Education in Conflict and Emergencies

Co-convenor: Lori Heninger, Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)

Education is a human right for all children; that right does not end when a conflict or crisis occurs. Still, about half of the 61 million primary-school aged out-of-school children live in situations of crisis and/or natural hazard. The average conflict in the least developed countries lasts 12 years, and refugees are displaced for an average of 17 years.

The field of education in conflict and emergencies has grown significantly in the past decade. Examples of success include the creation of the Education Cluster, a UN Resolution “The right to education in emergency situations,” academic programs of study, research and multiple networks and coalitions such as the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack and the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies. Even with this progress, education receives two percent of humanitarian funding, and is still at times not recognized as a first-phase humanitarian response.

New challenges and opportunities are arising for education in conflict and emergencies. Climate change and the resulting natural hazards will cause migration and will impact education. Environmental hazards are linked to conflict, as in the Sahel, creating a double negative impact on education. Education is being viewed by many donors through the lens of conflict sensitivity; education policy and programming can not only mitigate, but can exacerbate conflict. Education is also linked with peacebuilding and statebuilding, moving beyond the standard education in conflict and emergencies framework of disaster/conflict preparedness, response and recovery.

In the coming two years, there is an opportunity to impact large-scale processes such as the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals and Education for All agendas, as well as to provide enhanced vision and intervention on emerging issues in the education in conflict and emergencies field.

Available Papers

ASEAN Safe Schools Initiative (ASSI)

Avianto Amri, Plan International, Adviser for ASEAN Safe Schools Initiative

Every day, more than 100 million children in schools in ASEAN countries are at risks of disasters. Just in the last 5 years, disasters caused full or partial damage to more than 14,500 school buildings in the ASEAN region. Climate change, urbanization, population growth and other factors will further exacerbated the impact of disasters to education. These risks are a direct warning to the fulfilment of every children’s right to education as well as the achievement of targets under the MDGs and EFA for achieving universal access to primary education. The ASEAN Secretariat and AADMER Partnership Group (APG) have initiated a new initiative called ASEAN Safe School Initiative (ASSI). ASSI is developed under the basis that ASEAN countries face similar characteristics of hazards and also that among ASEAN Member States share common interests in the economic, social, and cultural fields. Therefore, Plan International, MERCY Malaysia, Save the Children, and World Vision are conducting research in stock taking of current programmes, approaches, guidelines and tools on Safe School programming in ASEAN countries from January until June 2013. The results of the research will then identify the progress of Safe School programming in each country, identify their distinctive strength and approaches, and then will further guide ASEAN to forge regional collaboration and improve south-south cooperation among ASEAN Member States. Preliminary findings also showed non-traditional stakeholder groups, such as the private sectors and media, could have a significant role in supporting Safe School programming as they have the resources to support the initiative.


Introduction of Disaster Safety in the Sri Lankan Education System: Factors for success

Patricia Bitter, GIZ Education for Social Cohesion programme, Consultant

M.N.S Edirisinghe, National Institute of Education, Director, Department of Research and Development, Maharangma Sri Lanka

Due to the increase of disasters worldwide, the global agenda of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters has become increasingly important. Therefore, to build a culture of safety through the use of knowledge, innovation and education is a priority. In post-tsunami Sri Lanka, in 2005, the Ministry of Education and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) initiated ‘Disaster Safety Education’. The project integrated DRR in teacher training, developed school curricula and materials, launched school safety guidelines and established coordination structures and partnerships. This paper identifies, and gives the genesis of five factors of success that give valuable hints for how to successfully introduce new concepts into education in the development cooperation context.


How can teachers be supported to provide quality learning in emergency and conflict situations? Voices of teachers in South Sudan

John J. Lujang Wan, Director Deputy for Quality Assurance and Standards, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Republic of South Sudan

The Ministry of Education is working hard to promote quality education for all children in South Sudan. Though peace was won, yet the country is still suffering from the situation of emergency and conflicts. The issue of quality and access of education to all is considered very important as it is stated in all policy papers. Teachers’ knowledge, skills and attitudes are still the key factors for quality education required for economic and social development, which leads to stability of the country with peace. It cannot be denied that teachers’ ineffectiveness and unconnected professional development may cause poor learning. Interventions that provide teachers with education and training opportunities are essential if teachers are not teaching to the expectation. Many attempts even before the independence of the country were made with support from the international community to improve provision of quality education. A lot of focus was put on teachers with only a few successful stories. These failures may have been made due to poor planning without considering the reality on the ground. This paper attempts to identify what is happening in the schools from the voices of the teachers. It will investigate support provided for the teachers. It is hoped the study will contribute to the stakeholders understanding of what teachers are doing in schools and that the study synthesizes teachers’ teaching abilities, the kind of teaching and learning in the schools, and support teachers can receive in emergency and conflicts situations. This may allow stakeholders understanding of what teachers face in emergency and conflicts situations.


The Role of Education in Developing Women Struck by Terrorism and Natural Disasters

Abida Mahmood, Administrator Qurban & Surraya Educational Trust, Lahore, Pakistan

There is a large body of research that shows that all natural and man made disasters impact men and women differently. The collective positioning of women as subordinate and dependent vis-à-vis men determines and shapes women’s vulnerabilities in conflict and disaster struck areas and situations. More than ever before there’s a need to empower women so that they can have full access to resources, power and decision making. Education is one of the fundamental rights of a human being and is  considered as a distinction between human and beast. In the male dominated society of Pakistan women has always remained confined in a compound especially in the northern parts of Pakistan. The female education in North West of Pakistan is considered to be almost against of social and traditional norms while the on going militancy added insult to injuries depriving women of education, their inborn right. The recent floods also added to the psycho-social, economic and political conditions of women. This paper looks at the current situation of women’s conditions due to terrorism and natural disasters and suggests ways to improve the lives of women through education. Educating girls and women is central to long-term progress in Pakistan. With poverty and exclusion important contributing factors to the chronic instability and discontent, any longterm solution to the current conflict will have to find ways of improving the socio-economic status of the population. Educating girls and women is one of most highly leveraged investments in long-term development. It is recommended that the government and the global community should concentrate on the education of women so as to help them enter a self – sustaining circle.


Teacher Professional Development in Crisis

Becky Telford, War Child Holland

Teacher professional development (TPD) in conflict and emergency settings is in crisis. Children growing up in war are already at the sharp end of global development challenges: of the 57 million primary-age children who are out of school, almost half live in a conflict zone (Save the Children, 2013). Whilst the difficulties in realising the Millennium Development Goals on Education For All are well documented, emergency settings have both an increased need for education and an additional set of challenges which are significantly hampering efforts to provide it. Against this background, teacher quality is vital for child learning, yet those very teachers who need the most professional development are often those for whom it is non-existent or of a very low standard. Using a case study of South Sudan and the Connect.Teaching project, this paper outlines the current issues in teacher training in conflict-affected countries and the possible uses of ICT in supporting new models to raise the quality of teaching and of child learning. The discussion builds from the TPD in Crisis online series of 20-articles (Feb-April 2013). Curated by Mary Burns and James Lawrie, this forum brought together international experts, practitioners, and teachers from the North and South and generated an online community and movement. Using the research from that discussion, alongside experiences in South Sudan, this paper considers how wise use of ICT could help address many of the challenges we currently face: the problem of scale, of building capacity,  leadership, and of budgetary issues. The debate on ICT and TPD should be placed alongside the current discourse on primary education in the global South in general and in conflict zones in particular. A diverse spectrum of ICT for education (ICT4E) programmes has been developed and are being tested internationally – some with great fanfare – but these tend to focus on the use of ICT and multimedia to develop enrichment materials for low quality formal primary education. Many programmes view the complex and multiple challenges facing formal education and teaching as too great to address, and focus instead on providing alternative access to education. But with all uses of ICT in education – and indeed in humanitarian work more generally – ICT and multimedia need to be seen as a tool, not an end in itself. Considering ways in which ICT can complement or potentially scale-up initiatives to improve teaching must be done within the framework of policy and infrastructure development, and a real commitment to providing quality education to children growing up in conflict.

Reflecting on Global Agendas, International Targets and Goals: Lessons Learned

Co-convenors: Steve Packer, Independent Consultant, and Terra Sprague, 2013 UKFIET Conference Convenor

The international community, most notably through the United Nations, is engaged in detailed global, regional and national discussions on the form and the shape of post 2015 development frameworks. New and/or amended goals and targets are being formulated. Work on specific themes including education is well under way.

To date there is relatively little evidence that lesson learning from the past 13 years since 2000 (and earlier) is strongly informing post 2015 planning, whether in education or more broadly. Has global targetry made a difference? What have we learned from the origins, construction and evolution of global education agendas, targets, campaigns, movements, and partnerships? Is the reductionist nature of global targetry virtuous or constraining? How have global targets been used and interpreted in diverse national and sub-national contexts? In other words, is the determination to look ahead sufficiently informed by understanding the past?

