Continuing the Conversation about ‘The Role of Citizen-led Assessments in Shifting the Education Agenda’

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

A People’s Global Network on Learning is Born

While Kenya and Nairobi were at a standstill preparing for the US President Barack Obama’s Airforce I to land on July 24 for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, in another beautiful scenic setting, a global network on learning was born! The network will help hold countries accountable for ensuring their children are not just in school, but also learning. Committed to transparently conducting citizen-led household based assessments on learning, the network will increasingly enable communities to hold their leaders to account; it will support the call for lifelong learning for all – central to the new SDG on education.

Involving Citizens in the Provision of Good Quality Education

In January, I was honored to be present as the Pratham family celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Annual Status of Education Report (ASER). I learned that ASER means impact in Hindi. Having followed its progress closely over the years, I can only confirm that ASER is fulfilling the vision and promise of its name.

School’s out for Summer: What have kids learnt?

Three years ago I was in rural India directly participating in one of these surveys in the almost unbearable heat of summer. I was with two Indian colleagues who were hard at work mapping a village in Uttar Pradesh under the direction of the village headman. We were squatting in the shade but there was no escaping the hot, humid air.

Time for a new focus on what works for education

We know how to expand enrolments, and politicians have been quick to do so in response to massively increased demand from parents. But we still don’t know enough about how to improve learning, relevance and equity in education. Yet these topics are at the heart of the likely post-2015 education targets as recorded in the Muscat agreement. Not only do we not know enough about them, we also don’t know enough about how to sequence educational reforms, adopt innovations and improve accountability.

Work In Progress: More on learning to improve learning

Last month, my colleague Dana Schmidt wrote a blog post about what the Hewlett Foundation and its grantees have learned about improving children’s early learning from the Quality Education in Developing Countries Initiative. Under this Initiative, our grantees implemented a variety of instructional models both within the school day and after school hours, with children enrolled and with those who were not.

Increasing the Impact of Corporate Engagement in Education: Landscape and Challenges

Despite progress made since the start of the millennium to refocus efforts on education, progress in education has been slow and uneven with government commitments wavering. The current state of education is nothing short of a global crisis: 67 million children remain out of primary school and resource mobilization to reach the 2015 targets has fallen short by over $16 billion. Just as alarming, yet rarely discussed, are the hundreds of millions of children enrolled in school but not learning.