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Girl Effect is a creative social enterprise that exists to unlock a New Normal: one where girls can fulfil their potential and where behaviour and social change for all occurs at scale. Occupying a unique position at the intersection of three capabilities, Girl Effect brings together deep development expertise and a global competence in brands and media with mobile technology and data. It now has a global portfolio reach of 48 million people in more than 60 countries.
About Girls Connect
Girl Effect prides itself on trailblazing new and innovative approaches to accelerate change for girls. Girls Connect is the newest initiative to be born from our innovation lab. In 2016, Girl Effect partnered with one of Africa’s largest IT companies, iSON Group, combining the power of Girl Effect’s expertise with global, private sector technology and processes. Together, we’ve created a new, never before tested, approach that puts girls in the driving seat of their own life experiences. Girls Connect is a unique platform that delivers a personalised, anonymous and confidential experience for girls, combining access to on-demand content and on-demand conversations via a digital platform. Girls control what entertaining and informative story they select on an IVR platform, but their experience doesn’t stop there. After the story, girls are connected to one of iSON’s call centre agents – trained to transform into role models – who help girls make sense of what they’ve listened to and think about how to apply critical life lessons to their own life. Girls Connect is aimed as a service for girls 14 – 16, with a larger audience of girls 14 – 19.
Taking Girls Connect to Scale
A successful 4-week pilot (Phase 1) was conducted from July to August 2016 followed by a successful 8-week pilot (Phase 2) conducted from April to May 2017, both in Kano state. During Phase 2, Girls Connect received over 44,000 calls – 5 times more than expected – from nearly
8,000 unique users. We’ve also gained global interest, most recently being featured in TIME. Now is the time to scale Girls Connect. The service offered content on safety, relationships, social media and money. Girls Connect has been designed from the beginning with the aim to reach girls at scale. In July 2017, we began a new, exciting phase (Phase 3) moving from prototype testing to designing for scale across Nigeria with our 1 Million Unheard Voices and Choices campaign. Our campaign will kick-off in January 2018 running for 6 months across Kano, Edo and Oyo states. It will offer the service in Hausa, Pidgin and Yoruba connecting 1 million calls to content and conversations.
Girls Connect Role Models
Role models are a critical component to Girls Connect. As highlighted above, after listening to stories, callers are connected to Girls Connect role models. Role models then answer girls’ questions and talk to them about the stories for up to 8 minutes. After speaking with a role model, girls are offered the opportunity to connect with other services for more information, support and guidance. We train role models to handle these calls and those from parents, gatekeepers and boys helping to ensure that they all have a positive experience with Girls Connect. Girls Connect has taken the structure of a traditional call centre and trained call centre employees to deliver this innovative service for girls. In practice, role models use scripts designed specifically for them which reinforce the key lessons, skills and knowledge from the audio stories to help structure the conversation with girls. Role models are iSON employees, working from iSON’s office in Ibadan. For additional information on the role model’s roles and responsibilities, see
Girls Connect provides training and mentoring to role models through the Role Model Training and Support Partner. This training and mentoring is aimed to help role models: 1) understand the complex issues and challenges girl callers face; 2) practice conversations with the scripts; and 3) develop the skills to emotionally connect to callers, help put them at ease, and facilitate a conversation and answer their questions. We also continue to strive to maintain the balance between providing support and signposting to girls, while not being a counselling service.
Role models during Phase 1 and Phase 2
Thirteen role models supported the previous test phases of Girls Connect in 2016 and 2017. Interested and qualified iSON staff underwent a stringent selection process including Hausa language testing and knowledge of the local context.
During Phase 1, role models were supported by GE London and Nigeria staff, with minimal consultant training support. Once the Girls Connect concept was proven to be successful during Phase 1, we then enlisted the support of an external role model support and training partner to provide more structured support for Phase 2. During Phase 2, the partner led the development of a training programme, with GE support, delivered training modules both pre-launch and during the 8-week test phase, and was support and mentoring point of contact.
Learnings to date
A key goal for Phases 1 and 2, was testing the innovative model of Girls Connect: Could we apply the call centre model of an IVR platform with employees who are trained to follow a script and provide a quality service to customers, to deliver social impact. Phases 1 and 2 showed us that we can, and Girls Connect is ready to be tested at scale. During these testing phases we gained many insights that we will take with us into Phase 3. These include:
You can employ call centre employees to deliver a social-impact service. If you apply a rigorous recruitment process, bringing young female call-centre employees with a passion and commitment to working with girls and contributing to meaningful change, their passion transcends. Girls sense the passion and interest of the role models, making the role model component incredibly effective.
Scripting for the unknown questions girls will ask is challenging, but not impossible. Whilst we continued to refine the scripts throughout Phases 1 and 2, additional refinement is necessary to support role models in answering off-script questions. We need to ensure there is a balance between providing role models with a guide to reinforce the critical skills and lessons of the stories, while also leaving some room for them to safely deviate from the script to have a dialogue that flows and responds to callers’ questions.
Training and practice is key. Girls Connect role models do not generally have a counselling or international development background. Guiding and training them on essential gender concepts and on the core skills of mentorship or counselling is critical to ensuring they are adequately skilled and prepared.
Role models need additional boundary-setting training and support. Being emotionally connected but not too invested, is a balance that we need to ensure is managed properly. Role models are committed and invested in Girls Connect, and as highlighted above, this commitment adds tremendous value to Girls Connect. However, we also need to ensure that role models are properly trained to understand appropriate boundaries and how to set them.
