Girl Hub, a joint venture between the Nike Foundation and DFID, describe the “girl effect” as ‘the positive effect that empowering girls can have on their communities and countries’, and aims to unleash this effect at scale. The project was commissioned as a girl-led peer research project, facilitated by Restless Development in partnership with Bell & Payne Consulting, in order to ‘better understand what girls think, feel and believe’.

Girl Hub, a joint venture between the Nike Foundation and DFID, describe the “girl effect” as ‘the positive effect that empowering girls can have on their communities and countries’, and aims to unleash this effect at scale.

This project, underpinned by a Seven Pillars theory of change –

  • Girlhood: enjoying being a girl
  • School: finishing secondary school
  • Marriage: getting married later
  • Pregnancy: having babies later, and fewer of them
  • Money: understanding how to deal with money
  • Health: being able to look after their own health
  • Ambition: expecting more from their own futures

– was commissioned as a girl-led peer research project, facilitated by Restless Development in partnership with Bell & Payne Consulting, in order to ‘better understand what girls think, feel and believe’.

Broadly speaking the research had two aims. Firstly, to gather qualitative insight into the emotional rationale and practical realities facing girls in Rwanda, in order to allow initiatives to respond directly to this specific development context. Secondly, to co-design a set of basic principles to guide interventions aimed at changing social norms, attitudes and behaviours and catalysing the girl effect.

The report presents a unique view of life through girls’ eyes, portraying a world in which the day-to-day contours are defined by a context specific belief in agaciro (meaning ‘value’ and connected with notions of respect). Moreover, it advocates expanding the projects focus beyond the initial Seven Pillars, recommending that explicit focus be granted to the topics of Income Generation; Abortion; Relationships; and Violence as well.

Finally, the report offers concrete recommendations on how to ensure programming and communication initiatives are meaningful to, and accepted by, Rwandan girls. These recommendations fall under the following categories:

  •            Improving lives of communication;
  •            Building self-confidence; and
  •            Addressing inequalities.

Overall, the report provides compelling evidence for elevating youth to the forefront of research agendas, helping to re-imagine their position as active partners in their own development.

The report was produced in January 2011. The full version can be viewed here:

http://www.restlessdevelopment.org/file/girlhub-01062011-pdf

Written by Restless Development

Restless Development is a youth-led development agency placing young people at the forefront of charitable development in Africa and Asia.