Available Papers

Education Policy Making-Wither the State as Policy Actor

Nick Waterman, Team Leader, Sindh Education Sector Support Programme, British Council, Pakistan

The development of education policy internationally, reflected in Education For All and the Millennium Development Goals, provides examples of policy convergence at national levels. Yet the process of such convergence, including the role of international and national policy actors, largely remains unexplored. Using the case study of a developing African county, this paper seeks to explore ways in which policy convergence may occur. This paper suggests that the paucity of national policy-making capacity in developing countries and the weakness of local policy actors results in policy space being penetrated by external policy actors, including donors, international non-governmental organisations, policy entrepreneurs and other agents of policy transfer. The transfer of policy may be subject to varying degrees of voluntarism and coercion. This paper concludes that ministries of education in developing countries are often marginalised in actual policy development and that national ownership of policy is invariably sidelined. This may result in lack of policy commitment at national level. It may also result in policy failure due to lack of policy fit. Where the role of national ministries of education is relegated to implementation of received policy, resource-availability may be disproportionate to the requirements of any such policy implementation. These aspects may be particularly acute in fragile and conflict-affected states where state-building is premised upon developing national capacity, but where government and other national policy actors may be occluded from effective policy-making processes by the dominance of international policy hubs.

Emerging Global Trends in Education

Co-convenor: Mario Novelli, University of Sussex

The Post 2015 world looks very different from the geopolitical dynamics that shaped the MDGs at the turn of the millennium. The rise of China and the BRICS; a resurgent Latin America striving for an alternative development path; a reassertive Russia; a Middle East shaken both by conflict and the prospect of democratic renewal; the African continent caught between conflict, poverty and uneven growth and a West that appears unable to shake off the global financial crisis that since 2008 has undermined its hegemony, or a series of wars that have undermined its legitimacy. While key challenges of poverty, environmental crisis, and security continue to threaten our common future, what can education and education systems bring to the future of international development? As we move to a more multi-polar world are educational trajectories diverging? Are shifting labour demands changing what we need to know? Are we moving way from neoliberal educational solutions to more pluralistic directions, or variants of the same patterns? Will future education solutions and innovations emerge from different geographies, underpinned by different logics? How will new technologies transform educational practice and governance?

Available Papers

Exploring Aspects of Private-Public Partnership Schooling in Pakistan

Ravish Amjad, Research and Policy Analyst, Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi, Pakistan

In recent years, there have been multiple methods through which the government in Pakistan has tried to undertake education sector reforms in pursuit of achieving quality education for all. These reforms not only include direct intervention by the  government but also making space for alternative service providers in the education sector. An increased role for the private sector in education provision is just one aspect of the government’s readiness to open its doors to privatization. The emergence of  public private partnerships (PPP) schools has also helped in increasing access to quality education, especially in rural areas. A large number of students benefit from the Punjab Education Foundation, Sind Education Foundation and Balochistan Education Foundations schools alone. It is widely believed that students from these foundation-assisted PPP schools academically outperform their counterparts in government schools, and perform as well as private school students. This paper uses the 2012 data from the Annual Status of Education Report Pakistan to mainly address the two questions:

(a) Do Pakistan’s rural PPP school students outperform their public school counterparts?

(b) Is the difference in student achievement only because of the type of institution the student attends or some other factors?

The paper addresses the above questions using regression analysis and other simple statistical techniques. The analysis provides evidence as to which education providers are generating better student learning outcomes, and whether the alternative-to-government service deliverers are a good solution for some education problems in Pakistan.

Savings Groups, Livelihoods and Education: Two case studies in Ghana

Stuart Cameron, Consultant, Oxford Policy Management, UK

Eric Daniel Ananga, Lecturer, University of Education, Winneba, Ghana

Does access to better, village-level facilities for saving and borrowing improve educational outcomes and expenditure? Based on a literature review and case studies in Ghana commissioned by Plan UK, this paper finds that savings groups programmes such as village savings and loans associations (VSLA) help poor rural households pay for education in some contexts but not others. Households use loans directly to pay school expenses and also invest in income generating activities that allow them to raise educational expenditure in the longer term. There are additional indirect effects on education through healthcare, nutrition, and household decision making.

Education and Urban Poverty: How little do we know?

Stuart Cameron, Consultant, Oxford Policy Management, UK

As poverty in the world becomes increasingly urban, urban inequalities become increasingly large, and informal settlements continue in many countries to be either ignored by governments or seen as threats, how much do we know about the access to education, and educational outcomes, for poor urban households? Due to their often semi-legal residential status, the difficulty of carrying out surveys among mobile populations and in areas that are sometimes flood-prone or dangerous, frequent evictions and the rapid creation of new slums, these households may not be properly covered in household surveys. Potentially, they are falling under the radar both of policymakers and data collectors, and progress towards international education goals set for 2015 may be less advanced than thought. This paper will discuss the options for improving this situation, including mapping and self-documentation by people living in poor urban areas, focusing on shortfalls in service provision; satellite imagery; census data and improving national household surveys; and special household surveys targeting marginalized urban populations. It draws on primary research from Bangladesh, and secondary data from Bangladesh, Malawi and Vietnam, in a bid to examine the potential shortfalls and strengths of different data sources and roughly quantify the educational disadvantage of poor urban households.


New Imperatives for Education, Teaching and Learning

Co-convenor: Freda Wolfenden, The Open University

As we approach 2015 there are a number of new challenges to consider when planning and prioritising education provision. This includes factors such as demographic shifts, the increasing availability of technologies, economic growth, changes in patterns of inequality and climate change, which all have potential impacts on education. The resulting changes in livelihoods are requiring a reconceptualising of appropriate skills. How might these differ across contexts and what actions are required to ensure equitable access to skills development programmes? How can young people be best prepared for these changes?

There is emerging agreement that we need to understand more about the process of learning in different contexts. This includes the ‘quality agenda’, but what forms of evidence are most useful in conceptualising learning in the post-2015 debate? What are the implications of the increasing use of standardised tests, including cross-national examinations? How can we capture a broader set of competencies and what should these include?

New knowledge, approaches and methods from other fields are increasingly informing education policy and practice in adult and lifelong learning as well as school systems. For example, findings from cognitive neuroscience are being extensively promoted within early childhood education. Is there sufficient discussion of their relevance and understanding of how to apply these findings to the complex reality of education practice? How best can interdisciplinary dialogues be strengthened and advanced? What forms and areas of multidisciplinary research are offering new insights and potential solutions?

Available Papers

Teacher Characteristics Actions and Perceptions: What matters for student achievement in Pakistan?

Shenila Rawal, Department of Quantitative and Social Sciences, Institute of Education, University of London

Monazza Aslam, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Institute of Education, University of London

Baela Jamil, Idara-eTaleem-o-Aagahi (ITA), Pakistan

Substandard teaching is believed to be the foremost reason for poor quality schooling in the developing world. This paper uses unique data from primary schools in the state of Punjab in Pakistan to delve into the issues that may determine what makes one teacher more effective than another. The hypothesis that differential teacher effectiveness stems from far more than observable teacher characteristics is tested and more nuanced reasons behind these differences are examined. In particular, teacher attitudes and opinions are investigated to give a more holistic approach to researching teacher effectiveness and its impact on student learning.


Models of instruction: from reading towards literacy

Marcia Davidson, Cambridge Education

Jenny Hobbs, Concern Worldwide

International learning assessment tools have contributed to increased global recognition of a crisis in literacy levels in developing countries. As practitioners, education-focused NGOs are well placed to share learning on models that are effective in improving literacy levels in extremely poor countries. To improve literacy standards at scale it is imperative that the community of practice identifies viable models and essential components of literacy interventions. This paper consolidates learning from two NGOs – Room to Read and Concern Worldwide – on good practice in improving reading levels of students. Drawing from programme experience and recent data from over 20 education programmes in some of the world’s poorest countries, the authors identify the “non-negotiables” of education supports. A conceptual model of “the simple view of reading” is provided presented, grounded in evidence of improved reading achievement for students. This parsimonious approach strives for low-cost, sustainable solutions while reconciling this with necessities for literacy success. Successful models of engagement with stakeholders are presented, together with lessons learnt. Complexity is then added. The authors recognise that the “non-negotiables” presented in the paper are true for programmes that strive to improve reading achievement, but that they must be expanded if a wider view of literacy is to be achieved. Communication skills and higher order language competencies are imperative for meaningful learning and personal development. The implications of a wider view of literacy are presented and compared to the parameters established as “non-negotiables”. The authors then present a set of considerations for practitioners striving to improve literacy levels in developing countries.


Developing a New Education Strategy from an Equity Perspective: Lessons learned from a case study

Jan Fransen, Education Advisor, VVOB, Belgium

Tom Vandenbosch, Education Advisor, VVOB, Belgium

Sven Rooms, Programme Director, VVOB, Belgium

Bart Dewaele, Director-General, VVOB, Belgium

This paper describes the process a medium-sized agency active in education for development went through to determine its new global objectives, and draws some valuable lessons for others who may be considering reviewing their own strategies. This strategy formulation process happened in an era of new challenges (such as growing inequalities in terms of learning), evolving country strategies in education, newly emerging scientific knowledge about education in the early years, continuing specialisation amongst agencies, and post-2015 discussions. A deliberate choice was made for a number of participatory subprocesses, which led to one  overall strategy with three clear objectives. Equity was used as an overarching starting point in the development of the new  strategy, and appears implicitly in all three of the global objectives. The choices made also took into account considerations of coherence, synergy and practicality of implementation. The approach to realise the objectives is to enhance the capacities of partners like teacher training colleges, ministries... to ensure that the latter are capable to realize their own education priorities. The paper reflects on how the choices made are likely to remain relevant in the post-2015 education agenda. We conclude our paper by providing some tips and tricks on how to develop strategies which are clear, simple and measurable, and which put equity in learning at the centre of envisioned results.