Phase 3: Going to Scale with the 1 Million Unheard Voices and Choices campaign With the ambitious plan to scale up into other states in Nigeria, Girls Connect seeks to recruit a pool of up to 72 role models by May 2018. As we scale, we will also develop a role model training and support infrastructure with the tools and systems that would allow Girls Connect to scale throughout Nigeria and potentially beyond. For Phase 3, we will build off of the infrastructure and learnings from Phase 1 and 2 to:
Develop an elevated role for role models who were with Girls Connect in Phase 1 and 2, providing them an opportunity to become a ‘superstar’ to provide support to new role models.
Re-envisage the role of our Quality Assurance Advisors (QAA). In Phase 1 and 2, the QAAs, who are also iSON staff, supervised the role models daily and were the first point of call if the role models needed immediate support. We would like to review the role of the QAA and understand how they can take on more responsibility, including becoming safeguarding focal points, develop skills to handle sensitive calls that role models don’t feel comfortable answering and other opportunities for them to take on a leading role in guiding and supporting the role models.
Identify additional professional development courses role models can take which reinforce the specific trainings they will be given.
Scope of Work
Girl Effect is recruiting a partner to lead the training and mentoring of the role models and QAAs throughout implementation of the 1 Million Unheard Voices and Choices campaign. The partner will be critical to developing and implementing key aspects of the role model training, support and career development. With an eye towards developing tools and system that would allow Girls Connect to scale throughout Nigeria and beyond, the key aspects of the work include:
Develop and implement a training programme for role models, superstars and QA advisors: With Girl Effect’s London and Nigeria offices, develop and implement training for role models, superstars and quality assurance advisors. The Partner would be responsible for:
Writing the role model script: With Girl Effect team, the partner will lead on writing the call script, which is the script and guide role models follow on calls with girls. The role model scripts need to support the role models as guide girls through the key lessons from each
story, helping callers digest the lessons and put them into practice in their lives.
Additional support and mentoring: In addition to the training programme development and implementation outlined above, the partner will be responsible for designing and implementing the necessary systems to ensure that role models are continuously mentally, emotionally and technically prepared to carry out their assignments.
o In addition to the weekly meetings at iSON, this may include ad-hoc face to face meetings. The Partner should provide an overview of how this will be structured to ensure role models, superstars and QA advisors are adequately supported.
Policies and Procedures: Providing expertise and supporting the development of the Role Model Handbook, which includes necessary Girls Connect policies and procedures, complimenting iSON policies and procedures.
Required skills and experience
Reporting Lines: iSON Quality Assurance Advisor
Location: Ibadan, Oyo state
Contract: November 2017 – July 2018 (9 months) with possibility of renewal
About Girls Connect Role Models
There are currently eleven role models who supported the previous test phases of Girls Connect in 2016 and 2017. In order to become a role model, interested and qualified iSON staff underwent a stringent selection process including language testing and knowledge of local context. Once selected, role models are provided with in-depth training to increase their awareness on issues that affect girls, develop the skills required to support girls in learning from the lessons built into the audio content, and help girls see how they can meaningfully apply what they have learned. With the ambitious plan to scale up into other states in Nigeria, Girls Connect seeks to recruit additional role models.
About iSON and Girl Effect
iSON BPO, one of Africa’s largest IT services and BPO companies with a presence across almost 25 African countries began operations in Nigeria in 2011. Currently iSON has about 3100 staff in Nigeria. iSON Group of Companies offer business processing outsourcing Services, IT Services including consulting, systems integration, application management and managed services, and a new initiative focusing on driving consumer internet businesses in Africa though iSON Innovation and Investments (I3). iSON has three main competitive advantages: a cost-effective outsourcing model, state-of-theart technology, and knowledgeable and top quality employees. Known for its state-of-the-art technology, iSON has partnered with the best technology partners worldwide, who supply the company’s hardware and software needed to provide the best services to its customers.
Our Role Models
Does Girls Connect sound exciting? Do you want to get involved? Read all about what it takes to be a role model and find information on how to apply!
Role models are an integral part of the success of Girls Connect. When girls use the service, they first listen to entertaining and informative stories. But their experience doesn’t stop there. Once they finish listening to stories they connect with role models who help them make sense of what they listened to, ask questions to get girls to think about how they would apply the lessons from the story to their own lives and give them support and guidance and answer questions they have. So, role models are a huge part of what makes Girls Connect successful!
What does this mean if I became a role model?
In practice, role models use scripts designed specifically for them, which follow the lessons from the audio stories to help structure the conversation with girls. Girls Connect also provides lots of training to role models to help them understand the complex issues and challenges girl callers face, practice conversations with the scripts, and develop skills to emotionally connect to users, helping to put them at ease, facilitate a conversation and answer their questions. By facilitating conversations and experience within the parameters of the script and trainings, the post holder (role models) is responsible for contributing to the overall experience of the Girls Connect user. Sometimes people other than girls call in, like their parents, brothers or community leaders. We train role models to handle these calls to make sure they also end the call having a positive experience with Girls Connect.
Guide conversations with Girls Connect Callers, helping to ensure they have a positive user experience
Familiarity with the script
Study and internalise all working scripts to ensure positive and rewarding interactions with users.
Ensure users are signposted to vetted organisation where relevant. Details of these organisations will be provided to you.
Participate in trainings and workshops
Document user experience at the end of each call
Essential criteria /skills
Desirable skills/ experience
To apply, send a proposal and estimated budget to Manre Chiratu at firstname.lastname@example.org at by midnight September 22, 2017.
Submissions must include:
A proposal that includes: