Education Data for Decision Making(EdDataII): Key Achievements and Lessons Learned

USAID's Education Data for Decision Making (EdData II) was implemented over a 12 year period beginning in 2004. EdData II had at its core the goal of improving access to data for USAID Missions and host country ministries, to use for making informed policy decisions. The tools and research developed under EdData II whelped to inform the development of learning metrics under the Sustainable Development Goals (2015); provide evidence to support the design and monitor the implementation of USAID's 2011-2017 Education strategy, and provide actionable, high-quality data to inform policy and practice in around 35 countries. The report reflects on EdData II and the project's impact, providing a summary of the most salient and impactful project activities, and drawing key lessons from their development and implementation.

Weakest Part of Poorly-Performing Educational Systems: An Argument for Focus on “Teaching at the Right Level” and Improved Foundation-Year Performance

n roughly thirty-five to forty countries that are expanding education very quickly, experts have noticed that learning problems originating in the earliest grades are showing as a massive over-enrolment. In Grade 1, it is not unheard of for ratios of enrolment to population of appropriate age to be as high as 150 percent. This problem is not typical of upper-middle or high-income countries, where the issue has been resolved. Nor, does it seem to affect the very poorest countries where massive enrolment expansions have not yet taken place, and so “don’t even have the problem yet.” Instead, the typical countries showing over-enrolment tend to be those that have received a great deal of funding and attention from development agencies and have expanded enrolment quickly in the last decade or two. This piece looks at the evidence of the enrolment bulge starting in Grade 1. It shows there is a set of inter-related problems occuring, including the lack of "Teaching at the Right Level," that is leading to high enrolment figures, but low levels of learning. The Insight concludes by stating that given the inefficiency signified by the foundation-years over-enrolment, “Teaching at the Right Level” could be an investment that, if tied to proper accountability measures, could essentially pay for itself, and lead to improved foundations for learning in the later grades, and (meaningful) completion of primary school.

A Practical Approach to In-Country Systems Research

This background paper was written for the RISE Program. This paper was written to contribute to the discussio of how RISE approaches the challenge of research into systems change. Drawing on years of experience and research dealing with the complexities of education reform to consider how to link changes in system-level capacity to appreciable improvements in learning outcomes. It also describes a basic notion of how a system adds value to schools, namely by performing three bare-bones functions: • Setting expectations for the outcomes of education • Monitoring and holding schools accountable for meeting those expectations • Intervening to support the students and schools that are struggling, and holding the system accountable for delivering that support

Examination of Over-Enrollment, Repetition, and ECD Access in Uganda [Presentation]

[Presentation delivered at CIES 2017]. Education system data has indicated a pattern of over-enrollment in the early grades in some low-income countries. One factor that may influence the observed enrollment bulge is access to pre-primary education programs, as children who do not enter school prepared could be more likely to repeat leading to more children enrolled than are of enrollment-age. This presentation reports on a research study undertaken in Uganda to better understand pupil enrollment and repetition in Primary 1 as it relates to pre-primary access. Data was collected from schools in a district with high reported repetition, lack of or low preprimary access, and high apparent dropout between grade 1 and 2, and a district with low reported repetition, high preprimary access, and low apparent grade 1 dropout. School records were reviewed to collect ages of enrolled pupils and repeater status, in order to calculate age patterns and repetition rates in Primary 1 for each district. In addition, parents of randomly sampled pupils were interviewed about their child’s preprimary attendance, repetition of primary one or other grades, and access to preprimary education programs. Teachers of the sampled pupils were also interviewed regarding pupil age and repetition history. Overall, data was collected on 1,909 pupils in 80 schools, and 1,792 parents were interviewed. The presentation will focus on the following research questions: 1) What are the estimated repetition rates as reported by parents and schools in Primary 1 in schools in the sampled low- and high-risk districts in Uganda; 2) What are the ages of the pupils attending Primary 1 in our sample of Uganda schools and how does this relate to repetition; 3) How do the reported repetition rates relate to parent report of ECD attendance and access; and 4) What is the discrepancy between school-reported and parent-reported repetition rates. Data collection methods, measurement of repetition and ECD attendance and access, and policy conclusions will also be discussed.

Education Finance in Egypt: Problems and a Possible Solution

Egypt, currently in the throes of major political change, will likely undergo reforms of various sorts in the next few years. Some of these reforms are likely to give local entities, including schools, greater control over education finances. In 2007, the Government of Egypt began to decentralize some non-personnel recurrent finances from the center—the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance (MOF)—to lower-level jurisdictions, including schools, using a number of simple and transparent enrollment- and poverty-based funding formulas. By 2010, a sizable amount of capital expenditure was also being transferred to lower levels of the system via similar equity- based funding formulas. Prior to these formula-based decentralization efforts, a large amount of education-related non-personnel recurrent finances had already been moving from the MOF to the muderiyat, education offices at the governorate level of the system. Analysis of these latter allocations reveals that they are highly inequitable on an inter-governorate per-student basis, ranging from EGP 966 per student in New Valley to EGP 25 per student in 6th of October. This paper examines the nature and potential causes of this inequity and espouses a way in which these funds could be transferred using an equity-based funding formula that holds harmless those muderiyat that would lose absolute amounts of money under such a more equitable distribution scheme.

Gap Analysis: Education Information and Education Policy and Planning in Mozambique Final Report

The purpose of this paper is to assess Mozambique’s education data and information systems’ ability to help formulate education sector plans and policies. Emphasis is put on existing policy over the last decade or so, with some attention to more recent trends. Thus emphasis is put on basic education, because basic education was the focus of policy attention in the most recent decade or two.