Transformative Education Model in Cameroon

June Gorman, Co-founder, Transformative Education Forum

The Transformative Education Forum held in Monterey, California in 2011 gathering international educators from 5 continents, developed 12 founding Principles of what defined “Transformative Education” in a globalizing world; these included the five core Principles of Human Rights, Sustainability, Morality/Ethics and Spirit, Diversity, andfinally Economic and Social Justice. The remaining seven Principles focus on more specific elements, which were deemed by all attendees as necessary in the creation of a new pedagogy required by humanity in order to thrive harmoniously on a shared, sustainable planet. The new pedagogy is in part based on new neuroscience educational research, which illuminates more extensively how all human brains prefer to learn and  what any sensitive parent or teacher already understands: children learn best by loving and living what they are learning. These findings also suggest children learn best with teachers and climates that reinforce that love of learning, tied concretely to students’ experiential environment and traditional culture. This is humanity’s greatest potential problem-solving resource: Children taught in ways to bring out diverse innovative and original multiple intelligences, across their brain hemispheres – the left and the right – the linear and the creative – the passionate, compassionate and the sublime. The African Sustainable Agricultural Project (ASAP) initiated at TEF-2011, was created to employ the TEF Principles in a particular setting, to provide education that was specifically requested by many of the African TEF participants as best suited to their current environmental and cultural needs. Supported by the government and elders of Kumbo, Cameroon, ASAP is incorporating the TEF Principles in order to educate for the needs of the community in the most effective way for the entire community to learn and thrive together, a transformative model of education for sustainability, to benefit all.


Learners' Participation in Multilingual Classroons in Tanzania: Case for a policy and practice dialectic

Anjum Halai, Aga Khan University Institute for Educational Development East Africa

Pauline Rea-Dickins, Aga Khan University Institute for Educational Development East Africa

Tanzania has a population of more than 42 million, with about 73.6 % living in rural areas from 120 tribal language backgrounds with implications for quality of education. Formal education constitutes 2 years of pre-primary education, 7 years of primary education, 4 years of junior secondary, 2 years of senior secondary education. Kiswahili is the language of instruction in primary school education, while English is the medium of instruction in post-primary education The country has made strides in reaching universal primary education primarily due to strong policy commitment to education since its independence in 1960, where successive government have seen education as necessary for development, so that the current primary school enrolment stands close to 97% . However, persisting deep concerns about the quality of primary education raises doubts about the extent to which primary schooling prepares learners for transition to and completion of secondary schooling. For education in post 2015 scenario, the authors raise issues for quality of learning and achievement by drawing on their vast experience of education and research in Tanzania. They maintain that the language in education policy is typically implemented from the perspective of monolingualism as a normative ideal. Hence, all interactions in the classroom are expected to happen only in the language of instruction, and  multilingualism is seen as a deficit. However, the language practices situated in the social setting draw on all linguistic capital within the society and views multilingualism as a resource. To support post primary education, implementation of the language in education policy must challenge the prevailing assumptions about language practices and align it with situated practice in  education.


Intercultural Education-An analysis of results and perspectives: A reflection based on the analysis of experiences of intercultural bilingual education projects implemented in Peru by CARE

Ana María Robles Capurro, CARE Peru, Education Program Coordinator

Lotte M. P. Renault, CARE USA, Regional Technical Advisor

The diversity of cultural backgrounds in classrooms has been increasingly recognized as an important factor in international and national education policy. Different perspectives on intercultural and multicultural education policies are emerging and redefining the role of education in a globalized context, taking into account the growing use of new technologies and economic condition. The intercultural education models implemented in Latin America, particularly in Peru, seek to respond to the quality and equity issues embedded in the challenge of realizing education as a human right. There are challenges at the level of education  management, curriculum, production of learning materials, teacher training, parental and community participation in school and evaluation. Education systems range from monocultural models to bilingual intercultural education for indigenous populations, and emerging trends include building an intercultural education for all as part of the 21st century agenda. This paper proposes a reflection based on analysis of experiences of intercultural bilingual education projects implemented in Peru by CARE in   partnership with the government and local organizations within the perspective of the intercultural curricular framework. These experiences had a transformative effect in traditional teaching‐learning processes, improving education outcomes and promoting deep changes in relationships between school and community. After four years of implementation in one of the project sites, pass rates in standardized tests for mathematics and Spanish increased from less than 3% at the baseline up to 42%. These outcomes contribute to the debate on the relevance of intercultural education and its implications for the teaching‐learning process in the post‐ 2015 agenda.


Developing Life Skills: constraints in the system, challenges in society

John Wood, Director, Education for Change Ltd., UK

Jake Grout-Smith, Consultant and Projects Manager, Education for Change Ltd., UK

Sophie Tanner, Research and Projects Manager, Education for Change Ltd., UK

Over the past two decades life skills education (LSE) has come to be seen as integral to preparing young people and adults to negotiate and mediate everyday cha llenges and risks and enable productive participation in society. LSE is also perceived as an important contributor to the quality of education. International and national commitment to LSE, witnessed by its increasing prominence in the EFA and MDG education agendas, has led to the rapid expansion of LSE initiatives, with a very wide spectrum of content, scale, approaches and goals. Yet there has been little monitoring or evaluation of structured, sustained LSE  interventions and the learning outcomes achieved as a result of these interventions. In light of this, in 2011 Education for Change (E fC) was contracted by UNICEF to undertake a global evaluation of UNICEF-supported LSE initiatives. This paper discusses the findings from this evaluation, looking specifically at the common disjuncture between LSE interventions in educational systems (both formal and non-formal) and the wider social norms (both supportive and obstructive) in which those systems exist; the conceptual, methodological and operational dilemmas between psycho-social skills-led and content-specific skills-led LSE interventions; and the interdependence between LSE and child -centred teaching and learning approaches that expose both to the resource and capacity constraints of many educational systems.


Early Childhood Development: An Imperative for the Post-2015 Agenda

Louise Zimanyi, Director, Consultative Group on Early Childhood Development

Sheldon Shaeffer, Chairman, Executive Board, Consultative Group on Early Childhood Development

A significant gap in the discourse surrounding the post-2015 development agenda is the lack of attention being paid to Early Childhood Development (ECD). Over 200 million children under 5 years of age in low-income and middle-income countries – and increasing numbers in OECD countries and emerging economies – will not reach their full developmental potential because they grow up facing a broad range of risk factors, most notably poverty; poor health including HIV/AIDS and malnutrition; high levels of family and environmental stress and exposure to violence, abuse, neglect, exploitation; and inadequate levels of care and learning opportunities. This includes risks that result from emergencies related to conflict, climate change, and global demographic shifts through migration and urbanisation. Compelling evidence from economists and neuro-scientists, educators and health professionals, shows the impact of good-quality ECD interventions on immediate outcomes for children, especially those most disadvantaged -- better health, nutrition, and cognitive development and thus on the new post-2015 focus on “learning”. But this evidence also proves significant impact on long-term social and individual outcomes: greater efficiency in the education system; lower costs for health, criminal, and social welfare systems; and more productive citizens able to participate more effectively in national development. Despite this evidence, progress in expanding ECD provision, especially among low-income countries and disadvantaged populations (e.g., the extreme poor, ethnic/linguistic minorities, learners with disabilities), has been slow – often because of government and development agency indifference, competition for scarce resources from other levels of education and other health priorities, and the fragmentation of ECD services across the many sectors which provide them. Ensuring that ECD is included in the plethora of post-2015 documents, debates, and consultations and in any new versions of the MDGs and EFA is therefore critical. This paper will reflect on the position of ECD in previous global education development movements, (2) review accomplishments and challenges of ECD between 1990-2015, and (3) re-vision or articulate the role of ECD in the post-2015 education and development agenda.

Evidence and Knowledge

Co-convenors: Susy Ndaruhutse and Ruth Naylor, CfBT

The Education for All and Millennium Development Goals have been a key part of the education policy discourse since 2000. Significant debate and research has taken place on what progress has been made towards achieving these goals, which countries and groups of learners are most on track, and which are most off track. There has also been particular critique of the narrow focus of the goals both on the primary/basic sub-sector, and more on access rather than learning which has resulted in some aspects of education receiving less attention.

This conference sub-theme reviews and critiques evidence and knowledge from 1990 to present in order to identify the value and shortcomings of the EFA and MDG agendas. Of particular interest is knowledge about the interdependence and synergies of the MDGs (such as between education, learning, gender, health and poverty).

The sub-theme was so heavily subscribed that two streams were created to to accommodate the papers:  'Including all learners' and 'Beyond access'

The stream on “Including all learners”  explored the current knowledge of how the intersecting dimensions of marginalisation influence access to quality learning opportunities, and evidence of how education systems can be made more inclusive. The sessions will cover gender equality in education, including learners with disabilities, and including other communities experiencing educational marginalisation, such as minority languages speakers, pastoralists and those living in informal settlements.

The second stream under this sub-theme explores issues “Beyond access”, and looks at evidence and knowledge around how governments and the international development community can go beyond the current MDGs; looking at learning outcomes, teachers and governance. This stream also includes papers considering the role of the non-state sector in education provision.

