Recently Completed Project: Analysis of the School Ranking Initiative (part of Big Results Now in Education (BRNEd)) in Tanzania

Integrity, working with its partner Development Pioneer Consultants (DPC), was contracted by Cambridge Education to conduct research and develop policy recommendations for the national School Ranking Initiative (SRI) in Tanzania. The SRI was introduced as part of the Big Results Now in Education Programme (BRNEd), a payment by results programme supported by the World Bank, DFID and Sweden. BRNEd was designed to incentivise both national and local stakeholders to improve learning outcomes and influence a range of systemic constraints affecting the public education sector. The SRI is one of nine strategies under BRNEd designed and rolled out by the Tanzanian Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) to influence stakeholder behaviour across the sector and ultimately improve the quality of education.

The SRI was considered by the donors and Government of Tanzania to be one of the BRNEd initiatives that was most likely to impact upon improved learning outcomes in the short term, although there remained concerns about perverse incentives. The SRI was based on students’ scores in the Primary School Leaving Examination and the Certificate of Secondary Education Examination, ranking primary schools and secondary schools according to their average performance in these exams as published on the Education Dashboard. Integrity undertook qualitative research designed to assess knowledge, attitudes and the effects of the SRI on stakeholder behaviour and quality of education. The research team undertook key informant interviews and focus group discussions with a cross-section of education system stakeholders, including MoEST officials, head teachers, teachers, parents and students. Integrity arranged and led three workshops held with stakeholders from across government throughout the assignment to test design and emerging findings, to develop buy-in for the recommendations and to transfer expertise in research methodologies.

Integrity’s analysis was developed into a report delivered to the client and MoEST in Tanzania with recommendations on how to refine the SRI as a tool to support better quality education in Tanzania. Recommendations focused on: (i) adjusting the methodology of the SRI to capture broader measures of education quality and drivers; and (ii) the roll-out of a communications strategy to address the information requirements of stakeholders, particularly at community level. The findings of the research will also inform the design of the next stage of DFID support to the Tanzanian education sector.

Find out more about Integrity’s work globally and in the region here.

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