KiuFunza is shorthand for Kiu ya Kujifunza, which means Thirst for Learning in Kiswahili. KiuFunza is a program that provides small cash incentives to public school teachers in Tanzania conditional on the learning outcomes of students in their class. The program goal is to improve foundational reading and numeracy skills in grades 1, 2 and 3, by providing inspiration and focus to the teaching staff. 

The average per teacher bonus is modest at 3.5% of the average annual teacher salary. Because this is a performance bonus, some teachers earn much more than the average and some much less. The bonus amount depends on how many students a teacher teaches and how many 3Rs skills her students pass on the independent KiuFunza assessments.

The KiuFunza incentive offer explained in the baseline teacher meeting
Teachers watching KiuFunza explainer video at baseline

By focusing on the first three grades, KiuFunza supports foundational instruction by teachers facing the largest class sizes in the school, often exceeding 100 students. By turning each student into an opportunity, rather than a challenge. Evidence from randomized evaluations – implemented by independent researchers affiliated with the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) – shows that KiuFunza teacher incentives lead to large foundational learning gains for all students, including the weaker students. The program is also highly cost-effective. 

Starting in 2023, Twaweza is scaling KiuFunza teacher incentives with support from the Hempel Foundation, with a focus on the worst performing schools in Tanzania.  By delivering teacher cash incentives linked to reading and numeracy skills, KiuFunza is currently supporting learning by over 77,000 children in 265 of the most disadvantaged public primary schools across mainland Tanzania. 

                                   To learn more about KiuFunza, follow these links:

                                        1. Program design and implementation: How does it work? 

                                        2. What have we achieved so far? 

                                        3. Science and learning: How do we know it is effective?