Terms of Reference for Documenting Impact of AGES Economic Inclusion Component

Adolescent Girls’ Education in Somalia (AGES)

Terms of Reference for Documenting Impact of AGES Economic Inclusion Component


Adolescent Girls’ Education in Somalia (AGES) project is a long term project funded by both FCDO and USAID which aims to improve learning outcomes and positive transitions for ultra-marginalized adolescent girls in the Banaadir Regional Administration, Hirshebele, Jubaland, and South West states of Somalia. The project is targeting over 80,000 ultra-marginalised and out‐of‐school girls to enrol in formal education, accelerated education, or non‐formal education classes. The project also indirectly benefits 14,000 boys enrolled in targeted formal schools. The project works with teachers, participatory governance mechanisms (Community Education Committees (CECs)), parents/caregivers, and education officials to address barriers to girls’ attendance, retention, and learning. AGES is also supporting schools and learning centres to implement activities to develop student leadership skills and financial literacy and to improve girl’s knowledge of reproductive health and menstrual health management.

Furthermore, the project’s objectives include but are not limited to the expansion of critical life skills around finances toprompt girls to stay in school, re-enrol in school, enrol in alternative education, or move into meaningful and dignified employment opportunities. Given the context and the barriers girls in the targeted areas face, the project takes a multidimensional approach while addressingthese key barriers affectingthe most marginalized girls. At the individual and household levels, the project is sponsoring Village Savings and Loans (VSL) groups; providing bursaries to 959 girls with disability; providing girls with essential life skills related to resilience building and socioemotional learning through Girls’ Empowerment Forums (GEFs); mentoring boys through parallel Boys’ Empowerment Forums, and sensitizing mothers to pro-education norms, especially for girls and learners with disabilities. At the community level, religious leaders have been mobilized to advocate for inclusive education and trained on Islamic principles that emphasize gender equality and girls’ education, delivering pro-education messaging through radio and social media.

Additionally, the project targets four states in South Somalia and 21 districts in the below mentioned states.

Diagram 1: AGES target states:

Overall Goal of the Project

To achieve the outcomes of the project, AGES works with ultra-marginalized communities’ private providers, MOEs, and religious leaders to provide tailored, sustainable solutions to develop literacy, numeracy, and key life skills among the most marginalized girls in South Somalia. This is also In line with GEC outcome areas:

Outcome 1: Improved literacy, numeracy, financial literacy, and knowledge of SRH

Outcome 2: Increased transitions to formal and non-formal education and employment

Outcome 3: Increased sustainability of approaches at institutional and community levels

Overall, the project has prioritised reaching older adolescents and youth who have never attended school and are less likely to enrol in formal classes or attend longer accelerated education courses requiring two to four years for completion. This is particularly significant for young women in the project’s target areas who are either married or divorced and have children, or among those engaged in small businesses.


A central component of the project has been the formation of the Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA) groups. To date, over 800 VSLA groups consisting of both parents/caregivers and adolescents have been successfully established. Out of these, the project has managed to link banks to over 48% of the VSLAs groups groups[1]. The VSLA approach aims to provide households with a sustainable source of funds which 1) supports the parents/caregivers and girls in becoming increasingly resilient to economic shocks; 2) enables investment opportunities; and 3) empowers groups of people who are often excluded from socio-economic and political life. Enhanced self-reliance and economic self-efficacy are known to have remarkable positive psychological effects, as these contribute to a sense of self-respect and self-confidence; 4) establishes links to relevant micro-financial institutions so that these groups become financially independent while also having increased access to formal loans from the banks for future small business investments.

VSLA is meant to improve household income which by indirectly has an impact on attendance and learning outcomes of the students dwelling in the project’s targeted areas. The LNGB baseline evaluation revealed that learners from food secure households have better learning outcomes compared to those from food insecure households. Household income also has an impact on attendance and transition as there are some education-related costs (such as uniforms and learning materials) that are supposed to be paid for by parents/caregivers. Their failure to meet such costs was mentioned as one of the reasons why some children were out of school. From the project quarterly surveys Girls empowerment forums (GEF). have become a platform for social change, enhancing social inclusion, advocating for education equity, and promoting social responsibility and community ownership for the learning and well-being of their children.

