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Changing the Future for Girls in Kwale by Build Africa Kenya

Kwale County (Kenya) has of the worst educational outcomes for girls in the country. County data reports that only 25% of girls complete the Kenyan Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE), without which they cannot progress onto secondary school.

In partnership with the Coalition on Violence against Women (COVAW) and the Kwale Welfare and Education Association (KWEA), Build Africa is implementing the ‘Changing Futures for Girls’ (CFG) Project. Through Comic Relief support, the project aims to improve the quality of primary education in Kwale.

The project aims to increase the knowledge base and improve the capacity of communities to address violence and abuse, improve the attitudes of communities towards girls education, improve the knowledge base of girls about opportunities available to them, train pre-service teachers in the adoption of child-friendly and gender-sensitive teaching practices, and increase the educational attainment and performance of girls in primary schools.

Scope of Work

The Baseline Study aimed to report project benchmark measures against the project's log-frame indicators and pilot project indicators and data collection tools so as to inform future monitoring and evaluation activities.


In order to meet the objectives of the baseline study, we adopted a mixed-methods approach with an emphasis on methodological triangulation.

The study conducted a thorough literature and document review that led to a greater understanding of the project context, the identification of target beneficiaries for the sampling framework, and a theoretical synthesis that shaped many of the scales that are used to measure complex psychological constructs like values, attitudes and aspirations. Many of these measures were needed in order to provide credible and reliable benchmarks to log-frame indicators.

In order to meet the research needs of the log-frame, our second objective was to pilot and test various quantitative and qualitative research tools to feed into the log-frame’s outcomes. To test the reliability of psychometric scales, we relied on the analysis of internal consistency through an interpretation of Cronbach’s alpha scores. We then put scales through tests of construct validity through factor analysis, more specifically principal component analysis. These analyses aimed to determine if selected quantitative benchmarks are both reliable and construct-valid.


  • Adults and children demonstrated strong differences in identifying physical abuse against girls as "bad". While 99.3% of girls and 98.2% of boys found hitting, punching or slapping a girl (no visible injury) ‘always’ or ‘usually bad’, 67.1% of community members and 83.6% of parents found it ‘usually’ or ‘always bad’.

  • There is a clear difference between the percentage of girls who pass their KCPE exams and the percentage of boys who pass the KCPE exam. Average KCPE results for 2013 and 2014 results reveal that only 19% of girls passed the exam across CFG schools versus 30% of boys.

  • Whether a child works or not depends on their gender. 65% of girls are engaged in house chores for more than two hours a day compared to only 54% of boys.


The Baseline Study largely validated key project assumptions, including the relatively low educational attainment of girls in project schools, when compared to their male peers, the inability of communities to correctly identify abuse, and the need for teachers to be better sensitized in gender sensitive teaching methods.

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