Assessment by communities, for communities

Written on 13 Apr 17 by Rokhaya CISSE
Citizen-led assessments

This citizen-led barometer, implemented within the PAL NETWORK, assesses the quality of learning in Senegal by children aged between 6 and 14.

Jàngandoo, which means "Learn together" in Wolof, is an annual independent assessment which tests the performance of children aged between 6 and 14 in reading, mathematics and general culture. In 2016, the assessment involved 16,000 households in various regions.

Communities play an important role in the process. They create the assessment, produce the results and draw conclusions from these. Using this information on the performance of their children, they can work together to monitor and take decisions to improve the quality of education. The lever for change comes from this awareness of the important role played by the community in education.

Preparation of field staff: key players in development working to improve the quality of education

Assessment staff are recruited within the survey zone and represent an essential link in the implementation of the Jàngandoo barometer. Their status and position in the assessment process affords them great responsibility in the quality of data collection. For this reason, several training modules are developed in order to strengthen their capacities.

Knowledge (information), know-how (application of collection techniques) and inter-personal skills (behaviour towards communities) are all considered in this training. The training consists of theoretical training to understand the Jàngandoo approach as well as practical training on the ground with digital tablets. Capacities are further reinforced with the provision of teaching software (films summarising the content of training programmes are recorded and handed over to field staff or posted on the Internet).

Technology offers better quality assurance in assessment

Two kinds of tools are available for assessment purposes:

  • data collection tools such as tests, questionnaires and error collection forms. These tools collect all data gathered in relation to performance as well as information about the characteristics of households and places of learning.
  • monitoring tools such as field notebooks, observation grids and an interface. They provide information on the collection process and on the abilities of field staff. They give feedback on the conduct of the survey and offer real-time monitoring. This has a certain impact on collection times and quality.

All of these tools are developed on a computer application. The data processing time is minimised which means that results can be shared fairly quickly with decision-makers and communities.

Daily communication for better action

Various communication actions are carried out throughout the process (before, during and after collection and both nationally and locally). To reach all targets (parents, communities, experts in non-formal education, teachers, decision-makers), a large number of distribution media (posters, leaflets, research summaries, reports, USB devices, CDs, teaching software, films, etc.) summarise the results and key messages of the Jàngandoo barometer. These are created and made available on the LARTES website.

Based on the errors committed by children in the tests, Jàngandoo has for the past two years been offering catch-up lessons for children who have fallen behind, in partnership with local communities and school inspectorates. This transition from assessment to action is aimed at improving the quality of education for everyone and, more generally, at transforming education policies so that they become more inclusive and fairer.


Key messages of the Jàngandoo barometer

For communities: All children have the potential to learn. No child should be left at the roadside!

For decision-makers: The quality of education is a challenge to be taken up collectively!

For the international community: A global action agenda for better quality learning!

Citizen-led barometers are organised around PAL NETWORK (People's Action for Learning).


Contributed by: Rokhaya CISSE, PhD. Responsible for Monitoring and Evaluation and Change Management of Jàngandoo



Rokhaya CISSE

Monitoring and Evaluation and Change Management, Jàngandoo