Available Papers: 'Including all learners' stream

Using languages that children know as the languages of instruction - a post 2015 challenge and the work of CASAS

Birgit Brock-Utne, Independent consultant, affiliated to Department of Education, University of Oslo, Norway

Malcolm Mercer, Independent consultant

There is a need to examine the evidence that can inform the construction of education and development frameworks beyond 2015, set within an analysis of new paradigms for international cooperation and research. The basic problem within education in Africa is that most children cannot understand what the teacher is saying. African children speak African languages while instruction is given in an exogenous language. Only a small group of children, those coming from the elite, are fluent in the exogenous languages which are the languages of the former colonial powers. This problem is largely ignored by the international community: the World Bank Education Strategy 2020, for example, does not discuss the language of instruction (LOI) issue at all. An argument often put forward against using African languages as LOI is that there are so many of them, and it may be problematic on several levels to select one as an LOI. But is this really the case? And does one need to select one language? The main work of the Centre for Advanced Studies of African Society (CASAS) located in Cape Town has been to harmonize the written forms of most African languages so that these languages can be used as LOI and as languages of government and the press. This paper examines in some detail the work undertaken by CASAS, its successes and challenges. It shows that the political process of getting the harmonized languages adopted is more difficult and unpredictable than the linguistic work itself. The political process is dependent on high level leadership embracing the new harmonized forms, on advocacy and information campaigns. The paper also discusses the cooperation between CASAS and other organisations working for the same aims as well as the sustainability of the work of CASAS in the long run.


The Quality and Inclusivity of Basic Education across Ghana's three northern regions: a look at learning effectiveness and efficiency in post 2015

Leslie Casely-Hayford, Sheena Campbell, Alhassan Seidu & Rukiyatu Adams, Associates for Change, Ghana

Sub Saharan Africa has been focussed on the attainment of universal primary education over the last 15 years with little emphasis on learning effectiveness and efficiency. The failure of Governments and civil society to address learning outcomes within contexts like Ghana, has resulted in the majority of upper primary children in rural deprived areas not being able to read, write and numerate. Limited mixed method approaches to research inside sub Saharan African classrooms have limited policy direction and remedial action. The “Quality of Education Research in Northern Ghana” was undertaken in 54 basic schools across the three northern regions over a three month period. The research used mixed method approaches with evidence gathered from in-depth classroom observation, interviews with pupils, teachers, and other community members.  Key findings from the research suggest that very little learning is taking place in Ghanaian primary classrooms in the north particularly those governed by the state compared to mission based schools. District management practices, school governance and head teacher leadership have failed to ensure teacher accountability and effectiveness, child inclusion, and learning over the last 15 years. Education planning and community demand mechanisms have also failed to address the need for teachers and school management to be accountable in the learning process. Policy implications suggest that more emphasis should be placed on head teacher leadership, teacher commitment, tracking learning outcomes/assessment and teaching methods/ strategies.


Families influencing the education of pupils with albinism in Malawi - a prism for educational, social and health practice

Gareth Dart, University of Worchester, UK

Pat Lund, University of Coventry, UK

Boniface Massah, The Albino Association of Malawi

Albinism results in lack of pigment in the hair, skin and eyes. The poor vision, extreme sensitivity to the sun and social ostracism associated with this poses a number of challenges for affected pupils, their teachers, families and society in Malawi. These are reflected to a greater or lesser extent in other Sub-Saharan contexts as well. An exploration of the knowledge, beliefs and educational practices associated with the condition allow for an interrogation of a number of issues that challenge the completion of the Millennium Development Goals, in particular achieving universal primary education for all, and perhaps offer insights into ways to promote educational and social inclusion for other marginalised groups. Semi structured interviews with 18 key informants in Malawi provided the evidence base to inform the development of a 30 minute radio drama to educate teachers and the wider community about albinism. The paper briefly reviews current research with regard to the educational experiences of pupils with albinism in Southern Africa, considers the Malawian context in particular and then through the responses to the interviews, examines the manner and extent to which families with experience of albinism in Malawi might shape the attitudes and practices of teachers, to promote the educational inclusion of this group of vulnerable pupils.


Researching the perspectives of Turkish Cypriot parents of children with disabilities

Nalan Ersumer with Peter Grimes, Canterbury Christ Church University, UK

Recent research from the Global Campaign for Education (2012) has noted that global initiatives to meet the EFA / MDG targets have not focused in enough detail on how and why children with disabilities are excluded from access to educational opportunity. The World Bank (2008) has argued that ‘children with disabilities are almost always much less likely to participate in schooling than are other children’. In certain countries there has been a lack of detailed research in this field and this includes North Cyprus. This paper presents the findings from significant research in North Cyprus which explores the way in which barriers to participation have been created for children with disabilities. The lead researcher comes from a North Cypriot community and has undertaken an investigation in North Cyprus into the under researched area of perspectives of parents who have a disabled child. Using a qualitative research approach, the researcher interviewed 10 parents of children with a variety of disabilities, from a range of socio-economic backgrounds and a number of professionals working in specialized settings for disabled children. The interviews provided a range of interesting findings concerning the societal barriers to the inclusion of children with disabilities, which were affected by a number of complex factors. An analysis of these factors is provided in the paper. The paper argues that policy makers considering the implementation of a post 2015 agenda in North Cyprus must develop policy which recognises the rights of disabled children and their families. They must also develop implementation plans which focus on the development of disability parental support services, inclusive school systems through extensive training and support for teachers.



Assessing early grade reading: The value and limits of words per minute

Barbara Graham, SIL Kenya

Agatha J van Ginkel, SIL International, Africa Area

The marked increase in access to primary education in accordance with the 2000 – 2015 focus on Universal Primary Education (UPE) has not achieved a commensurate increase in quality, as judged by early-grade reading acquisition studies. One response to this situation has been calls for better measurement of progress and the setting of appropriate benchmarks against which to evaluate early reading acquisition in developing countries. Of late, several influential studies have used the number of words a student is able to read correctly in one minute (words per minute - WPM) as a proxy for assessing reading ability after two years of primary school, and suggesting that WPM can provide the basis for comparative analysis between countries. However this proposal may be problematic since particular features of languages and circumstances of learning differ considerably and these differences influence the reading acquisition process.  A small scale quantitative study investigated how linguistic factors affect comparisons of early reading acquisition in different languages. Using procedures similar to the DIBELS and EGRA assessments, over 300 children speaking four different languages (Dutch, English and the Kenyan languages, Pokomo and Sabaot) were tested after two years in primary school. Initial analysis indicates that though comprehension scores were similar, wpm rates were diverse. This suggests that wpm is not a reliable comparative measure of reading development and that in the quest for quality, both the teaching and the measurement of reading need to be informed by features of particular languages.


Reconciling formal and non-formal education

Elena Lomeli, Independent Researcher, The Netherlands

The paper explores the role that the ambiguously defined “non-formal education” plays and can further play with the help of a capability approach in the attainment of “education for all” in Africa. Firstly, it highlights how the evolution of the institutionalization of education led it to a split into two apparent dichotomous concepts which I refer to as brands: the one for formal education; named Universal Primary Education (UPE), arguably created by the Millennium Development goals (MDGs) and the brand for everything else; Non-Formal Education (NFE). Subsequently, through the analysis of the Education Strategy Papers of 17 African countries, it defines and graphically compares the priorities and challenges of their educational systems particularly the challenges of inclusion faced by those children who are hard to reach by its current construction, showing then a set of innovative solutions loosely labelled as NFE that are successfully satisfying specific needs of the out-of-UPE-children. Lastly, the paper gives voice to the unanimous call from all the countries studied to build a harmonized system that caters for the educational needs of all children and that reconciles formal and non-formal education, giving birth to a unified brand potentially built with a capability approach framework.


Education For All in Botswana: Including the San communities therein

Keneilwe Molosi, PhD Student, University of Glasgow

While Botswana has a success story in fairly achieving the Education For All and the Millenium Development Goals, San do not form part of this success tale. The education system continues to silently exclude the San in the Education For All agenda. The education system continues to be unresponsive to the educational needs of the San who are indigenous. The current educational curriculum overlooks the culture and the unique way of life of the San and this renders education a remote and artificial enterprise that is unrelated to their needs and life. This paper recommends an inclusive curriculum that changes to meet the needs of people. Two-way schooling model can be an alternative for San education in Botswana. The paper is informed by an empirical study undertaken on the San in Khwee and Sehunong settlements in Botswana.


Tracing primary school leavers in a Kenyan slum: Are they now in secondary school?

Asayo Ohba, Osaka University, Japan

As we approach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Education for All (EFA) target date of 2015, attention is increasingly turned to post-primary education. The transition to secondary education is one of the main challenges for primary school leavers, particularly the poor and disadvantaged in Kenya. In order to explore the reasons for such a situation, in 2011, a study of primary school leavers who had not yet proceeded to further education was conducted in Kenya’s largest slum – Kibera. The study identified 48 households whose children had completed primary school in 2010 but had not pursued post-primary education in 2011. In 2013, 33 of the original 48 households were revisited in order to find out whether any of their children were now in secondary school or on a vocational training course. The findings show that eight were in secondary school and six were attending vocational training courses. However, half of them were identified as still not having gone on to further education, with more girls than boys faced with such a situation. The study concludes that while some poor households manage to enrol their children in post-primary education, many others continue struggling to ensure that all their children at least complete primary school.


