Author(s): Williams, Timothy P.; Kapur, Nidhi; Nshimyiryo, Alphonse
Organisation(s): USA. Agency for International Development
Pages: 148 p.
Mureke Dusome was a four-year project that aimed to improve early-grade reading skills in Rwanda through school-community partnerships. It recently received a cost extension to further embed interventions within local systems. This performance evaluation provides an opportunity to learn from the project's first four years prior to this extension. The evaluation was guided by three questions: (1) How has Mureke Dusome improved literacy-related knowledge, attitudes, and practices?; (2) Which knowledge, attitudes, and practices are correlated with higher reading skills?; and (3) What elements of Mureke Dusome program are likely to be sustained? Data sources include 91 interviews and focus groups at the national and sub-national levels as well as secondary data analysis of the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA), which had a nationally representative sample of 4,635 lower primary school students. The study finds that the communities who successfully improved literacy-related knowledge, attitudes, and practices did so by monitoring reading clubs, linking program activities to performance contracts indicators (e.g., dropout), and utilizing community structures to promote reading. Analysis of EGRA data indicates positive associations between reading fluency and participating in reading activities after school, reading at home, having a place to borrow books, having a favorite book, and being read to. Mureke Dusome also transformed Rwanda's book industry by building capacity and creating supply and demand. Findings suggest that there is sufficient demand for Mureke Dusome interventions by key stakeholders, and that Rwanda’s new National Literacy Policy is key to sustaining and institutionalizing Mureke Dusome activities within communities and Rwanda's education system.