Efficient use of resources depends upon many factors, but one key variable is the extent to which we design and implement activities which require funding in a way that is informed by relevant evidence.
The application of insights about ‘what works’, derived from robust research, combined with evidence about context and real-time system data have, when taken together, the potential to add substantial value to ‘building back better’ after Covid-19. Evidence is the fuel that drives smart, adaptive, impactful policy.
At its best, the combination of knowing what the most effective investments are and having great system intelligence that tells us how things are translating into action and change, will enable policy and decision-making to be strategic, open to fine tuning and deeply contextualised.
Education Development Trust identifies five key components needed for an effective evidence-driven approach to education reform.
All of these interrelated components already exist in different forms and different places. All are essential for ensuring that approaches to education reform are both effective and evidence-driven.
Evidence-driven education reform is difficult. It can be hard to access relevant research and, compared to other sectors such as health, there is often a paucity of good quality researchbased evidence that can be used to guide action. And when robust evidence has been generated in one country, there are often questions about how far the insights can be applied in the distinctive context of another country. Evidence comes in different forms. Senior officials need to know relevant research-based insights, but they also need easy access to other forms of evidence, including data about student outcomes disaggregated in terms of factors such as gender, geography, ethnicity, disability and family poverty levels. Policy should be responsive to ‘user voice’ and the perceptions and concerns of students and parents constitute, therefore, an important form of evidence.Download now
The Covid-19 pandemic has been intensely disruptive to education all around the world. With children in many countries continuing to face prolonged absences from the classroom, innovative solutions are needed to maintain education continuity, especially for the most vulnerable students. Such crises require solutions that go beyond the resources of the ‘traditional’ education workforce, with local communities and inputs from other sectors playing a potentially important role in ensuring continuity of learning. This report, the second in our Learning Renewed series, explores the solutions adopted by our team in Kenya, where we have redesigned the roles of community health volunteers (CHVs) to support continuity of learning for the vulnerable girls we work with, and identifies key lessons which may prove valuable both during and beyond the current crisis.
Our new report about systems thinking and its place in education transformation reflects on key published literature and on specific outputs from our own programme of research which has placed emphasis on system reform over the past five years. The work we do at Education Development Trust brings us into direct contact with education systems, and their governments. We are tasked with helping to solve intractable educational challenges. Systems thinking is a vital component part of what we do, how we understand the nature of the issues and how we support change.