TCF & IDEAS collaborate on gender-focused research supported by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

  September 19, 2023   

The Citizens Foundation (TCF) and the Institute of Development & Economic Alternatives (IDEAS) are pleased to announce their collaboration on a research study funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). The study seeks to understand the impact of sustained quality education on female empowerment and on shifting social norms. 

The study will be conducted over a period of two years, gathering qualitative data from communities where TCF has established some of its earliest schools. The data will be collected through interviews, focus groups and surveys on an individual, household and community level to understand the role education plays in shaping life trajectories and in shifting gendered social norms. 

“It is important we understand if and how education contributes to gender equality and gender transformation and use this information to inform educational programming. We look forward to findings of this important work from TCF and IDEAS,” Dr. Asyia Kazmi, Global Education Policy Lead, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

On this occasion, Mr Ahsan M. Saleem, Chairman and Co-Founder of The Citizens Foundation remarked: “We are thrilled to work and collaborate on this groundbreaking research study. Through our joint efforts, we aim to explore the profound impact of quality education on gendered social norms. This collaboration marks a significant milestone for TCF and reinforces our commitment to providing better educational opportunities and driving positive societal change in Pakistan.” 

Dr. Rabea Malik, Chief Executive Officer and Research Fellow at IDEAS, shared: “IDEAS is excited to expand the portfolio of our work in the human development sector, an area where we’ve continuously generated robust, evidence-based findings for over a decade, aimed at understanding and enhancing health and educational outcomes in Pakistan. Collaborating with TCF and BMGF on this qualitative ethnographic study is an immense privilege, and we anticipate it will make significant inroads in uncovering what empowers young women and men, both personally and economically, beyond the classroom.” 

The Citizens Foundation prioritises supporting girls’ education, female empowerment, and identifying barriers to girls’ access to education. TCF and IDEAS are eager to contribute to the understanding of how sustained access to quality education can shift social attitudes and enable female empowerment at the school and community level. 

The study, scheduled for completion in 2024, will provide valuable evidence on programmes in education that create the space for shifting social attitudes and gender norms, and how they can contribute positively towards female empowerment, particularly in marginalised communities. This study is expected to be beneficial for educators, school administrators, community leaders, local government officials, and non-profit organisations involved in education service delivery.  

This study aspires to expand the frontiers of research on education and development in Pakistan, ultimately contributing to the advancement of educational opportunities and social transformation.