls enrolling in school, staying in school and learning.

The financed projects hope to enable approximately 600,000 marginalised girls to complete a full six year cycle of primary school, or approximately 1 million marginalised girls to complete three years of secondary school.

The GEC is split into three distinct funding windows that will fund a variety of programs at varying scales.

As the evaluation manager of the fund, Coffey is working across all three funding windows and with all funding grantees. This involves not only evaluating the fund as a whole but also providing monitoring and evaluation (M&E) support to grantees and quality assuring the data and evidence produced by all the projects’ independent evaluations. We are also helping fill a knowledge gap on what works and what does not in girls’ education in different contexts.


For the evaluation we are using data from both grantee-led research and from our own primary research:

Grantee-led research - To ensure that the data for the evaluation is robust, we are providing M&E support to all the grantees, helping them develop customised M&E approaches that best meet their particular project needs.

We are providing M&E support to:

  • 15 NGOs in 9 countries under the Step Change Window
  • 21 NGOs in 17 countries under the Innovation Window
  • 2+ partners under the Strategic Partnership Window

Our primary research - We are using a customised research approach to each of the funding windows. This research will complement the research undertaken at the project level, to ensure a consistent level of rigour across all projects and funding windows and to produce world-class data on the impact of girls’ education on girls’ chances in life.

Over the course of the evaluation we will carry out:

  • 1620 qualitative interviews
  • 15 case studies
  • 18,000 quantitative surveys
  • ethnographic thematic research in four countries


Enable improvements to funded projects - The evidence produced will help grantees make changes to their projects in real time to ensure that the projects are on track to deliver their required results and those of the program as a whole.

Influence wider change in girls’ education - The evidence produced will help influence changes in behaviour amongst grantees, policy-makers and other stakeholders to ensure that the benefits of the fund are sustained, replicated and scaled up, and that transformational change in girls’ education is realised.