Over the past decade throughout Africa, many countries have been working to improve the quality of education. Governments and donors have invested heavily in the sector, but are these investments working? Which interventions have the biggest impact?
Too often these decisions are based on faith or what seems obvious, rather than on rigorous evidence. The Randomized Control Trial (RCT) methodology, while not appropriate for everything, can provide critical evidence about what works and challenge cherished assumptions.
Twaweza Head Rakesh Rajani and Uwezo Regional Manager Sara Ruto attended the Evidence-Based Education: Policy Making and Reform in Africa conference in Accra, Ghana on May 14-15. The meeting was organized by Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), and the Ghana Education Service (GES), and was attended by practitioners, policy makers and academics from across Africa and the world. The intent of the conference was to discuss current evidence of what is working in education.
Rajani was a panelist for the discussion ‘What have we learned about enabling learning?’ alongside Abhijit Banerjee, professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and co-founder of JPAL, and author with Esther Duflo of the acclaimed book Poor Economics. Rajani spoke on lessons learned from Uwezo and the persistent learning crisis in East Africa. Immediately following the conference, Ruto attended a four day in-depth training on use of RCT interventions in education.
Twaweza has already engaged political scientists from MIT and Princeton Universities on assessing the work of Uwezo in Kenya and Tanzania and is working with JPAL on designing a local Cash on Delivery intervention in Tanzania.
Visit the conference website here to read more about the issues discussed.
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