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Girls’ Education South Sudan (GESS), with Knowledge Evidence and Research (KER) component

CGA led the Knowledge Evidence and Research (KER), Cash Transfer, Capitation Grants and South Sudan Schools' Attendance Monitoring System component of the GESS programme. Using qualitative and quantitative research methods, KER aimed to generate knowledge about best practices in girls’ education, to develop an evidence base for the impact of project interventions, and to learn about the successes and failures in design, to protect against doing harm and to monitor value for money.

Country/Region: Global
Dates/Duration: 2013 - 2018
Funded by: DFID
Clients: Ministry of General Education and Instruction, BMB Mott MacDonald

CGA led the Knowledge Evidence and Research (KER), and the Cash Transfer component of the GESS project. Using qualitative and quantitative research methods, KER aims to generate knowledge about best practices in girls’ education, to develop an evidence base for the impact of project interventions, and to learn about the successes and failures in design, to protect against doing harm and to monitor value for money. Alongside systematic data collection through the South Sudan Schools Attendance Monitoring System (SSSAMS: www.sssams.org) and annual data reports from national sources, three rounds of specific data collection have been carried out: a baseline, midline and endline. CGA implemented the Endline research tranche which involved a suite of seven surveys, including the quantitative School Sample Survey, and Public Financial Management survey, mixed-methods Household surveys incorporating key-informant interviews and Focus Group Discussions, and the qualitative Longitudinal Qualitative Survey. CGA was also the technical lead on systems for capitation grants to all schools, cash transfers to all girls in P5-S4, and attendance monitoring. For the Cash Transfer component, CGA has developed a comprehensive strategy, including an approach to targeting, selection, enrolment, payment, grievance redress, and communication, with gender and protection being cross-cutting issues.

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We were the technical lead on systems managing and delivery of Cash Transfers to all girls in P5-S4 (>200,000 individual girls) and Capitation Grants to all schools (>4000), in a FCAS setting, including a developing a web-based system to determine conditional eligibility, track approvals, payment and accountability (https://sssams.org/ct/profile.php). For this project, we worked closely with the Ministry of General Education and Instruction (MoGEI), and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to support the preparation of MoGEI budgets and transfer guidelines. We provided training to MoGEI staff in budget preparation and execution, and processing transfers. GESS supported girls to go to, stay in, and learn in school. It directly benefited more than 200,000 individual girls.
CGA created the South Sudan Schools Attendance Monitoring System (SSSAMS) www.sssams.org, a web-based, real-time reporting on >1.7m individuals and project monitoring for GESS programme, used by government and partners to track activities and milestones.

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The purpose of this project was to eliminate the barriers to girls’ education and promote gender equality throughout the South Sudanese education system. CGA was the technical lead in developing and deploying management information systems to facilitate the distribution of Capitation Grants to schools and Cash Transfers to girls in P5-S4 which tripled enrolment and attendance. CGA also monitored the Capitation Grants sent from MoGEI to schools, including in-person monitoring. CGA also led of the Knowledge Evidence and Research (KER) component of the programme.

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We managed enrolment, attendance reporting, grants, and cash transfers for over 4,000 schools, and supported teacher activity reporting and incentives for over 3,000 schools. CGA was the technical lead, developed SSSAMS.org to facilitate the distribution of Capitation Grants to schools and Cash Transfers to girls in P5-S4 in every part of the country, which tripled enrolment and attendance. In South Sudan, we have delivered demanding levels of accountability and assurance for payments, including reporting of teacher activity (lessons taught) and biometric assurance on payments. After 2018, MoGEI continued the Capitation programme, and increased the budget and the coverage of students (from early childhood and up). MoGEI uses CGA’s SAMS to pay teacher Incentives for Secondary and Early Childhood teachers who are not covered under IMPACT.

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Teams consisting of four South Sudanese researchers (two male, two female) visited all states, including all Greater Upper Nile rural areas, to carry out mid- and end-line studies. They also used their own customized PFM (State, County school) surveys, which included gathering documentation on financial transfers and their use. CGA made used a mix of technologies and methods.

