The Puggle: March 2018 edition

Welcome to Echidna Giving’s “Puggle,” where we share monthly updates on news and research related to girls’ education. In this update from March, we celebrate the march of progress on five fronts:


 Click on image to download Echidna Giving's latest strategy

Click on image to download Echidna Giving’s latest strategy

Closest to home, Echidna Giving launched ournew strategy for girls’ education over the next four to seven years. What will we be doing? First, we will fund implementation, research, and scale up on a couple of issues that could accelerate girls’ outcomes: early childhood developmentand adolescent skills and mindsets.  Second, we will work to support a robust girls’ education ecosystem: we’ll support leaders and fund researchers and advocates who propel more and better work in girls’ education, based on rigorous data and evidence.

We hope you’ll read our new strategy in detail and share thoughts and ideas for how we can best bring our ideas to life.


We’ve come to expect great content on March 8th, and this month was no exception. Here were a handful of favorites for us this year:

UNESCO launched the Global Education Monitoring Report Gender Review. There are no big surprises in terms of gender disparities in access and completion: they are generally at the expense of girls in low income countries and of boys in upper middle and high income countries. We were intrigued by the findings for learning. Gender disparity in math is at the expense of girls in primary but not in lower secondary. And for literacy, girls’ tend to have an advantage in school that they lose by early adulthood. This year’s report also takes a deep dive on accountability, examining formal political and legal commitments to gender equality that can be leveraged to pressure for change.

Global Education Monitoring Report Gender Review

UNESCO also called for nominations to the 2018 Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education; note the May 11 deadline.

Michelle Obama Talks to R29 about The Power of Girls’ Education (and announces the Obama Foundation’s intention to continue work in this space).

Researchers from the International Centre for Research on Women remind us that we need to talk about men: “While men have more privileges than women, evidence shows that the costs of masculine norms may be steep not only on girls and women, but also on young boys and men.”


UNICEF launched Progress for Every Child in the SDG Era to gauge how we’re doing on progress against SDGs for children. The report highlights that a large proportion of countries are not gathering data on key SDG indicators, something that we hope to see shift in the coming years.

For practical guidance on calculating and interpreting indicators about the most disadvantaged group, check out the new Handbook on Measuring Equity in Education.


UNICEF released new statistics on child marriage that show an uptick in progress over the last decade. In that period, child marriage rates have gone down in 80% of the countries for which UNICEF has data, leading to 25 million fewer child marriages.


Global Grand Challenges is looking for “new innovative ideas that transform teaching or school leadership to better prepare children with the 21st century skills” under their Reinventing Teaching and School Leadership challenge. Application deadline is May 2, 2018.