Working to Empower Girls in Nigeria

Posted By: • September 14th, 2018

Nigeria is a country with huge cultural diversities, and like many developing countries it faces
significant economic and social challenges. Women and girls in more conservative areas of the country
often face norms that constrain their ability to attend school, engage in paid work, and participate in
decision-making at home.

In this context, as a part of the Coca-Cola 5by20 program, The Coca-Cola Company, together with
several partners, launched the Educating Nigerian Girls in New Enterprises (ENGINE) program. ENGINE
brought together public and private sector partners to support the most marginalized girls in school
and out of school in poor communities. Its aim was to build girls’ confidence; increase their skills in
financial management, leadership, and business; and influence gender norms in the community to
empower women and increase their agency.

The evaluation results reported here highlight the potential of targeted programs to improve girls’
confidence, connect them to economic opportunities, and shift gender norms among community
leaders and others who influence the activities in which girls can engage. The lessons from this
evaluation can inform future programs to empower adolescent girls, helping to fine tune approaches
to improve the outcomes and impacts of these important investments.
The analysis and program descriptions in this report come from several sources. These include five
reports and the data collected by Preston Health Care Consulting Ltd.,1 the program evaluation firm;
pre-test questionnaires and data from Mercy Corps, the program implementer; and articles on the
ENGINE program that were shared by Coca-Cola. The program literature was reviewed to gain an
understanding of how ENGINE fits into the landscape of programs globally and in Nigeria that are
working to empower girls and women and connect them to economic opportunities. The narrative
of the challenges women and girls face in Nigeria draws on data from the World Bank; International
Labour Organization; United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization; Nigerian
Demographic and Health Surveys; United Nations Development Program; and the World Values Survey,
among others. No additional fieldwork was undertaken for this evaluation.

The ENGINE program involved multiple partners: The Coca-Cola Company, Nigerian Bottling Company,
Mastercard Foundation, Nike Foundation, and the UK Department for International Development’s
Girls’ Education Challenge, which worked together with local, state, and national government
agencies, as well as civil society organizations. Mercy Corps, a global humanitarian aid agency, led
the implementation of ENGINE, with support from Girl Effect Nigeria, d.light solar social enterprise,
Action Health Incorporated, Community Action for Popular Participation, and Society for Women
Development and the Empowerment of Nigeria. In addition to The Coca-Cola Company, the program
received funding from Nike Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, and Mastercard Worldwide. The Khana
Group and Preston Health Care Consulting Ltd. evaluated ENGINE.

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