This month TEAM Girl Malawi reached a significant milestone. More than 1800 marginalised out of school youths, most of them girls, became the first to graduate from the programme. But effective use of technology, specifically a new app, means that it isn’t time to say goodbye!
The learners from 40 communities in Dedza, Mchinji and Lilongwe districts are predominantly adolescent girls aged 10-19 who never attended school or who dropped out without gaining functional literacy and numeracy skills. Many of the participants also live with additional challenges such as disability, early motherhood or albinism.
The two year programme, which includes basic education classes, support interventions and life skills, gives them a vital stepping stone enabling them to move on to education and employment opportunities.
As one of five consortium partners delivering TEAM Girl Malawi, their graduation is a satisfying achievement. Along with Link Education, Theatre for Change, Supreme and CUMO, we are committed to ensuring the programme helps empower more than 5000 vulnerable and marginalised girls by improving their learning and life chances. It does this by specifically meeting the needs of the most marginalised girls - who would otherwise not find a way back into mainstream education.
But while the 1800 graduates now leave the programme and move on to new opportunities, we won’t be losing touch with them.
Tech based monitoring for impact
CGA’s role on TEAM Girl Malawi has been to provide technical expertise. We developed the TEAM Girl Beneficiary Monitoring System, a tablet-based app, to capture participant enrolment and monitor their daily attendance. We also developed a separate safeguarding reporting system that is used on the same tablets.
Both systems send automated alerts on low attendance or safeguarding issues to relevant partners to initiate rapid follow up support to reduce dropouts, maximise learning and address safeguarding concerns. Follow up support is logged online.
As the first tranche of participants neared the end of their two year programme, the consortium identified a need for a way to monitor its subsequent impact on their lives.
In response, we developed a new function on the TEAM Girl Beneficiary Monitoring System. With it, partner organisations can now register the transition of learners and will soon start to monitor their ongoing progress, whether they move on to education, employment, vocational or entrepreneurial opportunities.
Not only do the changes enable partners to record which pathway TEAM Girl graduates choose to follow, it also records locations and contact details for follow up. For example, if a girl returns to primary school, the district, zone, name and government code of the school are all recorded in the system. Similar details are recorded for the other pathway choices.
With this extraordinary insight into the lives of participants long after they leave the programme, partners will be able to continue to support them, such as directing them to further support. It will also allow stakeholders, including consortium partners and the Government of Malawi, to better understand the impact TEAM Girl Malawi has had on their lives and adapt the programme accordingly.
About TEAM Girl Malawi
TEAM Girl Malawi is part of the seven-year multi-country FCDO funded Leave No Girl Behind (LNGB) initiative. TEAM stands for Transformational Empowerment for Adolescent and Marginalised Girls.
All data input into the app is linked to the TEAM Girl online dashboard - https://teamgirl.info/index.php - where real-time data can be viewed and analysed by all project partners and central level stakeholders. There are currently 5,727 students enrolled in the programme, of which 83% (4,768) are girls and 17% (959) are boys.
During the two year programme, participants receive basic education classes including numeracy and literacy, tailored support and peer-to-peer buddying initiatives such as Individual Educational Plans, assistive devices, and safeguarding. They also join Girls Clubs and peer-to-peer buddying initiatives which focus on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, and life skills.
For more information about CGA Technologies role in TEAM Girl Malawi visit our webpage.