Before Batonga begins working with a community, we take the time to collect information and learn as much about it as possible.

Batonga uses the Girl Roster™- a digital surveying and mapping tool developed by our thought partner, The Population Council, and the Women’s Refugee Commission- to help us see and understand the full universe of girls in their community and craft intentional plans to reach to most excluded segments including young mothers, young brides, out-of-school girls, orphans, and domestic workers.

Case Study: Mapping, Targeting, and Training Benin’s Future Leaders

To “roster” a community using the Girl Roster™, local program staff go door-to-door in teams of two to ask adults non-sensitive questions about the girls who reside there. They quickly gather general information about girls’ schooling, marital and childbearing status, and living arrangements. The household level data is recorded on smartphones and collated in real time to create a picture of the lives and realities of the young women and girls in each community.

The tool, and its accompanying information collection and analysis process empowers Batonga to see the full universe of young women and girls in target communities and lead transformative change for these girls and their communities.

Why is it important to learn about our communities?

  • There is a devastating lack of accurate, gender-disaggregated data on low income countries. “When we don’t count women or girls, they literally become invisible,” says Sarah Hendriks, director of gender equality at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Without fully understanding the communities we work in, we cannot address each community’s unique situation. “Not having data…means that you cannot design the right policies, you cannot track progress.” Mayra Buvinc, a U.N. Foundation senior fellow working on Data2X, an initiative aimed at closing the gender data gap.
  • We must ensure that we are finding and recruiting each community’s hardest-to-reach girls to ensure that the least advantaged girls in the most marginal regions are brought more fully into society.