Through the continued partnership between Miske Witt and Associates Inc. (MWAI), the University of Minnesota's College of Education and Human Development (CEHD), and CARE International, impressive gains are being made to improve the lives of the most marginalized girls in eight countries around the world. These partners are working in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ghana, Honduras, India, Malawi, Mali, and Tanzania to identify specific barriers to girls' education, and have been working tirelessly to design research questions and measure their interventions. After uniting in Minnesota in November, 2009 for a six-day workshop, staff from each CARE office identified both short- and long-term outcomes for their country-specific interventions. In addition, three common themes emerged across the eight countries as areas to focus on to improve girls' education:
1. Child-centered pedagogy
2. Girls' workload/completion
3. Girls' self-esteem or self-confidence
Currently, CARE staff from each of the PCTFI countries are being trained to measure these three themes using standardized, high quality research tools. Mark Lynd Ed.D., of MWAI, Project Co-PI Chris Johnstone, and Research Fellow Nancy Pellowski Wiger traveled to Bamako, Mali in May to lead a 5-day workshop on the CARE common quantitative and qualitative items. Twenty country office staff from both CARE Mali and CARE Tanzania attended the workshop. The CARE team in Mali has been working for the past five years to improve access and quality of non-formal education programs that provide youth with both academic and vocational skills. The CED schools include a four-year economic opportunity program that focuses on teaching skills such as fabric dying, paper making, and tailoring. The SSA is a one-year "second chance" program to help students improve their academic skills, thus enabling them to return to formal schooling.