Effective VSLAs help to generate funds to support at-risk girls enrolling in Non-Formal Education. Unlike their counterparts enrolled in Alternative Basic Education (ABE) whose main transition pathway is formal education, one of the main transition pathways for the NFE girls (who are generally older and in some cases already have families) is self-employment such as entrepreneurship. Therefore, it is necessary for VSLA to be integrated into the NFE program to facilitate those who would likely transition into entrepreneurship. VSLAs have also been shown to build solidarity among groups of disadvantaged women and girls, providing them with social support as well as a vital platform for development.


The initial phase of the AGES project with funding from FCDO will end in August 2022; hence, it is critical to document and capture lessons learnt from the project to inform the second phase of the project with USAID funding, focusing on:

  1. Conducting an impact assessment or review on the economic component of the project.
  2. Documenting project successes, lessons, and best practices (in written and video formats) for learning and sharing with the project stakeholders, beneficiaries, and donors.
  3. Reviewing existing secondary data, quarterly girls’ survey findings, midline survey, and assessments/research studies to develop learning briefs aligned to key result areas of the project.
  4. Capturing project-related photos and key video footage on thematic topics related to the project’s economic component, showcasing key project success stories, and producing a short documentary film (3-5 minutes) on relevant economic empowerment components that were implemented.
  5. Capture the views and inputs of both adolescent and mother VSLAs groups.

Purpose of the assignment

The purpose of this impact assessment is to document and examine existing evidence and to highlight lessons learnt from the economic component of the project so that the findings can inform the second phase of the project while documenting for wide ranging learning.


The assessment will collect both primary and secondary data. Secondary data will be derived from ongoing quarterly and annual project assessments and by reviewing existing secondary data including the middline/baseline for the expansion including the VSLAs portfolio assessment. Primary data will be collected from the field in the target districts. The primary data will be collected using qualitative methods ranging from focus group discussions, key informant interviews, and human interest stories supported by pictures (photographs). Additionally, the study will give high priority for the inputs, voices from the target VSLAs girls and women, hence their feedback will be incoprtaed in the program adaption.

Scope of work:

The consultant will be expected to:

  1. Develop inception reports detailing on how data is going to be collected, with clear time frame and roles.
  2. Develop data collection tools in consultation with the project ‘s staff
  3. Review AGES quarterly and annual reports, quarterly girls’ surveys, baseline and midline evaluations, and third-party monitoring reports including VSLA portfolio assessments.
  4. Conduct data collection.


  1. Inception report
  2. Data collection tools
  3. Two documentaries (print and video content)

Timeframe: It is estimated that the assignment will take one month.

Consultancy experience and expert qualifications:

The consultant should possess the following qualifications and experience:

  • Master’s degree in livelihoods, economic development, FSL, business development with experience in Village Saving and Loan Associations or community savings groups.
  • At least 4 to 8 years of relevant experience in impact studies, research and documentation on best practices.
  • Demonstrable experience in developing and supporting implementation of integrated programs.
  • Experience of working in and knowledge of Somalia context.
  • Excellent analytical and conceptual skills to think and plan strategically.
  • Ability to lead and manage a complex and demanding workload.
  • Excellent training and report writing skills.
  • Excellent written and spoken English; proficiency in Somali language is a plus.

Application Procedure:

The interested candidates are requested to submit:

  • Technical proposal showing how the consultant intends to carry out the assignment
  • Financial proposal
  • Qualifications

Relevant experience related to the assignment including samples and references of most recent similar work done.

Applications should be submitted to: som.consultant@care.org. no later than11-jun-2022, please indicate in the subject line Documenting Impact of AGES Economic Inclusion Component

How to apply

Applications should be submitted to: som.consultant@care.org. no later than11-jun-2022, please indicate in the subject line Documenting Impact of AGES Economic Inclusion Component

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