Girl Hub: a DFID and Nike Foundation Initiative

Girl Hub, a joint initiative between DFID and Nike Foundation, was established to help decision-makers and donors do more to address the needs and rights of adolescent girls. Our report assesses this partnership.

Girl Hub intends to combine DFID’s development expertise and global reach with Nike Foundation’s experience working in the field of adolescent girls, its communications skills and its approach to business planning and innovation to empower girls and to influence donors and governments. The purpose of the review was to examine how effectively and efficiently the Girl Hub partnership is delivering impact and whether it should be used as a model for future partnerships.

Girl Hub is widely seen as playing a useful role in getting adolescent girls more firmly onto the development agenda. It has been operating for two years and has spent £2.9 million of its £15.6 million budget. Whilst still in its early stages, we found a lack of clarity about what Girl Hub should focus on and  how it is going to achieve its big picture goals. We also found a lack of clarity around accountability, financial management and planning, governance and  how impact should be achieved including how lessons are going to be learned. Girl Hub has begun to address some of these issues. This is a good time for DFID to reevaluate whether and, if so, how this model should be continued and made sustainable.

As a result of our findings this review is marked Amber-Red.


Recommendation 1: Girl Hub should be reconfigured to focus more sharply on how it will make a difference to girls, with detailed country and programme plans. It needs to measure both the success of each programme and how effectively programmes are linked to each other and to wider initiatives.

Recommendation 2: Girl Hub should implement comprehensive and robust risk, governance, financial and performance management policies and processes. Girl Hub, DFID and Nike Foundation should ensure that their messaging is clear and consistent and that the roles and influences of each organisation are transparent and accountable.

Recommendation 3: DFID should assess the options for Girl Hub’s future in the light of the evidence to date.

Recommendation 4: DFID should reflect on the Girl Hub experience and the findings of this report in order to learn how it can promote innovation internally in a way that manages risk, including how partnerships with the private sector and private foundations should be implemented. DFID should implement more thorough pre-grant due diligence for all potential partners.