THE PUGGLE
SHARING WITH OTHERS TO MAKE
FASTER PROGRESS FOR ALL
Out in the bush, you’ll have to go into the pouch of a mama echidna to pet her baby puggle. Our Puggle is easier to find, showing up every month to share what we’re learning about emerging issues in girls’ education. Other posts provide our analysis of recent research and events and feature stories from our grantees. Explore more below, including a link to our resource library.

The Puggle: March 2019 edition

Dana Schmidt | April 5, 2019

How did you mark International Women’s Day this month? Did you bemoan outrageous stats about gender inequality? Did you celebrate recent gender policy wins? Or the impressive progress on girls’ education that we’ve seen over the last 50 years? Maybe you said thank you to the important women who have shaped your own life. At Echidna Giving, we are grateful for the incredible work all of you do to dampen inequality and fight for more wins for girls’ education. We got to savor our gratitude while watching this video about the Echidna Global Scholars.

David Evans and Fei Yuan came out with a working paper documenting the potential for improving girls’ education through interventions that target girls and boys. Having examined 274 education interventions to determine how big of an impact they have on girls’ access and schooling, they discover that girls benefit just as much from general interventions that target both girls and boys as they do from girl-targeted interventions. Evans and Yuan’s blog about this paper neatly summarizes the results. We took away three big lessons:

  1. This is great news. It means girls benefit when education systems improve for everyone. It means advocates for girls’ education have an arsenal of effective interventions for improving girls’ learning to draw from that extends beyond interventions targeting only girls.
  2. This study should have been easier to complete. Two-thirds of the papers considered by the authors had not reported results disaggregated by gender. Unless we do better on this front, we will not know whether or not girls benefit from general interventions and by how much.
  3. We need to better understand and document the elements that should be baked into general interventions to ensure that girls maximally benefit. If you can point us to strong evidence on this, please comment below!
The programs that help the girls the most are not always the programs that target girls.

 

In addition to his own paper, David Evans also catalogues other research presented at the Center for the Study of African Economies 2019 Conference. We were especially interested in the following papers:

  • Mentorship, girls’ groups, and socio-emotional training for adolescent girls in Liberia led to ↑ primary school completion and ↑ transition to secondary school.” Girls also improved their relationships with parents and peers. It seems that impacts were especially strong for girls aged 12-13, meaning interventions focused on social and emotional skills might be especially effective as girls hit puberty. (Koroknay-Palicz & Montalvao)
  • “In Kenya, boys outperform girls in primary school mathematics. Ng’ang’a’s work suggests that the problem may not be that girls have access to few resources but rather that they get a lower return on the resources they do have access to.”
  • “Increases in urbanization and women’s education are associated with decreases in husband’s dominance in decision-making,” based on data from 28 African countries. Furthermore, women have more say in decisions when they are surrounded by women with higher education, “which indicates that diffusion of norms related to decision-making may occur through female education.” (Andriano, Behrman, & Monden)
  • “In upper secondary school in India, ‘girls are 20 percentage points less likely than boys to study in technical streams’ like science & commerce (even after you control for test scores),” which, in turn, leads them to lower income earnings. (Sahoo & Klasen)

Apropos of gaps in income earnings, recent research by former Echidna Global Scholar Dileni Gunewardena and Echidna Giving advisor Elizabeth King finds that Schooling and skills reduce gender wage gaps—but not completely.”The results make a compelling argument for more effective investments that improve learning and education opportunities for girls…[A]lthough both men and women benefit from enhanced cognitive and noncognitive skills, the expected gains to women from skill acquisition may not be fully realized without policies that address gender disparities in earnings structures.”

Finally, a favorites list:

  • Want something fun to watch? Add The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind to your Netflix queue!
  • Want something fun to read? Pick up a copy of Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez!
  • Want something fun to listen to? Hear our very own Erin Ganju interviewed on the Women Worldwide podcast with Deirdre Breakenridge!
  • Want something fun to do? If you’re headed to CIES later this month, stop by Booth 51 to test The Girls’ Education Ecosystem Map. The map is a global effort to document and share ongoing work in girls’ education that will be open access, searchable, sortable, and downloadable. Check out the beta Map, make sure you are included, and give feedback to the Population Council team!
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      In case you missed it, on October 11 the world celebrated

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      It turns out September was a busy month for

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  • The Puggle: March 2019 edition

    Dana Schmidt | April 5, 2019

    How did you mark International Women’s Day this month? Did you bemoan outrageous stats about gender inequality? Did you celebrate recent gender policy wins? Or the impressive progress on girls’ education that we’ve seen over the last 50 years? Maybe you said thank you to the important women who have shaped your own life. At Echidna Giving, we are grateful for the incredible work all of you do to dampen inequality and fight for more wins for girls’ education. We got to savor our gratitude while watching this video about the Echidna Global Scholars.

    David Evans and Fei Yuan came out with a working paper documenting the potential for improving girls’ education through interventions that target girls and boys. Having examined 274 education interventions to determine how big of an impact they have on girls’ access and schooling, they discover that girls benefit just as much from general interventions that target both girls and boys as they do from girl-targeted interventions. Evans and Yuan’s blog about this paper neatly summarizes the results. We took away three big lessons:

    1. This is great news. It means girls benefit when education systems improve for everyone. It means advocates for girls’ education have an arsenal of effective interventions for improving girls’ learning to draw from that extends beyond interventions targeting only girls.
    2. This study should have been easier to complete. Two-thirds of the papers considered by the authors had not reported results disaggregated by gender. Unless we do better on this front, we will not know whether or not girls benefit from general interventions and by how much.
    3. We need to better understand and document the elements that should be baked into general interventions to ensure that girls maximally benefit. If you can point us to strong evidence on this, please comment below!
    The programs that help the girls the most are not always the programs that target girls.

