Author(s): O'Sullivan, Margo
Pages: p. 1-21
We know that learning is in crisis. We know that teachers are key to addressing the crisis. Yet, the significant investments in supporting teachers to improve learning have not enabled improved learning outcomes. This article examines a key reason for this: teacher absenteeism. Poor teacher motivation is highlighted as an explanation for teacher absenteeism, with poor remuneration emerging as teachers’ main reason for not attending school and/or class. This article explores the use of financial incentives, which have been sidelined within the education aid architecture, to improve teacher motivation, address teacher absenteeism, and improve learning. It distils the successes and lessons learned from the research literature, which can be used to devise a framework to guide financial-incentive-focused strategies. The framework is currently informing a research-based intervention in schools in Uganda that is using a cost-effective mobile-phone-based and teacher-motivation-focused strategy and tools to improve learning.