DFID’s Girls’ Education Challenge: Leave No Girl Behind

Deadline: 27 December 2016

The Department for International Development is seeking concept notes for its program entitled “Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC) aims to support interventions for highly marginalised, adolescent girls who are out of school (either because they have never attended school or have dropped out without gaining a basic education).

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DFID’s Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC) fund was launched in 2012, which aims to support over a million of the world’s poorest girls to improve their lives through education. The GEC supports initiatives which aim to find better ways of getting girls into school and ensuring they receive a quality of education to transform their future. The GEC was extended in July 2016.

Leave No Girl Behind (LNGB) is a new funding window under the GEC, announced in July 2016. This initiative will support interventions for highly marginalized, adolescent girls who are out of school (either because they have never attended school, or have already dropped out of school) to (re-) enroll in education, gain employment or improve the quality of their family lives.

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In order to achieve these interventions should be focused on the acquisition of basic education and skills, tackling social and gender norms, and testing sustainable solutions that can provide systemic change. The LNGB window is supported by additional funding (i.e. additional to the existing fund).


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The overall objective of the LNGB funding window is to support out-of-school adolescent girls, aged between 10 and 19, who have dropped out of or never attended school, into education, employment or to gain skills relevant for improving quality of their family lives.

In doing so, the LNGB funding window aims to:

  • Improve girls’ literacy, numeracy and other skills relevant for life and work
  • Empower adolescent girls and tackle harmful social and gender norms that contribute to girls being out of school
  • Test sustainable solutions (including new partnerships, for example with private sector, local organisations, government departments) that will last beyond DFID funding
  • Conduct a thorough evaluation of interventions to understand what works, and how future policies and programmes can be better designed to include and support marginalised girls

In line with these objectives, proposals should demonstrate:

  • A strong focus on accelerating girls’ learning outcomes so that marginalised girls who have been left behind can catch up and acquire relevant knowledge, skills and attitudes needed for life and work.
  • A systematic approach to addressing the causes and impact of school dropout and non-enrolment during adolescence, including tackling community attitudes and harmful social and gender norms such as child marriage, early pregnancy, forced domestic work, or violence.
  • A deepening of engagement and partnership with the private sector, partner governments, civil society and other donors to sustain and scale up cost effective GEC innovations beyond the lifetime of the programme.

Funding Information

  • There is a £100,000 minimum threshold for total financial support requested for any one project.
  • Applicants should request an amount that is reasonable, given their project context and activities. If the financial support required for an applicant falls below the £100,000 threshold, the applicant should consider joining a consortium to meet the minimum threshold.

Eligibility Criteria

  • This funding window is open to organisations who can develop new and innovative solutions, and to those who wish to scale up and adapt successful existing interventions to deliver quality education and skills to out-of-school adolescent girls.
  • Only non-state organisations, including both not-for-profit and for-profit organisations, may apply. Not-for-profit organisations do not have to be registered charities.
  • Applications will not be considered from governmental organisations.
  • Applications will be accepted from UN organisations, although as with all applications, these organisations will need to comply with GEC contracting requirements if successful.

Applications also cannot be considered from any organisation that:

  • Encourages activities which may lead to civil unrest;
  • Is linked to any terrorist organisations; or
  • Discriminates against any groups or individuals on the basis of gender, age, disability, race, colour, ethnicity, sexual orientation, political opinions or religion; and/or
  • Participates in or encourages activities involving modern slavery, exploitation or compulsory labour (including in respect of children).

How to Apply

The LNGB funding windows will involve a two-stage application process:

  • Concept Note stage: the first step is the submission of a Concept Note, setting out the project idea proposed for funding.
  • Full Proposal stage: the Fund Manager will invite shortlisted applicants to submit a FullProposal, which will involve more specific and detailed information (including a budget,results framework and high-level project plan). This will be used to further shortlist applicants and recommend projects for funding to DFID, with the ultimate decision being made by DFID.

Eligible Countries: India, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Myanmar, Pakistan, Palestine (Occupied Palestinian Territories, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Syria, Uganda.

Note: All Concept Notes must be submitted via the online application link (here).

For more information, please visit DFID’s Girls’ Education Challenge.


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