USAID AGSPAGSP  

Our Work

World Education Inc. (WEI) implements the AGSP In West Africa, Region 1, in collaboration with its MER sub-contractor SageFox Consulting Group LLC (formerly known as International Evaluation and Training Corporation -- IETC), a small business located in western Massachusetts. Intended to take place in 15 countries (including: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo), the AGSP was executed during the first five years (2004-2009) in 12 countries, when Cape Verde, Côte D’Ivoire, and Guinea Bissau were not part of the Program. During the present two-year extension, Cape Verde finally joined the program and supports three primary and one secondary school in Santa Cruz, on Santiago Island. Mandated to be run out of Boston, Massachusetts (where WEI has its Headquarters), the AGSP is currently executed through 42 local NGO partners in thirteen countries.

During the first five years of the program (2004-2009), WEI successfully distributed 144,134 scholarships—125,210 to girls (87.29%) and 18,924 to boys (12.71%)—in 1,639 schools, through 43 NGOs and worked with close to 2,000 mentors.  In September 2009, AGSP was extended for an additional two-year period. During the extension period, Implementing Partners will cater to the needs of the returning scholars only with the goal of responsibly ending the program by the end of Fiscal year 2011. In all countries, in addition to the scholarship package, scholars have benefited from remedial classes that contributed to improving their academic performance. The focus will remain unchanged during the extension period. WEI made linkages with the Northern Mali Girls’ Scholarship Program and the Batonga Foundation to support former AGSP scholars moving into junior secondary schools, leading to the creation of the Batonga Girls’ Education Program, an offshoot of the AGSP. Additionally, WEI has recently partnered with Procter and Gamble (P&G) to provide sanitary pads to AGSP and Batonga scholars in seven (7) countries including Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal. NGO partners have been trained in the Puberty Education materials developed by P&G and the pads were distributed with scholarship items in the seven countries.

Mentoring activities and community participation play a key role in AGSP programming. In most countries, mentoring activities have included collaboration with other US agencies such as Peace Corps. AGSP consultants also hosted in-country training workshops with local NGO partners on mentoring and community participation. Monitoring and Evaluation sub-contractor SageFox has conducted field visits to 10 countries since the beginning of the program.

Boy with school suppliesAGSP scholarships are focused on supporting the retention of girls in school at the primary level; however certain countries have shown the need to support girls at the junior and senior secondary school levels. In Year 6, academic year 2009-2010, approximately 75% of the AGSP scholars were primary school students and 25% secondary school students. The ultimate goal is to provide access to education and to increase the likelihood of the successful completion of their education.

The types of scholarship items vary from country to country, but awards typically include school fees, textbooks, etc. In countries such as The Gambia, Senegal and Guinea, more than 50% of the scholarship funds go towards the purchase of books for the scholars. In Nigeria, approximately 12% goes towards the payment of school fees.

Bikes (with an extra pair of tires!) are lined up for distribution to AGSP beneficiaries in Northern Ghana.

As the program progressed, we have been capable of identifying the minimum level of incentive or scholarship needed to ensure program efficiency. Our periodic detailed budget analysis has identified costs from each country - actual scholarship package costs per child as well as associated administrative costs per child. With this analysis, as well as working with our NGO partners and communities to critically examine items given as scholarships and the processes involved in administering them, we found ways to limit costs as the program continued. This has meant that more scholarships have been given out with the saved resources.