     

    In addition to his own paper, David Evans also catalogues other research presented at the Center for the Study of African Economies 2019 Conference. We were especially interested in the following papers:

    • Mentorship, girls’ groups, and socio-emotional training for adolescent girls in Liberia led to ↑ primary school completion and ↑ transition to secondary school.” Girls also improved their relationships with parents and peers. It seems that impacts were especially strong for girls aged 12-13, meaning interventions focused on social and emotional skills might be especially effective as girls hit puberty. (Koroknay-Palicz & Montalvao)
    • “In Kenya, boys outperform girls in primary school mathematics. Ng’ang’a’s work suggests that the problem may not be that girls have access to few resources but rather that they get a lower return on the resources they do have access to.”
    • “Increases in urbanization and women’s education are associated with decreases in husband’s dominance in decision-making,” based on data from 28 African countries. Furthermore, women have more say in decisions when they are surrounded by women with higher education, “which indicates that diffusion of norms related to decision-making may occur through female education.” (Andriano, Behrman, & Monden)
    • “In upper secondary school in India, ‘girls are 20 percentage points less likely than boys to study in technical streams’ like science & commerce (even after you control for test scores),” which, in turn, leads them to lower income earnings. (Sahoo & Klasen)

    Apropos of gaps in income earnings, recent research by former Echidna Global Scholar Dileni Gunewardena and Echidna Giving advisor Elizabeth King finds that Schooling and skills reduce gender wage gaps—but not completely.”The results make a compelling argument for more effective investments that improve learning and education opportunities for girls…[A]lthough both men and women benefit from enhanced cognitive and noncognitive skills, the expected gains to women from skill acquisition may not be fully realized without policies that address gender disparities in earnings structures.”

    Finally, a favorites list:

    • Want something fun to watch? Add The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind to your Netflix queue!
    • Want something fun to read? Pick up a copy of Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez!
    • Want something fun to listen to? Hear our very own Erin Ganju interviewed on the Women Worldwide podcast with Deirdre Breakenridge!
    • Want something fun to do? If you’re headed to CIES later this month, stop by Booth 51 to test The Girls’ Education Ecosystem Map. The map is a global effort to document and share ongoing work in girls’ education that will be open access, searchable, sortable, and downloadable. Check out the beta Map, make sure you are included, and give feedback to the Population Council team!
  • Recent posts

    • MARCH

    • FEBRUARY

    • JANUARY

      Ed quality in 3 charts, a new teacher observation tool,

    Load Older Posts

    Older posts

    • DECEMBER

      In 2019, our team will spend considerable time and effort

    • DECEMBER

      2018 Is A (W)rap

    • NOVEMBER

      What's social and emotional learning got to do with it?

    • OCTOBER

      Obama's Global Girls Alliance, The Human Campital Index, and India's

    • SEPTEMBER

      Three themes on girls' education from UNGA

    • AUGUST

      Before we get to our usual Puggle updates, we have

    • JULY

      We’re at the peak of vacation season in the Northern

    • JUNE

      The G7 summit in Canada in early June catalyzed a $3

    • MAY

      This month we’re diving deep on a topic related to

    • APRIL

      April marked the first full month of a new season

    • MARCH

      In this update from March, we celebrate the march of progress

    • FEBRUARY

      This month brought encouraging news on aid to education.

    • JANUARY

      This month, champions spoke up for girls: Oprah made a rousing

    • DECEMBER

      This month we are keeping it short and sweet. In

    • NOVEMBER

      This month we are excited to share a piece we published

    • DECEMBER

      The latest World Development Report focuses exclusively on education for the first

    • OCTOBER

      Echidna Giving team highlights emerging issues and findings related to

    • SEPTEMBER

      This month the World Bank released the World Development Report (WDR). For

    • AUGUST

      August offered plenty of great material, including a collection of essays from

    • JULY

      There is a notion that things slow down during the

    • JUNE

    • MAY

      In May, the Center For Universal Education (CUE) and the

    • APRIL

      In April, the World Bank and IMF Spring Meetings served

    • MARCH

      March 8th marked International Women’s Day. This month we were

    • FEBRUARY

      Even if every single girl completed at least 6 grades

    • JANUARY

      News in January seemed to be dominated by the new

    • DECEMBER

      In 2016, the Echidna Giving team reviewed literature related to

    • DECEMBER

      Welcome to the end-of-year installment of The Puggle. In this

    • NOVEMBER

      In September, the Echidna Giving team joined the masses of

    • OCTOBER

      In case you missed it, on October 11 the world celebrated

    • SEPTEMBER

      It turns out September was a busy month for

    • AUGUST

      This August we couldn’t help but be inspired by the Olympics!

    • JULY

      Echidna Giving is delighted to launch our blog, a space

  • We believe in exchanging ideas and sharing knowledge. Here’s some of what we’ve been reading to inform our thinking on girls’ education. Feel free to suggest additional resources for us to read and feature!