Reaching the Hard to Reach: Methodological Challenges of Researching Pastoral community's girls in Tanzania

Adella Raymond, Doctoral Researcher, University of Bristol

Internationally, indigenous pastoralist communities are amongst the hardest to reach groups, who have benefited least from EFA and MDGs commitments. Girls within traditionally patriarchal communities are more disadvantaged. They are marginalized as members of marginalized community and by the patriarchal structure of their community. Despite increased availability of formal schooling through various government initiatives in Tanzania, the majority of the girls from pastoral communities have been left behind in the recent dramatic expansion of primary and secondary education. In Tanzania, there is limited understanding amongst educational planners of pastoral communities’ standpoint on the kind of education they consider to be relevant and that can empower them to live the kind of life they value, particularly for girls. However, building understanding through research presents specific methodological challenges.  This paper presents some preliminary findings on pastoral community’s viewpoint of girls’ education, based on community’s attitude towards girls’ education; girls’ aspirations of formal education; and the kind of education the community value/want. The paper also reviews and reflects on the methodological challenges encountered in an ethnographic study of community members’ perspectives on girls’ education in a remote Maasai community in Tanzania. The paper reviews and reflects on the challenges for negotiating access to female participants, the negotiation of the informed consent in pastoral community context, privacy and confidentiality, researcher’s position and identity, and the ethical issues inherent in representing the views of these marginalized women. The paper recommends the need to consider of contextual circumstances in researching with women and girls of the marginalized communities like this one to enable them air their views, reflections and vision for education in their community.


Building perspective for the marginalised

Suman Sachdeva, Care India

The EFA and MGDs have had both positive and restrictive impact on the education scenario in India. India has taken significant education policy reforms and the Education for All campaign (Government of India’s flagship program) has made phenomenal efforts to reach the remotest corners to impart inclusive elementary education to children from all sections of society. However, there has also been a progressive erosion of public schooling, a push for meeting enrolment targets at the expense of quality. Heavily driven by restricted EFA agenda, the issues of equity, disability, learning achievement, education in conflict remain neglected. Gaps remain in terms of educational provision, resources, infrastructure and adequate numbers of qualified, and trained teachers. Much is desired for contextualized, relevant curricula, quality teaching and learning. Increasing privatization and commercialization of education have emerged as barriers for social inclusion. Notwithstanding legal and policy measures, enhanced enrolment, expansion of school infrastructure, narrowing of gender gaps in literacy and a reduction in child labour; 16 million children in India still remain out of school, especially from the most marginalized sections including scheduled caste, tribes, urban poor and amongst them girls. The Post-2015 deadline has an additional significance for India which finally has the Right to Education as a legal right after a century long struggle. RTE expects all schools to be compliant with its norms by March 2013, however, considerable challenges remain. Evidence and knowledge must be used to shape post 2015 agenda, specially focusing on issues of quality and the marginalized.


The Long-term Effect of Primary School Attendance on Maasai Women in Kenya

Nobuhide Sawamura and Calvin S. de los Reyes, Graduate School of Human Sciences, Osaka University, Japan

The current discourse on ‘Education for All’ has a tendency of emphasizing on subject knowledge and the completion of primary school. Thus, quality of education is often measured in terms of test scores. This study examined the effect of primary school education on Maasai women, who did not proceed to further education due to traditional practices, early marriage and pregnancy. All of them were unsuccessful in proceeding to secondary education, but have six to eight years of learning experience. This study also aimed to identify whether their learning experience at school has made a difference in their lives. It further sought to discuss the long-term impact of schooling beyond subject knowledge. In-depth interviews were conducted among five Maasai women who completed eight years of full primary education, and three who dropped out of school at Grade 7, in Narok. To generate additional perspectives on the impact of schooling, fourteen teachers were also interviewed. The study identified six aspects which enabled Maasai women to improve their daily lives because of schooling: (1) establishing more equal relations with their husbands; (2) observing healthy practices by their awareness of proper nutrition and hygiene; (3) formulating friendship and expanding their social networks; (4) learning official languages, Kiswahili and English; (5) acquiring soft skills of planning and management; and, (6) acquiring basic entrepreneurial and livelihood skills. These aspects may be attributed to the quality of education the women have received in their schooling. It is also essential to note, that beyond merely attending school, assuring subject knowledge in their attendance equips them to better their lives. Primary schooling enhanced their capability of handling their own family’s welfare, social network and livelihood – ensuring a better quality of life in their traditional community.


Exploring an emerging innovation: using the Capability Approach to improve rural teacher deployment in Nigeria

Sharon Tao, Education Adviser, Cambridge Education

In Nigeria, the central role of teachers in the provision of a quality education has been explicitly recognised by the Ministry of Education; however, concerns about the teaching force persist. In Kwara State, there are extreme imbalances in teacher distribution between rural and urban areas due to female teachers rejecting rural posts. This paper explores an innovative use of the Capability Approach (CA) that was applied in the Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria (ESSPIN), in order to identify the issues hindering effective rural deployment and to develop solutions to reconcile issues. The rationale for using CA lay in its ability to offer a new analytical space in which to understand teachers’ well-being, as it elucidates how environmental, social and personal conditions constrain the ‘beings and doings’ that they value. Research was conducted from May-June 2012 with 78 female teachers, and showed that constraint on their most valued ‘beings and doings’ was particularly acute in rural areas, leading to significant amounts of rural deployment avoidance. Findings demonstrated that not all constraints could be reduced with the simple offering of rural allowances, as many women valued personal safety, but felt that assault and harassment was rife in rural areas; thus, an innovative pilot policy was developed with the aim of reducing these and other constraints. This paper will demonstrate how the enhancement of capabilities as a way to attract and retain teachers in rural posts is an emerging innovation that is worth exploring up to and beyond 2015.


Potentially there: Unleashing the potential of marginalised multilingual communities

Catherine Young, Director, LEAD Asia, SIL International

Matthew Wisbey, Community of Practice Coordinator, LEAD Asia, SIL International

Access and equity are central to the ‘Education for All’ goals. However, the focus of MDG2 on ‘universal primary education’ has, paradoxically, meant that the unique situations of groups using minority languages have largely been ignored and learners continue to be excluded from education because of language. It is, therefore, essential that focus on access to appropriate basic education should not be omitted from post-2015 discussions, and that there is additional focus on expanding access for marginalised multilingual communities. The cost of illiteracy for such communities can be devastating. Communities may be unable to access income or development opportunities, in turn impacting their health and physical well-being. Without the freedom to express their unique identities, learners’ social and emotional well-being suffer, impacting attempts to build diverse, inclusive societies. Strategies are needed to address inequalities in both participation and attainment of learners from marginalised multilingual communities. The extent to which students’ home language and culture shape curriculum appears to impact communities’ involvement in education processes while culturally relevant learning in the early years establishes positive attitudes towards education, improving retention of learners in the formal school system and encouraging greater community participation in other development opportunities. This paper will describe effective practices in working alongside marginalised multilingual communities, focusing on early years education for children from non-dominant language communities. It will describe ways in which appropriate community-based curriculum design, materials development and classroom practices can help to meet post-2015 education goals.


Available Papers: 'Beyond access' stream

Teaching and Learning 'For All'-Teachers and Future Teachers in Chile

Beatrice Avalos­‐Bevan, Juan Pablo Valenzuela, Alejandro Sevilla, Centre for Advanced Research in Education, University of Chile

This paper addresses issues related to teacher availability in the post-­‐2015 agenda of countries that having achieved reasonable educational coverage (primary and lower secondary level), still do not insure quality education for all. In so doing, it centres on Chile placing it in the context of the Latin American Region. Two central concepts form part of the research and arguments of the paper: teacher trajectories and attrition. The paper presents an analysis of rates of new teacher attrition in the Chilean education system over a period of ten years, and reports on a mixed-methods study of the trajectory of new Chilean teachers from teacher education to entry into schools. It concludes with a discussion on the policy contexts needed to support new teachers working for a quality and equitable education system in the aftermath of 2015.


Education and Development in India: Focus on School Participation and Learning Outcome of Children at the Elementary Level

Madhumita Bandyopadhyay, Associate Professor, National University of Educational Planning and Administration, India

The linkage between education and development has already been established by many researchers across the globe. Education particularly basic education is an essential component of human development as it has considerable impact on quality of life of people particularly belonging to the disadvantaged groups leading to country's overall development as well. Many researches have shown that 'meaningful access' to basic education of good quality ensuring regular participation and adequate learning of all children is essentially important in this regard. Some of the recent researches in India have already focused on school participation and learning attainment by children and find school variables to be the major factors that impact on child’s learning achievement. These school variables include availability of equipment or infrastructure, classroom management, school governance, quality of teachers and teaching etc. On the other hand, some studies also indicate that the socio-economic background of students have significant impact on school participation and learning achievement of children. This paper, using a recent data set developed through an empirical study, will attempt to understand the participation behaviour and learning level of children in  elementary schools of India and how these are linked with school related and household related variables. It is expected that this analysis will help to understand the actions to be taken for further educational development of the country contributing to its overall development framework.


From Schooling Goals to Learning Goals: How fast can student learning improve?

Amanda Beatty and Lant Pritchett, Center for Global Development, USA

By 2015, the universal primary education Millennium Development Goal (MDG) will be met in nearly all countries. However, millions of students still finish formal schooling without mastering basic literacy and numeracy. Schooling doesn’t necessarily produce learning or education. In this paper, we measure the observed annual pace of progress for developing countries in three cross-nationally comparable assessments that have been repeated over time: TIMSS (mathematics and science), PISA (mathematics and reading), and SACMEQ (mathematics and reading). The pace of progress is very slow. At “business as usual” progress, it would take a century or more for developing countries to reach current OECD assessment levels. Slow progress is not universal—some countries are making sustained progress and thus accelerating the pace of learning progress is not impossible. However, setting overambitious learning goals may be counterproductive. Sustained progress faster than four points a year (on this scale) seems unlikely.


