Scope of Work and Objectives
The consultants will examine the use of data generated by national, regional, and international large-scale assessments. The research will seek insights from a number of different stakeholders: (a) ministry of education officials coming from different departments in charge of planning activities; (b) ministry of education staff/agencies/departments in charge of national examinations and national assessments as well as members of the international/regional assessments’ teams; (c) donor representatives involved in the funding/management of international/regional learning assessments; and (d) civil society representatives.
This research will take a qualitative approach, and the project’s overall purpose is to
qualitatively examine why processes involved in the use of learning assessment data for
planning unfold as they do, while considering a number of intervening factors. The study does not aim to generate a list of policies or practices that ‘work’ or ‘do not work’ as the study is interested in a more dynamic perspective of the analysis and aims to consider actors’ interactions, the influence of institutional settings as well as contextual aspects. It is understood that multiple actors enter into play and multidirectional causes and effects can be observed.
This research study aims to adopt a practice-oriented approach and wants to work with to be determined identified African countries that are currently seeking to improve the use of learning assessment data in planning processes so that research results are of direct use for their ministries of education. The study will aim to produce useful information for national decision-makers and for global actors involved in the development and funding of learning assessments. It aims to produce contextualized knowledge that can be communicated to national practitioners and development partners.
The research will use a combined approach of both primary and secondary information sources. Primary data will be generated from semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions with key stakeholders and direct observations. The multi-actor research design will allow for triangulation of perspectives and interpretations by actor group. Secondary data sources will be generated from a content analysis of documents available at the country level. The combined use of primary and secondary information will again allow for a triangulation of information sources and can thus be expected to increase the overall consistency of the analysis.
The following research methods will be employed to collect the necessary information:
- Desk review of related legislation and national as well as international studies, reports or evaluations
- Semi-structured interviews
- Focus group discussions
- Structured observations
Different types of events and meetings will be observed depending on a specific context to get deeper insights into the use of learning data: education sector planning preparation forum, local education group meetings, joint sector review meetings, internal meetings, etc. The observation of these events will allow researchers to explore dynamics that would otherwise not be communicated by stakeholders in interviews or surveys. Information coming from these sources will be triangulated at the analysis stage.
Tasks & Responsibilities:
The activities under this scope of work also include:
- Collection of both primary and secondary information sources in the selected country.
- Primary data will be generated from semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions with key stakeholders and direct observations. The multi-actor research design will allow for triangulation of perspectives and interpretations by actor group.
- Secondary data sources will be generated from a content analysis of documents available at the country level.
- Analysis of data
- Preparation of interim reports following the completion of stages of research, and of final research reports (country case studies)
The consultants will utilize existing data collection instruments, with necessary adaptation/language translation, where applicable. The consultants will work in close collaboration and coordination with the members of Evidence Team within the Office of Education and will engage in routine (weekly) communication and reporting on progress.
Consultant will be responsible for producing the following deliverables:
- A desk review of assessments for measuring early grade reading and math in countries selected as case studies.
- Primary data collection plan, including proposed country adaptation of the data collection instruments.
- Field report for each major data collection activity.
- Draft case study report for each country.
- Final case study report and a power point presentation of key findings for each country
* Due dates for each deliverable is pending on when consultant starts and will be determined closer to execution of independent contract agreement.
Level of Effort:
The total Level of Effort expected for this activity is estimated at 50 days, with on or around 25 days in the field.