By Dana Schmidt at the Hewlett Foundation
In June, we shared findings from an evaluation of citizen-led assessments we commissioned from Results for Development. Since the report’s publication, which showed how engaging citizens in large scale, household-based assessments of children’s learning can help focus education debates on learning, a number of colleagues have shared their own perspectives on the evaluation and my blog post about it (which was also translated into Spanish).
Here’s a round-up of the conversation so far:
Charles Kenny from the Center for Global Development reflected on how Schooling Ain’t Learning, and Learning Assessments (Alone) Ain’t Reform. He concludes: “Assessments are the vital first step in learning the scale of the problem and finding out what works to help fix it. And the national and international attention that the efforts of groups like ASER and Uwezo have brought to the learning crisis has been invaluable. If they — or others — can help empower the legions of volunteers involved to act as agents of change, they might help foment an education revolution.”
Nathaniel Heller from Results for Development wrote on the Open Government Partnership blog a post called Why Citizen-Led Assessments of Educational Outcomes Matter for the Transparency and Open Data Communities, highlighting three important insights from the evaluation for practitioners of transparency, accountability, and participation.
Colin Bangay from the UK’s Department for Development offered his thoughts in: What role for Citizen Led Learning Assessments? – Moving beyond Measurement on the World Education blog. Colin praises the evaluation for its recommendations on how to increase the impact of citizen-led assessments and raises questions not tackled by the report about the relationship between external assessments and government assessment systems.
On the RISE blog, Rukmini Banerji from Pratham shared how, in setting up ASER in India, Pratham was Building a Movement – Assessment to Action. She talks about the motivation behind ASER, how they learned early on that “along with seeing a problem and realizing that there is a need to act, people seemed to need a clear demonstration of what can be done and how to do it,” and therefore how, through Read India, ASER has been linked to large-scale efforts by citizens for improving learning.
And finally, Modupe Adefeso-Olateju from The Education Partnership writes about How Nigeria is Beginning the Citizen-Led Assessment with the End in Mind. She offers examples of how LEARNigeria (Let’s Engage, Assess & Report Nigeria), the newest in the family of citizen-led assessments, is keeping the evaluation results in mind as they design their assessment.
Thanks to everyone for commenting.