Empowerment for Girls’ Education (EGE) was a project run by Opportunity International (OI) and partners in Uganda between 2017 and 2020 as part of the FCDO’s Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC).
Jigsaw successfully conducted the midline evaluation for the EGE project in 2019, which was carried out in line with the standard methodological guidelines for GEC evaluations. The endline study was also planned and initiated in line with this guidance, with a methodology that included extensive face-to-face data collection in schools and communities. However, several days into the data collection for this study, schools closed and travel restrictions were enacted in Uganda in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and data collection was swiftly halted. Jigsaw worked to redesign the study, rapidly redeveloping the methodology to enable remote data collection and adapting the research focus to reflect these changes.
The evaluation shifted from a quasi-experimental, mixed methods approach, encompassing large-scale surveys and learning assessments, to being a primarily qualitative study. The main data source was remotely-conducted interviews with project staff, alongside a small number of remote interviews with project participants. In addition, quantitative data from the project, national exam data, and the partially-complete quantitative datasets (from the initial few days of face-to-face data collection) were harnessed as supplementary data sources.
The focus and objectives of the research study also shifted in order to reflect what was feasible using this adapted approach. Instead of having the quantitative measurement of project impact as its primary aim, the main purpose of the study was adjusted to focus on project implementation and the establishment of lessons learned, as well as to assess the Theory of Change and identify project impact to the extent possible.
Jigsaw used its adaptive working practices in order to rapidly pivot this study, producing a valuable piece of work despite significant disruption to the evaluation process.