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Scaling a youth-led social support and mentorship program to improve education quality for marginalized girls in Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe

Substantial improvements in access to education in sub-Saharan Africa have not yet translated into improved learning and life outcomes for marginalized children, especially girls, in underserved communities. Efforts to address barriers to equitable, quality secondary education are failing to target the needs of marginalized girls, who need more holistic and tailored support to stay in school and learn.

This project will examine how the governments of Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe can adopt and sustainably scale core elements of the evidence-based, youth-led social support and mentorship program known as the Learner Guide program. It focuses on improving girls’ access to and retention in secondary education and equipping them with a broad set of life skills necessary to transition to productive, fulfilling livelihoods. In Tanzania, the project will examine the effectiveness of the program under government co-implementation and its impact on marginalized girls, as well as the factors that enable or impede its effectiveness. Drawing on the program’s participatory government partnership scaling experience in Tanzania, the project will investigate how this approach could be transferred and applied to Zambia and Zimbabwe in order to integrate the intervention into their government structures.

The project is part of the Knowledge and Innovation Exchange, a joint endeavour between IDRC and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) to strengthen national educational systems in GPE member countries.

Project ID
Project Status
27 months
IDRC Officer
Serhiy Kovalchuk
Total Funding
CA$ 1,193,900.00
Education and Science
Knowledge and Innovation Exchange Program
Institution Country
CAMFED Tanzania Limited