Expanding citizen voice in education systems accountability: evidence from the citizen-led learning assessments movement

Autor(es): Aslam, Monazza; Saeed, Sehar; Scheid, Patricia; Schmidt, Dana

Date: 2018

Pages: 21 p.


Over the past decade, international and national education agencies have begun to emphasize the improvement of the quality (rather than quantity) of education in developing countries. This trend has been paralleled by a significant increase in the use of educational assessments to measure gains and losses in quality of learning. As interest in assessment has grown, low-income countries have begun to adopt and adapt international and other large scale national assessments for a variety of uses, including comparing national quality with other countries, improving ways of measuring reading achievement, and furthering attempts to reach marginalized populations within a country (Wagner, 2012). Amongst them, citizen led large scale house hold based assessments are gathering momentum by illustrating the power of informed citizenry to influence national and global agendas for education and learning. In 2018 alone, these national assessments covered over one million children in South-Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. The results are representative at district, provincial and national level. The findings are disseminated at multiple levels to inform policy making at the national level and to mobilize district level education authorities and stakeholders to understand the extent of the problem and work towards measurable solutions. The purpose of the paper is therefore to highlight how citizen led campaigns gathering hard core evidence are influencing governance and accountability at the community, provincial and national levels. It will explore how a community led approach to data gathering and analysis in context can bring about appropriate response from stakeholders, viz. local community, market forces and the government. The paper with the help of case studies from 9 countries (where these initiatives are being implemented currently) will illustrate, how evidence generated is playing its role in bringing a change in local reforms and efforts for improving learning at national and sub national level. It will also shed light on how the information is collected and what is being measured against other national assessments.

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