Progress through primary school in rural India: Evidence from a longitudinal study

Suman Bhattacharjea, Director, ASER Centre, New Delhi

Wilima Wadhwa, Director, ASER Centre, New Delhi

Purnima Ramanujan, Senior Research Associate, ASER Centre, New Delhi

In 2012, more than 96% of all children age 6-14 in rural India were enrolled in school. This figure has been well over 90% for close to a decade. India is thus well on its way to achieving the MDG goals for education. However, enrolment in school does not automatically translate into regular attendance; and neither enrolment nor attendance ensures that children acquire even basic abilities in reading and mathematics. A growing body of research in India shows that while children may be in school, they are not learning; and that improved provisioning and infrastructure does not contribute to better learning outcomes. This paper will summarize emerging findings and conclusions from an ongoing longitudinal study of primary school children. The original study tracked about 30,000 Grade 2 and Grade 4 students over a period of 18 months (2009-2011). It assessed gains in student learning over this period and related these to household, classroom, school, and teacher related factors. In a subsequent stage, a subset of these students has been tracked for an additional 2.5 years. This paper will present preliminary findings for this subset of children who have now been tracked for 4 years. It will analyse learning trajectories and patterns of transition as children move from early primary to upper primary classes, and relate these to the larger (classroom, school and home) context in which these children live. The paper will focus on key issues requiring attention from policy makers if learning, rather than schooling, is to be guaranteed to all children.



Whose capacity is it anyway? Understanding the challenges of capacity development planning in education

Jake Grout-Smith, Julie Carpenter and John Wood, Education for Change, UK

Capacity development lies at the heart of global development and aid effectiveness frameworks, and is central to the realisation of EFA goals. The realiti es of planning for and beginning the process of capacity development, however, continue to provide significant and often unacknowledged challenges. This paper draws on lessons from Education for Change’s experience of developing an Education Sector Capacity Development Strategy for Sierra Leone (on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and UNICEF) to highlight these challenges and the critical factors involved. The importance of capacity is emphasised in its relation to performance in education service delivery, sustainable sector outcomes and ownership of development mechanisms and processes. Yet the planning and implementation of capacity development itself requires a level of capacity within the system for effective engagement and ownership. In Sierra Leone, this was limited by poor organisational governance and a fragmented organisational structure, lack of data, and few individuals with relevant expertise. These underpinned a widespread and persistent misunderstanding of the concepts of capacity and capacity development that hindered stakeholder buy-in, ownership and understanding of the strategy development process and the Strategy itself. Factors critical to overcoming these challenges include sufficient lead-in time to the capacity development planning process, a proactive steering committee for Strategy development, the composition of the strategy development team, and a realistic timescale and flexible approach to complete the research, consultation and validation of th e Strategy.


Community-based Accountability for School Improvement: A case study from rural India

S. Galab, Charlotte Jones, Michael Latham & Richard Churches, CfBT Education Trust

Whilst India has made impressive gains in its education Millennium Development Goals under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan programme, there has been less focus on primary school quality and this remains a pressing concern. Targeting education resources efficiently to communities and empowering them to ensure public education officials perform is a tremendous challenge. Mechanisms of accountability are weak and censure for absence or underperformance is rare. There is a growing interest in the potential of community-led accountability initiatives to address such concerns. However, the evidence base in this area is contested and it is not clear exactly how and why such initiatives impact on school quality and under which circumstances they are successful. This paper reviews a case study of one such initiative in rural primary schools serving marginalised populations in Andhra Pradesh. The initiative trained illiterate mothers to inspect local school quality using a simple traffic-light scorecard process and to report their findings at School Management Committees. The paper adds to the evidence base for community-based accountability, looking at the process of change in School Management Committees and in the parent-school relationship as parents became competent in demanding school improvements. Using school scorecard results, as well as research with headteachers, parents and students against a control group of school communities, the paper evidences improvements in school accountability, school quality and parental empowerment. Implications for future initiatives are presented through an analysis of the design and contextual factors critical to the project’s success.


Educational quality, global imperatives and contested visions

Baela Raza Jamil, Sahar Saeed and Huma Zia, Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi, Pakistan

Since 2000, major advances have been made in the education sector in both the developed and the underdeveloped countries. While growth is noticeable, it has not kept pace with the MDGs and EFA targets;constrained by trends in demography,  urbanization, conflict, migration, health, economic and shifting global realities. GMR 2012 reveals that at least 250 million primary school aged children around the world are still not able to meet the minimum learning standards. Large scale citizen and learning assessments including Annual Status of Education Report (Pakistan &India)paint a dismal picture of consistently low levels of achievement. This is coupled with widespread social and gender disparities in educational outcomes that undermine substantive equity at structural and functional levels. At a time when the global community is deeply engaged in planning post-2015 development goals, it is vital to ensure that the vision of EFAis not just limited to UPE and access but more importantly to learning with equity. Conversations in strategic forums must include marginalized and excluded groups of all ages in society. The aim of this paper is therefore to highlight the emerging disparities in learning and teaching with respect to access, public  private provision, gender and wealth highlighted powerfullyin the ASER (India & Pakistan). A number of growing disconnects and contesting visions will be shared. The main purpose of this paper is to influence the post 2015 development agenda using evidence from the largest household level measurements.


'Leaders' 'Carers' 'Developers' and 'Tutors' identities of adult literacy facilitators in Guatemala

Marta Paluch, PhD Student, University of Sussex, UK

This research was undertaken as the reconnaissance phase of an ongoing action research project with adult literacy facilitators (ALFs) working for a municipal adult literacy programme in Guatemala. UNESCO estimates the adult literacy rate in Guatemala at 75%, the lowest in Latin America. Low levels of literacy are linked to poverty, ethnicity and gender. Although an adult literacy target was included in the EFA agreement, progress has been slow, with UPE taking precedence over adult education. The work of ALFs is central to the learning experience of participants in literacy classes yet there is little research on their educational practice. ALFs are mostly women, with varied cultural and educational backgrounds. Tensions exist between the experiences of ALFs and the expectations of the programme. Research methods consisted of a participatory workshop and focus group discussions with ALFs, interviews with municipal literacy co-ordinators and a review of teaching materials. During the workshop, ALFs working in groups, drew caricatures of their role and labelled them. The resulting images were powerful and varied. Combined with data from another workshop activity and the focus group discussions it was possible to construct four models of the ALF role: leaders, carers, developers and tutors. The 4 models were presented to the ALFs during the next phase of the action research. They concluded that the models were all aspects of the ALF role but individually ALFs identified more closely with particular models.


Teachers who buck the trend: Innovative practices in the teaching of early reading and basic mathematics in sub-Saharan Africa

Jo Westbrook, Senior Lecturer in Education, University of Sussex

Despite the focus on quality education, educational outcomes in government schools in sub Saharan Africa are very low. Teacher quality is seen as key but mostly teachers are seen in a deficit light, lacking the knowledge, skills and motivation to implement new learner-centered curricula. Research shows that neither pre or in-service teacher education prepares teachers to interpret the given curriculum and make it work within their specific classroom contexts. This analysis was largely confirmed by Teacher Preparation in Africa (TPA) a project that investigated initial teacher education and the practice of recently qualified teachers in early reading and basic maths in six sub-Saharan African countries. However, within a large data set derived from surveys, classroom observations, follow up interviews and focus groups it was possible to identify some innovative teachers in primary classrooms in Uganda and Tanzania whose practice had been developed in situ over time in large, multilingual classes and who had found ways of refining practices such that children were engaged and learning. In doing so these teachers had some agency and professional autonomy, seen as central to sustaining educational reform (Earl et al., 2003). This paper focuses on these exceptional cases discussing data that has not received attention in previously published analysis. It raises the question as to whether the urgency of meeting EFA goals through national reforms based on evidence from different contexts and theorised elsewhere may depress in-country opportunities to identify good teaching practices and share these locally, possibly influencing teacher education programmes.

Values and Conceptualizations in Education and Development Research

Co-convenors: Mark Mason, UNESCO International Bureau of Education and Hong Kong Institute of Education

This sub-theme identifies the research paradigms – and the values underlying them –that have prevailed in the field of education and development research over the last 15 years, and considers which research paradigms, conceptualizations of the field, values and ethical approaches might best serve the field beyond 2015. These questions interrogated in this sub-theme are situated within at least the following two dimensions in research design. The first encompasses the methodological issues related to the epistemological paradigm in which researchers might have chosen to work. Here, researchers normally ask whether their epistemological framework and its methodological correlates will give them a reasonable shot at the truth. The second dimension has to do with the normative questions that are inevitably associated with research in the social sciences. In the field of educational development, for example, research probably yields the most worthwhile results, at least with respect to the goals of equality and equity, when researchers attempt, from the very conceptualization of their projects, “to identify the axes along which educational and other goods are differentially distributed, and to disaggregate their object of study along those axes” (Mason, 2007, “Comparing Cultures”, p. 196) – and thus to get at the values, discourses, power and interests that underlie such differential distributions.

