The educational performance of adolescent girls remains hindered by several barriers including household food and nutrition insecurity, lack of access to menstrual hygiene products, inadequate girl and disability friendly WASH facilities in schools, overwhelming household chores, and social norms such as early marriage and teenage pregnancies. Given the increased vulnerability of adolescent girls due to the indirect effects of the COVID -19 pandemic, and closures of schools in Zimbabwe, there was a need to work towards reducing school dropouts among adolescent girls through complementarity social protection and hygiene promotion to minimize barriers that affect regular attendance at school. Evidence suggests that interventions that directly target and support adolescent girls reach their full potential by reducing barriers to their continued education and improve their life skills contribute significantly to human capital accumulation.
MDS was contracted to carry out a mixed methods Process Evaluation of the pilot project and its results. using mixed methods. Throughout the project, the MDS team worked closely with the implementing agency, CIZ, as well as the World Bank task team and government counterparts from the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare (MPSLSW), Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education (MOPSE) and Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement (MOA). The findings and lessons learned from the process evaluation were shared with Government of Zimbabwe, development and humanitarian partners to inform social protection policy and in particular, future BEAM programming. The process evaluation assessed the operational arrangements for layering support onto government programs (BEAM) across the project cycle including targeting, registration, payments activities (including methodology and efficiency of disbursements), monitoring and closure. The evaluation also examined key structures and networks required for collaboration with the various stakeholders involved, mainly GoZ officials in Buhera district, school administration, community leaders and other relevant community stakeholders. Simple, back-of-the-envelope assessments of cost efficiency and implications of the components and implementation arrangements (i.e. mobile money payments) were also carried out.
Results of the pilot were assessed, particularly its association with school enrollment, retention, attendance and performance. Results around use of cash transfers, IGA and awareness and use of WASH, gender and positive parenting concepts were also captured. MDS also surveyed the community’s response and views on the project, including beneficiary households, non-beneficiary households in BEAM schools, community leaders, local government officials and community workers, among others.