Developing a digital hub for CAMFED’s Learner Guide program

Project funding

Supported by the Yidan Prize project funds

Education theme

Equity, access, and diversity

Learning/teaching methods and environments

Policymaking and systemic change





About the idea

More to explore

A digital hub that improves training and support for CAMFED's Learner Guides, making the award-winning program more scalable and sustainable.

CAMFED’s award-winning Learner Guide program helps vulnerable girls learn, thrive, and create a better world for themselves and their communities. A digital hub for training and development will help CAMFED better support Guides, and further scale up the program.



Community building in action—by women, for women

Since it launched as a scholarship program in Zimbabwe in 1993, every step CAMFED has taken has been to put women in charge of their own destinies. CAMFED graduates join the CAMFED Association of women leaders, accessing peer support, training, and resources. Many become Guides who help the next generation.

Through CAMFED’s flagship Learner Guide program, young women volunteer in their local secondary schools as mentors and role models for girls at risk of dropping out. Learner Guides also deliver a structured life skills and self-development curriculum called ‘My Better World’, co-developed with children and young women. For vulnerable girls, it’s a lifeline of academic, social, and emotional support. While for the volunteers, it’s a pathway to leadership. They gain access to interest-free loans and business training, and can earn a vocational (BTEC) qualification to use as a stepping stone to teacher training or employment.


A robust digital platform can help grow and sustain the program

The Learner Guide Hub supports CAMFED’s ambition of integrating the Learner Guide role into national education systems, in partnership with government ministries. The Hub will be available to users in their five target countries: Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Scaling the Learner Guide program is a central pillar of CAMFED’s vision for 2030, under which 100,000+ Learner Guides will take up roles in government schools, reaching a total of 15 million children with learning support by the end of the decade. 

About the idea

The Learner Guide Hub sets the scene for scaling up

The Hub is a digital platform that gives Learner Guides, their trainers, and ministry partners access to all training curricula and resource materials—enhanced to offer an interactive learning journey. It will also be a central space for Learner Guides to report on their progress and be reviewed, all of which makes training and supporting Learner Guides much more efficient.

It also offers a more accessible and inclusive way for Learner Guides and their trainers to register for BTEC study. They’ll be able to more easily submit evidence for assessment in text, audio, and video formats—as well as tracking their progress towards qualification. That cuts down on resource-intensive travel and meetings, lets them automate time-consuming admin, and means CAMFED can support a larger cohort of BTEC candidates at any one time.

Learner Guides are actively involved in designing the Hub

Learner Guides have been an essential part of the process from day one. Among the Hub’s steering committee are 15 core trainers, who train and support Learner Guides, and several additional members of the organization’s leadership network, the CAMFED Association, including IT specialists. The team represents views from every country involved in the program, and their in-depth discussions are critical to the project’s development.

CAMFED has also appointed a Chief Digital Officer, Dan Martin, who’s overseeing the development of the Hub prototype. The Hub launched in 2023, with several hundred pilot users across countries in Africa. By the end of 2023, the Hub will be available to the 17,000 young women projected to be active as Learner Guides. It will used for training, peer-to-peer learning, and review, effectively equipping them as Learner Guides to support nearly one million adolescent girls in their communities.

It embraces the advantages—and recognizes the limitations—of technology

It’s tempting to assume that ‘everything’ went online during the pandemic—but that’s not strictly true. For those with robust infrastructure, technology opened doors around the world. Indeed, the digital hub steering committee found that virtual discussions were more inclusive.

But for many of the schools and families CAMFED works with, it’s not that simple. In areas where resources are in short supply, connectivity can be unstable. So part of the design involves thinking about the most low-tech ways to develop the platform—for example, downloading resources in smaller chunks so it’s easy to pick back up and continue if a connection cuts out.

As well as this, the CAMFED team is making sure that all members of the CAMFED Association—and other young people in the community—have access to local resource centers equipped with technology and internet access. As they train to use the Hub, Learner Guides will also hone their digital literacy skills, which are frequently under-developed among young women from backgrounds of rural poverty.

Our 2020 laureates Lucy Lake and Angeline Murimirwa are using their project funds to support this project from January 2021 to December 2023.