Available Papers

Teachers' professional lives in rural Sub-Saharan Africa: an analysis of different perspectives, values and capabilities

Alison Buckler, Research Associate, The Open University, UK

Over the last decade vast sums have been invested in Sub-Saharan Africa to enhance education quality. Yet improvements in quality – when interpreted as enhanced pupil attainment – are disappointing. This paper shows how Amartya Sen’s capability approach can help answer the call for a renewed focus on, and reconceptualisation of, education quality. It is increasingly understood that what teachers do, matters. Drawing on a recently completed PhD, primary level teachers from five countries (Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Sudan) provide a focus for exploring the relationship between official representations of teachers’ work and the professional lives teachers create and experience. In the larger study, lists of professional capabilities were extrapolated from policy documents around teachers’ work and from the perspectives of teachers themselves. The professional capability of seven female teachers in rural and under-resourced schools was then analysed: that is, the extent to which they were able to pursue and achieve capabilities from each perspective. This paper draws out some highlights of this analysis, particularly in reference to the disconnections between official and teacher perceptions of the teacher role and teacher quality: teachers’ professional capabilities, for example, were far more aligned with the needs of their communities rather than official guidelines. The paper also challenges theoretical understandings of the capability approach and proposes a cyclical model (as opposed to the predominantly linear model) of professional capability for teachers in a form that could engage research and policy communities defining and pursuing education quality in the post 2015 agenda.


Action Research and the development of primary school leadership capabilities: Evidence from Ghana

Michael Fertig, Lecturer in Education, University of Bath, UK

The relationship between Action Research and the Capability Approach, as developed by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum among others, is a fundamental one, in that both have a core focus on action as a means to social improvement. A central element here is Nussbaum’s concern that ‘the crucial good [that] societies should be promoting for their people is a set of opportunities, or substantial freedoms, which people then may or may not exercise in action: the choice is theirs’ (Nussbaum, 2011, p 18). The importance placed here on ‘action’ in order to achieve that which is regarded as ‘valuable’ relates directly to the view taken by Kurt Lewin in the 1940s when he presented an Action Research approach to problem solving. My argument is that, through an emphasis upon Action Research, school leaders can move from a position where they have ‘capabilities’ (or potential) to take action to improve pupil learning towards a position where they can provide evidence of ‘functionings’ (or actions) which can improve pupil learning within their schools. In this sense, Action Research acts as a kind of vector which enables the conversion of ‘capabilities’ into ‘functionings’. This notion builds on the Aristotelian view of ‘phronesis’ or ‘practical philosophy’, in which individuals are able, through practical reasoning, to act in ways which cultivate virtue and which are of moral value (Carr, 2004; Eikeland, 2006). My paper examines the Capability Approach within the context of education, with specific reference to its relationship to the development of primary school leadership capabilities in Ghana. This builds upon my involvement in the DfID-funded EdQual Project (2005-2010) which resulted in work which looked at the relationship between primary school leaders and social justice within Ghana and Tanzania (Bosu et al, 2011). This Project was concerned with examining factors which could impact upon the learning of pupils attending schools located in challenging contexts in these two countries. The spotlight on these factors mirrors the increasing emphasis, within discussions about the post-2015 development policy landscape, upon moving the debate on from calls for ‘Education for All’ towards an agenda which foregrounds ‘Learning for All’ (International Bank for Reconstruction & Development/World Bank, 2012). Linked to this, my conference paper will develop ideas focused on ways in which school leader capabilities can be converted, through the use of an Action Research approach, into functionings which aid the learning of pupils (Fertig, 2012).


Skills Development Research: The importance of human agency - applying the capability approach to the evaluation of VET

Lesley Powell, PhD Researcher, University of Nottingham

Currently much of the research undertaken on Vocational Education and Training (VET) is quantitative in methodology and overly structural in its theoretical framing. It emphasizes the skills development system, the institution and the economy and does so at the expense of human agency, particularly that of the students who study at VET institutions and the staff who work therein. In response to these dominant approaches, through a discussion of evaluation research related to the South African Further Education and Training (FET) colleges, I explore the implications of the capability approach for VET evaluation. Two issues are at stake. The first relates to the ‘information basis’ of evaluative research undertaken on the FET colleges and the assumptions that are made as to the role and purpose of the sector in selecting these rather than other information sets. The second relates to the processes of inclusion and exclusion that takes place during evaluation research and the voices included and excluded during these processes. The central argument is that the focus on expanding the wellbeing of individuals in the capability approach provides a revised normative framework for the evaluation of VET which differs significantly from the emphasis in productivist approaches on employability and from the input and output measures of institutional and sectoral efficiency that dominate instrumental approaches.


"We're improving the quality of teaching": conceptualising 'quality and 'change' using lessons from a current TESSA project

Kris Stutchbury, Director Initial Teacher Education, The Open University

Jane Cullen, Director of TESSA, The Open University

Whilst ‘change’ in educational practices and ‘quality’ in teaching are often used in discourses as taken-for-granted terms in education and development, these are concepts differently constructed across cultural and national contexts. However, it is accepted that a focus on ‘quality’ is required. Student outcomes in Africa are poor and are seen as not contributing to human capability development as much as they could. This is despite many worthwhile and well-intentioned interventions from the international community, designed to promote a more learner-centred approach to education. This paper draws on experience from other disciplines and argues that the field of educational development would benefit from the clear articulation of a theory of implementation so that project designers better understand the processes through which new practices become routinely embedded in everyday life. We will argue that Normalisation Process Theory (NPT) could form the basis of such a theory. We will draw on experiences gathered during the Teacher Education in Sub Saharan Africa (TESSA) Teaching Lower Secondary Science project in order to explain the basic tenets of the theory. The theory identifies four generative mechanisms through which new practices become embedded; we will argue that one of these – cognitive participation – has been neglected and that understanding this mechanism in particular is crucial to the success of educational development projects.


The Barefoot College’s Solar Night Schools: financial self-sustainability for scalability

Emilia Szekely, Doctoral Researcher, Hong Kong Institute of Education

This study sought ways of enhancing both the self-sustainability and the scalability of the Barefoot College’s Night Schools Program in India. This Program provides opportunities to receive education at night for children who would otherwise be excluded from school – typically, young girls, who are often required by their families to assist in household duties while their brothers attend school. Our working hypotheses were grounded, on the Complexity and Capabilities approaches - the key practical consequences of which, in the field of development, imply a modality of integrated service delivery, and the enhancement of the capabilities of the programs' beneficiaries and their 'ownership' of the programs. Interviews were conducted with key stakeholders in the Night Schools, and financial and other pertinent documentary data were gathered. We then conducted an investigation, with a comparative perspective, of the models of relevantly similar initiatives in other parts of the world - notably in Mexico and on the Amazon River - specifically, questions to do with resourcing, organizational structure, financial sustainability and scalability. These investigations involved site visits, interviews and bibliographical research. Insights generated from this study indicate that the values, ethics and methodological implications associated with the Complexity and Capabilities approaches might provide new conceptualizations in education and development research in the post-2015 period.


Inclusive Research or Academic Grabbing - A case for ethical approaches in International Education and Development Research in the Global South

Jana Zehle, Addis Ababa University

Ever since the Paris Declaration (2005) the terms ‘development partners’ and ‘development cooperation’ have been widely adopted by donors, atleast to refer to themselves. In research and academia however, the language of partnership is far from being implemented in the practice of how research is undertaken or in the use of methods forobtaining knowledge on ‘the other’, e.g. the development partners in the Global South. Driven bytheir career endeavours international scholars often start their ‘academic safari’ to verify output criteria defined by global policy makers, and accordingly, based on utilitarian ethics, research methods are selected. Freire’s reminder that concerned people should not just be incidental to the curiosity and ambition of the researcher but also be masters of inquiry into the underlying causes ofthe events in their world (Freire 1993) expresses very well that too often unhelpful courses have been followed in the field of education and development research over the least 15 years. It would seem time to reflect, review and revise the prevailing research paradigm towards one that focuses on the interests of the concerned people and the improvement of their personal and socio-economic situation. To reach these objectives, researchers and research subjects must enroll in an authentic dialogue and build up horizontal relationships within an inclusive research paradigm.


Ways of Working Internationally

Co-convenor: Rosie Peppin Vaughan, Institute of Education, London

The growth and evolution of international collaboration on education is one of the key characteristics of the current global educational context. The establishment of the United Nations and its key constituent agencies in the 1940s galvanised early efforts, and there are now a range of policy structures, organisations, campaigns and international NGOs working transnationally on education; along with a more recent growth in private foundations and research centres. Such forms include technical assistance, training and policy advice, partnerships, transnational advocacy groups; also raising the issue of global citizenship. The drive to understand the significance and workings of these dynamics has prompted a new wave of analyses drawing on diverse academic fields including international relations, political science, and history.

Further, recent events may prompt changes in existing ways of working internationally, offering both potential challenges and new opportunities for collaboration and coordination. The last decade has seen the ongoing rise of private organisations and philanthropic foundations working at the global level and varied forms of transnational activism. The financial crisis and austerity regimes in many traditional donor countries may have an impact on their educational activities in a number of ways; and the rise of emerging economies such as China and India has led to the growth of new donors to education, along both bilateral and multilateral pathways. Besides ongoing concerns over sensitivity to local contexts and reasserting national interests, there have also recently been renewed discussions about South-South collaboration and alternatives to traditional dynamics of global cooperation. We are also witnessing a number of changes in global information systems; the wide accessibility of electronic data on education through the internet has implications for monitoring, evaluation (e.g. PISA) and also international research.

