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Impact(Ed) International

  • LocationKenya
  • SectorGender
  • Type of investmentGrant
  • Project stageTest & Transition

Impact(Ed) International’s flagship ‘edu-tainment’ series, My Better World, follows six African teens as they navigate the complex challenges of school, family, and friendship. Episode themes include early marriage, female genital mutilation, and sexual harassment while addressing skills and attitudes such as communication, negotiation, and resilience.

The series is a unique tool included in Impact(Ed)’s life skills education and mentorship model, delivered to school children aged 10-15, which includes engagement of boys, parents and communities to enable an environment for girls to exercise agency and develop the skills they need to succeed in school and in life.

Impact(Ed) International

The development problem

Women and girls in the developing world face severe limitations on their ability to exercise agency in important life domains, including the pursuit of education, choice of work, and decisions of when to marry and have children. Life skills are critical to helping girls navigate such challenges as they transition into adulthood, and their acquisition and application can be particularly impactful during adolescence - a time where differences between young men and women become more pronounced and girls’ lives more defined by gender norms, practices, expectations, and shrinking opportunities.

While there is a consensus on the importance of life skills education, there is less consensus on how to design, deliver, and measure effective and empowering life skills education. Despite this, two common shortcomings across life skills interventions are: (1) scale and sustainability, as most interventions remain small, donor funded and time-bound, and (2) lack of attention to social change to create the enabling environment required for girls to exercise their agency outside the classroom.

The innovation

Impact(Ed) aims to improve girls' self-efficacy, agency, and wellbeing by putting a flagship ‘edu-tainment’ series, My Better World, at the heart of a school-based life skills education and mentorship model and complementary parent and community engagement.

Impact(Ed)’s award-winning animated life skills series follows six African teens as they navigate the complex challenges of school, family, and friendship. Episode themes include early marriage, female genital mutilation, and sexual harassment, and address important skills and attitudes such as communication, negotiation, and resilience. These topics align well with Kenya’s competency-based curriculum and the Ministry of Education’s Mentorship Policy.

So far, Impact(Ed)’s programmes have reached over 305,000 children across 514 schools across Kenya. Through co-implementation with government, Impact(Ed) will deliver the model to a further estimated 55,000 students across 110 schools over the next two years. This will include: (1) training of teacher-mentors to convene in-school clubs for girls and boys that foster girls’ self-efficacy and aspirations as well as boys’ allyship, (2) engagement of parents, community and school leaders through a community action planning process and community screenings to create an enabling environment in support of girls’ agency, and (3) mass media broadcasting of My Better World via the government’s Edu-Channel to support wider norms shift and help with home learning.

GIF's investment

Impact(Ed) will use GIF's investment of $2 million to:

• Establish a standardised, well-documented innovation package that is impactful, feasible using government infrastructure for delivery and cost-effective for the government to implement; and

• Seek to integrate this model in government policy implementation in Kenya.

Why we invested

  • Generate learning on a public sector pathway to scale for a gender equality innovation in Africa.
  • Build on Impact(Ed)’s 15 years of partnership with the Government of Kenya to leverage an exciting, live policy opportunity.
  • A more holistic approach to tackling gender norms that engages boys, parents and the wider community.
  • Promising evidence on the impact of Impact(Ed)’s model on girls’ outcomes.
  • Strong, local implementation team with long-term experience working on variations of this programme in Kenya supported by global functions with deep expertise on gender equality and content development.
  • Strategic fit for GIF’s Innovating for Gender Equality Sub-Fund priorities complementing and harnessing cross-learning opportunities with other grants, namely Breakthrough and MTV Staying Alive Foundation.
  • Advances UN Sustainable Development Goal 4 (Quality Education) and Goal 5 (Gender Equality).

Theory of Change

The underlying theory of change assumes that with Impact(ED)’s full package intervention, project activities and outputs will lead to the following intermediate outcomes for children: access to quality mentorship, a more enabling school, community and home environment for girls, and girls with skills and attitudes for success at school and in life. Together, these will lead to impact outcomes of increased girls’ self-efficacy, and educational aspirations. In the longer run, the theory of change posits that these outcomes will contribute to increased agency, educational attainment and improved life opportunities for girls. The theory of change is grounded in a gender-transformative approach that directly tackles gender and social inequalities such as unequal division of labour, child labour, gender-based violence and early marriage based on learning from Impact(Ed)’s MBW-based interventions to date.

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