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Strategy, design, implementation support to conduct national cash transfers to girls in Primary 5 to Secondary 4, at scale: 284,000 unique recipients received over 500,000 transfers 2014-17. We managed enrolment, attendance reporting, grants, and cash transfers for over 4,000 schools, and supported teacher activity reporting and incentives for over 3,000 schools.

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CGA built the School Budget Reporting Tool, a component of the CGA-created SSSAMS (https://sssams.org/sbrt), which manages the distribution and accountability of Capitation Grants from central government down through sub-national levels to individual schools, as well as from development partners.

Rolled out nationwide to schools affected by conflict, it manages the full cycle of Capitation Grants. This includes calculating a school’s eligibility for the grant against objective criteria, drawing key data from wider SSSAMS pupil enrolment and attendance data as well as previous budget submissions before going on to manage and track the process for each school longitudinally. It tracks the point at which payments are approved, when they are instructed, when they are confirmed to have reached accounts as well as then tracking expenditure by requiring scans of hard-copy evidentiary documentation to be uploaded in support of ledgers, thus creating an audit trail.

The SBRT Dashboard allows users to easily review and monitor the progress of schools in their reporting and payment cycle but also the output in quantitative terms, linking this data back to enrolment and retention in order to establish impact.

A 2016 Crawfurd study found that these had a significant impact on overall pupil enrolment and retention.

SSSAMS managed data on almost two million individual pupils nationwide, up from approximately 900,000 at the project’s outset. In 2020, it manages data on 2.7 million pupils whose daily attendance is reported via SMS.
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As the output lead for GESS’ Cash Transfer (CT) component, CGA paid over 500,000 CTs to 250,000 unique girls in grades P5-S4 over the five years of the programme. CTs were lightly conditioned on their enrolment in and attendance at school. These payments continued throughout conflict-affected and opposition-held regions including IDP communities.

CGA created the CT Tool https://sssams.org/ct which managed the full cycle of CTs, including calculating a girl’s eligibility against objective criteria, including her individual enrolment and attendance, drawing key data from SSSAMS before going on to manage and track the process for each girl’s payment longitudinally, gather accountability documentation to ensure an audit trail, and to monitor the impact on her attendance.

A 2016 Crawfurd study found that CTs had a significant impact on overall pupil enrolment and retention, tripling enrolment in five years

Output

Baseline, midline and endline reports on:
Payam and County Education surveys; Education PFM survey; Household Surveys; School Surveys; Education Capitation Grant Policy; School Management Committee Manual on CG accountability system; discussion paper on “straight through transfers to Public Service Units” Longitudinal Studies on effect of CT and Capitation Grants

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Between 2014-2018, over 500,000 cash transfers were made to 284,601 girls across all of the 10 former states of the Republic of South Sudan. CGA built SSSAMS.org, a web-based, real-time reporting system for individuals and project monitoring, still used by government and partners to track activities and milestones, since 2014.

Following the completion of GESS, DFID committed to 2 million more transfers to an estimated 600,000 unique recipients 2019-2023.

CGA contributed to the introduction of Mobile Money to South Sudan.

Through the KER component, we delivered comprehensive national Baseline, Midline, and Endline research, which exceeded the GESS1 logframe requirements.

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One-off complex uploads may be more effectively done by a database administrator, but regular imports are routinely automated: using a mapping of fields in the data dictionary to the fields in the imported data set. For www.sssams.org a range of data imports (behind login) and exports (see bottom right of front page) are handled.

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- System available offline
- Data collection tool / Beneficiary registration
- Custom dashboards and reporting
- GDPR compliant
- Suitable for use with partners and in consortia
- Capable of integration with other systems
- Experience with transfer modalities
- Scalable for use in multiple countries and contexts
- Built in donor audit readiness

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CTs:
- Data collection tool / Beneficiary registration
- Experience with transfer modalities
- Capable of integration with other systems