This sub-theme includes critical reflections on international cooperation on education connected to the following questions: What are the implications of the increased opportunities for the sharing of information and ideas, and are we seeing the increasing emergence of common agendas or merely a new global arena for pursuing particular interests? How are local contexts engaging with global structures, are existing power structures being challenged or reinforced, and with what effects? What can be said about the prospects for capacity development in terms of supporting international collaboration; and what factors may help to foster global partnership and collaboration in policy formation, implementation and research? In what ways can education interact with other areas of focus in global development goals, including issues of peace-building and state-building? We also seek to scrutinise the political economy of ideas about education and development as global structures continue to evolve and change; and explore the transnational trajectory of intellectual activities.

Available Papers

'I really appreciate you saying that': The challenges of developing a partnership

Jane Cullen, the Open University, UK

Joyce Chitsulo, FAWEMA, Malawi

Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA) is a community of teacher-educators in HEIs across Africa, led by the Open University UK. FAWEMA is the Malawian chapter of FAWE, the Forum for African Women Educationalists, committed to girls’ and women’s education in Malawi. TESSA/OU and FAWEMA have been working together since 2010, and in 2013 are beginning a new 4 year project, funded by DFID Malawi. The project is to facilitate rural women’s access to teacher education, by means of a 2 year ‘school experience programme’ where the women work as Teaching Assistants in local rural schools; and a programme of supported self-study, where the women take the secondary exams which could give them entry to teacher training college. The new project has provided a context for TESSA/OU and FAWEMA to interrogate how each constructs the partnership: the opportunity to look back and look forward. Negotiating the shape of the project, the share of the budget, and the parameters of responsibilities has allowed a much wider reflection on our relationship. The perspective of DfID Malawi has been key: their oversight is both of our project and of the ‘Keeping Girls in School’ programme, of which this project is one strand. This reflection by TESSA/OU and FAWEMA on our partnership has not been a particularly comfortable process, and this paper focuses on what continue to be some of the challenges ahead, as well as the opportunities.


'One Programme Approach in Education'

Saeed ul Hassan, Programme Manager, Education, Oxfam, GB

The paper highlights key inferences drawn from the deliberate shift in programme implementation strategy from service delivery to more advocacy and policy change work undertaken by Oxfam's Education Programme in Pakistan. This strategic shift promotes “One Programme Approach (OPA)” which is strongly embedded in the rights based framework systematically connecting well-informed rights holders with duty bearers at local, provincial and national levels. The OPA is aimed at bringing together diverse but inherently connected programme threads to ensure a meaningful change in the lives of communities and children especially girls living in challenging contexts. 2010-12 has been significant for Oxfam but also for other actors/stakeholders to revisit the broader advocacy agenda for education in Pakistan. Oxfam‟s Girls Education Program made conscious decisions to leverage and vertically link the ongoing community level programming with policy change work at the district, provincial and national levels. The ongoing process revolves around organising and mobilising poor women and men, empowering and thus placing children and youth at the centre to demand, assert, and ultimately claim their rights. Whole School Improvement Programme strategically provides evidence and legitimacy to our broader advocacy work which revolves around ensuring gender responsive education financing through active citizenship. The idea is to avoid traditional silos between 'supply' and 'demand' sides of governance, and between education programmes, campaigns, donors and other stakeholders.


Innovations in international cooperation with universities in countries emerging from conflict

Lynne Heslop, John Law & Liz Dempsey, British Council

This paper examines innovative and alternative ways of working internationally in higher education in countries emerging from conflict through two case studies. Two British Council-supported programmes involving cooperation between the UK and Iraq and the UK and Afghanistan are examined and contrasted:

1. Development of successor generation leaders in five universities in Afghanistan through ICT-enabled peer support and dialogue with UK higher education leaders: a grass-roots, culturally-centred apolitical approach

2. Multi-dimensional engagement at state and institutional levels between universities in Iraq and the UK – a politically-driven systems level approach

The study presents lessons learned from the two different approaches and explores future directions for international cooperation in higher education in conflict-affected states. Through the case studies, this paper explores the following questions:

1. In what ways can international partnerships support the development of higher education in countries affected by conflict?

2. How do specific country contexts shape the design, development and implementation of international cooperation in higher education?

3. What innovations and alternative ways of working emerge from these case studies? What worked/didn’t work and what can we learn from them?


International agencies: What is their contribution to the future of Inclusive Education in Rwanda?

Evariste Karawanga, Director of Postgraduate Studies and Research, Kigali Institute of Education, Rwanda

Despite the increased government investment in education of all children for at least 9 years of basic education since 2007, International Agencies continue to dominate Rwandan education development, especially that of children with disabilities and other Special Educational Needs.In some communities, agency-led inclusive education projects have seen notable transformations, whereby schools have become more accommodating for learners with diverse special educational needs even where resources and awareness remain modest. Here, self-motivated ownership by local communities has generated home-grown and user-friendly innovations that benefit both mainstream and disadvantaged learners in their neighbourhood schools, with minimum support from international agencies. However, in other communities with similar agency-led projects, the tradition of leaving the children unschooled and/or dependent on charitable organizations’ services still prevails, resulting in their exclusion from education and related services.This paper will draw on two case studies, a UNICEF funded child-friendly school project, and an EU/ADDRA funded inclusive education project, to reflect on the contribution and capacity of international agencies to influence community transformations in relation to inclusive education development in Rwanda. It will briefly investigate whether the innovation fund launched jointly by DFID and the Rwandan Ministry of Education, is sufficiently nuanced to capture such community dynamics.This paper is an attempt to reflect on ways of working internationally and, in particular for Rwanda within a changing socio-political environment dominated by development agencies. The paper argues for the need to acknowledge and enlist local resources, to develop and sustain inclusive education in post-2015 Rwanda.


Information Politics and Transnational Activism in the Education for All Movement

Bronwen Magrath, PhD Candidate, University of Toronto, Canada

This paper explores transnational activism within the “Education for All” (EFA) movement, looking specifically at the strategic use of information and research by transnational advocacy organizations. Through a comparative case-study examination of two international NGOs within the EFA movement – the Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education (ASPBAE) and ActionAid International – I will discuss how information about education is gathered, generated and disseminated for advocacy purposes, and what this tells us about the internal dynamics and strategies of these organizations. In particular, I will focus on the ways these organizations translate grassroots evidence into regional and global policy fora, and raise questions about how this translation process impacts the legitimacy of advocacy NGOs and the power structures between NGO headquarters and their grassroots membership.


The German BACKUP Initiative - Education in Africa: A bilateral way to better access and utilization of international funding for education

Anna Katharina Seeger, Education Advisor, GIZ with Caroline Schmidt, Education Advisor, GIZ, and Ronja Hölzer, Project Manager, GIZ

International funding mechanisms, such as the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM), the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and the newly initiated Green Climate Fund (GCF) are the international community’s answer to tackle development hindrances in a globalized world. In 2002, the German government introduced a new route of working internationally by initiating the German BACKUP Initiative to support countries worldwide in the management of global financing from the GFATM. Based on the success of the BACKUP model, GIZ initiated in 2011 the German BACKUP Initiative – Education in Africa (BACKUP Education) to support the work of the GPE. This year an additional bilateral project was established by the GIZ, in addition to the setup of the Green Climate Fund. BACKUP Education is part of Germany’s contribution to the global effort to reach the EFA goals and to support the GPE to fulfill its mission to ensure quality education for all children, everywhere. The demand-driven initiative supports governments and civil society stakeholders in their efforts to access and effectively use international funding for education. To meet this objective, the German initiative offers rapid, flexible and tailor-made financial and technical assistance including training and South-South learning opportunities to its partners in Africa. The work of BACKUP Education is guided by the principles of aid effectiveness, conflict sensitivity, gender equality and participation by civil society organizations. This paper discusses strengths, challenges and lessons learnt of a bilateral model in support of a global fund in the education sector. The author hopes to spark a discussion on new models, methods and dynamics of development cooperation in education beyond 2015 by means of providing practical examples of supported measures.


Learning Across Borders: The collaborative creation of a monitoring, evaluation and learning framework for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program

Clemencia Cosentino, Anca Dumitrescu, Aravind Moorthy, Anu Rangarajan, Arthur Shaw, Matt Sloan, Swetha Sridharan and Cicely Thomas: Mathematica Policy Research

Barry Burciul: The MasterCard Foundation

The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program is a secondary and university scholarship and support Program for economically disadvantaged but academically promising youth with a demonstrated commitment to social change. The Program is a $500 million, 10-year initiative to educate an estimated 15,000 young people, primarily in Africa. The Scholars Program is being implemented by a network of education institutions and non-profit organizations. The core Program interventions include comprehensive scholarships, leadership development and life skills training, academic and psychosocial support, mentorship, internships, and support for students transitioning from school to work. Evaluating a program with this wide variety of activities and partners presents a compelling case study of challenges commonly faced by program evaluators and implementers. How do evaluators ensure objectivity and independence while working closely enough with implementers to address their concerns and to efficiently leverage existing processes for data collection? How can a program-wide evaluation assess the impacts of activities that are carried out differently in each implementation context and adjusted over time to best serve the needs of participants? During the development of a monitoring, evaluation, and learning framework for the Program, Mathematica and The MasterCard Foundation addressed these challenges through an approach that strived to be collaborative and inclusive, while maintaining objectivity and rigor. The process encouraged partners to engage in every stage of the MEL development, distinguishes between Program- and partner-level measurement activities, and sought to ensure that data collection and measurement strategies would remain objective. This paper will describe the final evaluation design, critically assess the challenges and the approach taken, and will share lessons learned from the framework development process.