Valorisation de la Scolarisation de la Fille "VAS-Y Fille!" (2013-2016)

The Center for International Education (CIE) assisted by the Center for Educational Assessment at UMass Amherst was contracted to provide evaluation services for Valorisation de la Scolarisation de la Fille (VAS-Y Fille) project to increase girls’ access to education in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).  With funding from DFID's Girls’ Education Challenge Fund, IRC, Save the Children, and Catholic Relief Services are working as a consortium to implement the project in DRC (in Bandudu, Equateur, Katanga, Kasai Oriental, and Orientale provinces) for a period of two years..


Bjorn Nordtveit is the Prinicipal Investigator (PI), responsible for the qualitative analysis and Jennifer Randall is the Co-PI, responsible for the quantitative analysis, of the project.


Maguette Diame, a current doctoral student in CIE, has spent two summers working with local research assistants who have been collecting data in five provinces in Easteran Congo.



The project sought to address the economic, social and educational barriers that have kept many poor rural Congolese girls from school with four key project outputs: (i) increased parental financial capacity to support girls to succeed in and complete primary school; (ii) improved girls’ reading and math skills; (iii) increased community involvement to ensure girls’ access to quality education in a safe environment; and (iv) increased civil society engagement in providing alternative learning opportunities for over-age, out-of-school girls.


The quantitative evaluation utilized a randomized control trial design in a longitudinal study that measured achievements in early grade reading and math.  To evaluate the extent to which key outcomes of the project were met, four waves of data collection occurred between September 2013 and June 2016, through approximately three years of implementation. The use of a randomized controlled trial allowed the project to answer the causal question “did VAS-Y Fille! activities cause changes in girls’ reading and math outcomes?”


For the qualitative analysis, 30 focus groups with children were organized during each data collection wave (2 in each school, with an average of 6 children in each focus group, representing a total of about 200 children). In addition, smaller focus groups and interviews were organized for village savings committee members, members of parent-teacher organizations, school directors and teachers, attendees in accelerated learning programs, as well as parents and caregivers


The Vas Y-Fille! Project’s theory of change addressed four major barriers to change: financial, quality of education, socio-cultural, and school safety. The preliminary report at the end of 2017 showed that interventions worked well in addressing the financial and quality of education factors, fairly well with the social-cultural factors, but was less successful in the area of school safety.