Girls' Education Challenge

  • F Funding Initiative/Portfolio

A Active

Key Information

The Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC) was launched by the UK’s Department for International Development in 2012 as a 12-year commitment to reach the most marginalized girls in the world and is the largest global fund dedicated to girls’ education. The UK is committed to ensuring millions of girls in some of the poorest countries, including girls who have disabilities or are at risk of being left behind, receive a quality education. Through the GEC, we aim to transform the lives of over one million of the world’s most marginalized girls through quality education and learning. Access to a good quality education and learning opportunities will empower these girls to secure a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.

Lead Implementing Organization(s)


South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa

Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Government Affiliation

Non-governmental program


2012 - 2025

Ministry Affiliation



Australian Embassy in Ethiopia: Direct Aid Program (DAP), Japan Embassy in Ethiopia: Foreign office fund, OCHA

COVID-19 Response


Geographic Scope

Global / regional

Areas of Work Back to Top

Education areas


  • Primary completion
  • Primary enrollment
  • Primary to secondary transition
  • Secondary completion
  • Secondary Enrollment

Other skills

  • Life skills/sexuality education
  • Rights/empowerment education
  • Social and emotional learning
  • Vocational training


  • School quality
  • School-related gender-based violence
  • School violence
  • Teacher training


  • Literacy
  • Numeracy

Cross-cutting areas

  • COVID-19 Response
  • Early/child marriage
  • Economic/livelihoods (including savings/financial inclusion, etc.)
  • Other aspects of sexual and reproductive health
  • Violence (at home, in relationships)
  • WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene)

Program participants

Target Audience(s)

Girls (both in school and out of school), Youth


6 - 21

School Enrolment Status

Some in school

School Level

  • Pre-school
  • Lower primary
  • Upper primary
  • Lower secondary
  • Upper secondary
  • Vocational

Other populations reached

  • Boys in school
  • Brothers
  • Community leaders
  • Mothers
  • Other community members - female
  • Other community members - male
  • Parent-teacher associations/school management committees
  • School administrators
  • Sisters
  • Teachers - female
  • Teachers - male

Participants include

  • Homeless/street children
  • Internal migrants (from other areas of the same country)
  • Orphans and vulnerable children
  • People with disabilities

Program Approaches Back to Top

Access to school

  • Alternative learning centers/mobile schools/home schools
  • Building roads
  • Expanding boarding opportunities
  • Improving transportation


  • Increased availability of learning materials

Educational Technology

  • Computer-assisted learning

Facilities construction/improvement

  • Construction/improvement of classrooms
  • Construction/improvement of electricity
  • Construction/improvement of schools

Life skills education

  • Gender, rights and power
  • Negotiation skills
  • Sexual and reproductive health (including puberty education)
  • Social and emotional learning (SEL) skills building

Mentoring/psychosocial support

  • Adult (non-teacher) mentors
  • Peer mentors
  • Teachers as mentors

Policy/legal environment

  • Advocating changes to existing laws/policies
  • Developing/promoting new laws/policies
  • Public-private partnerships
  • Raising awareness about existing laws/policies

Reducing economic barriers

  • Addressing cost of school supplies
  • Conditional cash transfers (including non-cash goods) to individuals/households
  • Scholarships/stipends for school fees
  • Unconditional cash transfers (including non-cash goods) to individuals/households
  • Vouchers/grants

School-related gender-based violence

  • Anti-violence policies and codes of conduct
  • Safe and welcoming schools

Social/gender norms change

  • Group activities with students or school-age children/adolescents
  • Work with community leaders
  • Work with religious leaders


  • In-service teacher training – gender-responsive pedagogy
  • In-service teacher training – pedagogy general
  • Teaching materials (e.g. lesson plans, curricula)

Tutoring/strengthening academic skills

  • Literacy - in the classroom
  • Literacy - outside the classroom
  • Numeracy - in the classroom
  • Numeracy - outside the classroom

Water and sanitation

  • Improved water access

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Program Goals Back to Top

Education goals

  • Improved academic skills (literacy and numeracy)
  • Improved critical thinking
  • Improved social and emotional learning/skills and mindsets
  • Increased enrolment in primary school
  • Increased grade attainment
  • Increased literacy
  • Increased numeracy
  • Increased primary school completion
  • Increased progression to secondary school
  • Increased re-enrolment in school among out-of-school children
  • Increased school completion (general)
  • Increased school enrolment (general)
  • Increased secondary school completion
  • Increased secondary school enrolment
  • Increased test scores
  • Increased years of schooling
  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Reduced grade repetition

Cross-cutting goals

  • Improved financial literacy and savings
  • Improved understanding of sexual harassment, coercion, and consent
  • Increased agency and empowerment
  • Increased knowledge of rights
  • More equitable gender attitudes and norms

Additional Information Back to Top

Primary Contact

Zelalem Mulugeta
Concern Worldwide
Education Program Coordinator