To Close the Gender Gap, We Have to Close the Data Gap
Melinda Gates

It is so crucial that we advocate for investments in data collection that will better the lives of women and girls around the world — thank you Melinda. Room to Read continues to put the data that matters at the heart of our work and transparently assess our progress in girls’ education, tracking each girl’s retention and advancement rate in our program and monitoring outcomes after graduation. We also collect “action-oriented” data that enables immediate improvements and course corrections to our program design. We believe that action-oriented data is the foundation of systemic change and we are proud to be currently partnering with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, through their Grand Challenges Initiative, as well as J-PAL, Williams College and other investors to take a comprehensive look at the effects of life skills education on girls’ in low-income countries. Support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been instrumental in helping Room to Read collect critical data on girls supported by our Girls’ Education Program. Our Girls’ Education Life Skills Evaluation is a first-of-its-kind randomized controlled trial by an implementing NGO that will develop an evidence-based program to improve completion of secondary school and improve longer-term life outcomes among disadvantaged girls. The findings will help Room to Read and the global education community understand how a comprehensive life skills program can positively affect girls in low-income country settings, beyond the classroom.

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