GEP3-CTP was a two-year unconditional cash transfer programme (September 2014 – August 2016) with primary objective of increasing girls’ enrolment, retention and completion of basic education in selected schools in Niger and Sokoto States. The impact evaluation of GEP3-CTP was carried out by Ghubril Ltd from October 2016 to March 2017 in two stages. The first stage was the Evaluability Assessment of GEP3-CTP, and the second stage was the Impact Assessment of GEP3-CTP.
The main objective of the impact evaluation is to better understand how the CTP was implemented, the impacts achieved, and identify lessons that can inform further implementation of the CTP. The impact evaluation was thus expected to provide vital information and evidence for policy dialogue on CTP at federal and state levels.
Mixed methods with quantitative and qualitative features were employed to address the questions raised under the five criteria for the impact assessment. The quantitative methods involved the use of descriptive statistics, Propensity Score Matching (PSM) and Difference-in-Difference (DD) estimator in a quasi-experimental research design. Sources of quantitative data include survey of households (caregivers), survey of schools (head teachers), and secondary data obtained from the PIUs and project documents. Qualitative data were collected from key informants using Focus Group Discussion (FGD) protocol and an In-depth Interview (IDI) guide. The FGDs and IDIs provided insights into issues that were not aptly captured by the quantitative data and also offered opportunity for data triangulation.
The two major aspects of the programme identified for modification are the unconditionality of the cash transfer and level of community participation in programme monitoring. It was repeatedly suggested by the project managers interviewed in the two states that conditionality would make the CTP more effective in achieving the twin objective of girls’ enrolment and attendance at school. It was also suggested that the empowerment of the community level agents (e.g., SBMCs and MAs) to be more involved in programme monitoring would enhance programme performance especially with respect to school attendance.
The findings of the impact evaluation of GEP3-CTP clearly demonstrate that the unconditional CT was successful in achieving the twin objective of significantly improving girls’ enrolment and attendance at school in all sites where the CTP was implemented in Niger and Sokoto States. Stakeholders at the state and community levels were generally desirous of sustainability and scale up of the CTP. The specific recommendations for sustaining and scaling up of the CTP in the two states are presented in Table 10.1 of this report.