PEP Ugandan researchers's findings show that community involvement improves performance in rural primary schools

The findings and recommendations ensued from this PEP-supported impact evaluation project were presented to national and international policymakers, as well as public stakeholders, during a special conference held in Kampala.

Not only has this PEP project contributed to improve accountability mechanisms and educational outcomes in 120 rural primary schools in Uganda, but the results are also being used to improve the national education planning system.. 

Among the various challenges that the Ugandan government is facing to improve educational outcomes and achieve Universal Primary Education (UPE) in the country, is the necessity to improve the “quality of education services” - which has been proven to suffer, in great part, from the “weakness of accountability mechanisms between school administrators, teachers and the communities”.
In order to assist decision-makers in solving these issues, a team of PEP researchers set out to "test" and assess the effectiveness of two types of community-based monitoring interventions in improving general educational outcomes, using an experimental approach (i.e. randomized controlled trials (RCTs), on a sample of 120 rural public primary schools in 4 different districts of Uganda.
They find that, in a context where accountability is low, and where test-based incentives may be expensive, implementing a system to collect “information-for-accountability” from community-based monitoring interventions provides a cost-effective solution to improve the quality of educational outcomes and services. Plus, regarding the design of these "monitoring program interventions", the trials' results suggest that participatory engagement of the community - including the delegation of some authority over monitoring activities - may be essential to success.
Both the project and findings' descriptions from PEP project PIERI-11857 are summarized in the PEP policy brief (no. 98)
As this project entailed direct involvement of the research team with the local stakeholders, the introduction of the tested "community-based monitoring tools" has contributed to improve these particular stakeholders' working environment and accountability mechanisms (leading to improved educational outcomes).

In addition to several international academic conference presentations, the findings were also presented during a national policy conference, organized by the PEP local research team, in collaboration with the Center for the Study of African Economies (CSAE, Oxford) and the Economic Policy Research Center (EPRC, Kampala), in Kampala, on December 2, 2011.

The event was attended by a great number of policymakers - mainly from the Ministry of Education (including the Commissioner for Education Planning), the National Examinations Board and the Ministry of Financial Planning and Economic Development, as well as several district officials - also representatives from international institutions (such as the World Bank, World Vision, the Netherlands' Development Organization, Irish Aid, UNICEF, DFID, the African Development Bank), NGOs and the general public. 
The findings communicated during the event, also attended by members of the press and mass media, were published by several national newspapers and discussed on the radio. 
The World Bank has also decided to provide further funding for the team to carry out an extension of the project, regarding "mechanisms to incentivise teachers".
This PEP impact evaluation project involved the following PEP researchers: Madina Guloba Ibrahim Kasirye Lawrence Batageka
To find more recent findings and policy recommendations from PEP-supported studies, see Recent findings from PEP researchers in developing countries

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