Girl-led insights: Tackling the barriers girls in Rwanda face in completing secondary education

UNICEF and Girl Effect have partnered in Rwanda to advance learning for adolescent girls and boys by tackling gender barriers to education. With the help of Girl Effect’s Technology Enabled Girl Ambassadors (TEGAs), the partnership has been able to uncover nuanced insights about the barriers girls face in completing secondary education so that we can design content that speaks to girls’ realities. 

TEGA is our girl-operated digital research tool, providing accurate, real-time insight into girls’ lives in hard-to-reach communities. TEGAs in Rwanda spent several months in 2018 interviewing both girls and boys across the country to inform us about the barriers girls face in completing secondary education. Girls’ views were uncovered on education, life aspirations, peer pressure and gender inequality.

Informed by these peer-to-peer TEGA insights, UNICEF and Girl Effect developed content that tackled the specific barriers to education raised by girls through Ni Nyampinga, Rwanda’s first multi-platform youth brand that uses media to inform and equip girls girls with the skills and confidence they need to thrive. By targeting specific issues related to girls’ education, UNICEF and Girl Effect were able to work towards shifting perceptions, raising awareness and inspiring girls to stay in school, perform well, and complete secondary education. 

Using TEGA, girls’ responses to the content were continually tested to ensure it was relevant and impactful. The good news is that this insight-driven test and learn approach worked - the Ni Nyampinga media articles and radio programmes that addressed themes informed by TEGA analysis were the most recalled by audience members. 

The positive results of the TEGA research for Ni Nyampinga contributes to UNICEF’s Gender, Adolescents and Learning Programme, which was launched in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Rwanda Education Board and civil society organisations, to improve learning and school retention for girls and boys. 

Organisations like UNICEF can make a meaningful change by listening to the voices of young women through research. By bringing previously unheard voices and perceptions to the forefront, we helped UNICEF to design its programmes to address specific issues raised by girls and their parents. Watch the video to hear more from Sara McGinty, Chief of Education at UNICEF Rwanda, as well as the TEGA researchers and interviewees themselves. 

Find out more about Ni Nyampinga and the impact it's having in Rwanda here

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Girl-led insights

Tackling the barriers girls in Rwanda face in completing secondary education with TEGA.