UMass Amherst Gets Grant from International Rescue Committee to Evaluate Girls’ Access to Education in Democratic Republic of the Congo

AMHERST, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Education’s Center for International Education (CIE), assisted by the college’s Center for Educational Assessment (CEA), has been awarded a $597,397 contract from the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to provide evaluation services for the IRC’s project to increase girls’ access to education in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The IRC, Save the Children and Catholic Relief Services are working as a consortium to implement the project in DRC’s Bandudu, Equateur, Katanga, Kasai Oriental and Orientale provinces. Leading the two-year project, called VAS-Y Fille!, are College of Education associate professors Bjorn Nordtveit and Jennifer Randall from the department of educational policy, research and administration.

The main goal of VAS-Y Fille! is to enroll and retain 56,000 girls in primary and early secondary school through a comprehensive program of economic support to families, quality teaching and learning activities, community involvement in education and accelerated learning programs.

VAS-Y Fille! is designed to provide a combination of multiple interventions focused on overcoming a variety of barriers to girls’ participation in education. In turn this approach is expected to lead to better learning, retention and completion rates for girls. The program’s focus on economic support to families of the girls enrolled in schools and quality teaching and learning activities will be the focus of the evaluation.