What We Learn about Girls’ Education from Interventions that Don’t Focus on Girls (Working Paper)

In this review, we bring together evidence from 274 educational interventions from 179 studies in 54 low- and middle-income countries and identify their impacts on girls, regardless of whether or not they specifically target girls. We find that to improve both access and learning, girl-targeted interventions deliver no advantage over general interventions in terms of benefits for girls. At the same time, many more general interventions have been tested, providing a broader menu of options for policymakers to draw from. General interventions have similar impacts for girls as for boys. Many of the most effective interventions to improve access for girls are household-based (such as cash transfer programs), and many of the most effective interventions to improve learning for girls involve improving the pedagogy of teachers.