Why data is so important to educating girls in sub-Saharan Africa
Technology, and the infrastructure that allows it to be used across the globe, is often taken for granted.
But in sub-Saharan Africa, technology and connectivity are not always easy to locate, purchase or use. And yet, technology can be an important tool in closing the huge gaps in education that exist in some of its most remote rural communities.
In this article, Will Fenton of PC Magazine speaks with CAMFED USA Director, Brooke Hutchinson about our unique and effective use of technology and data helping to bring quality education to girls who need it most. The article highlights the importance that CAMFED’s partnerships, from families to alumni to ministries of education, play in maximizing success and tracking progress.
According to the author, CAMFED’s model is based on relationships strengthened by an inclusive bottom-up approach. Fenton points out, “By collecting data about students, mentors, and alumni, CAMFED isn’t just improving its own accountability; it’s collecting data that helps teachers track student progress, partners deploy resources, and governments devise better educational policy.”
To further describe CAMFED’s scalable approach, Fenton states, “CAMFED’s success—and that of hundreds of thousands of young women in sub-Saharan Africa—hinges not on its capacity to circumvent or disrupt institutions, but to work with them and through them to achieve its goals. Technology plays an important role in that process. However, it is the union of technology with a deference to, respect for, and collaboration with existing institutions that has enabled CAMFED to achieve its considerable ends.”
In communities constrained by poverty and limited technological resources, the convergence of excellent partnerships, sound educational practices and effective use of appropriate technology is making a critical impact on the quality of education for young girls.