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It’s Global Action Week on Education, and today’s letter from the UK’s International Development Committee (IDC) to the Secretary of State for International Development couldn’t be more timely in underscoring the need for urgent investment in education, and highlighting the benefits of reaching the most marginalized, including girls, in particular. 

We have been particularly impressed by Camfed’s multidimensional, community-based approach to improving girls’ education in Tanzania, and hope lessons can be learned from this programme and transferred to other contexts.

Stephen Twigg MP, Chair of the International Development Committee

Camfed’s CEO Lucy Lake joined Professor Pauline Rose, Director of the Research for Equitable Access and Learning (REAL) Centre at the University of Cambridge, among other expert witnesses during the IDC’s enquiry on education, launched in July 2016. The IDC today published a letter to the Secretary of State in lieu of a final report, which was curtailed as a consequence of the upcoming election. In it the Committee says that education is central to development by improving life chances and health outcomes, helping to prevent conflict, increasing a nation’s human capital, and contributing to economic development.

Never has it been more important to deliver on girls’ education — as a human right, a matter of justice, and the best investment we can make for the economic development and stability of nations.

Fiona Mavhinga, Camfed alumnae (CAMA) leader

The IDC recently visited Camfed’s program in Tanzania. Funded by the Department for International Development (DfID) under the Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC), the Learner Guide Program there has achieved unprecedented learning outcomes among the most marginalized girls.  The IDC “welcome(d) the introduction of the Girls Education Challenge (GEC) as an innovative way of targeting interventions and funding towards girls that are hardest to reach” and held up Camfed’s approach as an example of what works.

The REAL Centre and Camfed are now analyzing the cost-effectiveness of Camfed’s model to inform the drive to leave no-one behind in achieving the Global Goals.

In her blog for Global Action Week for Education (GAWE), Camfed alumnae leader Fiona Mavhinga gives an insight into this model and Camfed’s approach, explaining why those once at the margins are the experts in breaking down the barriers girls face, and can do so most effectively.

Girls’ education: the best investment we can make

In her blog, Fiona explains how we unlock the rich potential in poor communities to deliver history-making change.

Read Fiona’s blog: We need global action on girls’ education — and here’s what works

Read the REAL Centre methodological note: Analysing cost-effectiveness in raising learning for marginalised girls

We know that Camfed’s programme in Tanzania to keep girls in school and learning is working. The REAL Centre is partnering with Camfed to assess the costs of reaching these girls. We hope that this work will inform Camfed’s own work, as well as support the global community in taking an equity lens to its understanding of ‘Value for Money,’

Professor Pauline Rose, Director of the REAL Centre.

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