The impact of assessment results on education policy and practice in East Africa: DFID think piece

Autor(es): Elks, Phil

Organisation(s): Health and Education Advice and Resource Team; UK. Dept for International Development

Date: 2016

Pages: 36 p.


This paper reviews the evidence on the impact of learning assessments on education policy and teaching practice across East Africa. The study focuses principally on Uganda, and then considers the experience in Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda to highlight common issues and suggest examples of best practice. There is a tradition of administering large-scale assessments and examinations in East Africa. These include national examinations at both primary and secondary level, national sample assessments, citizen-led assessments, donor-led assessments – particularly, the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) and Early Grade Mathematics Assessment (EGMA) – and the regional Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality (SACMEQ). These assessments give a wealth of data which government officials, donors and teachers could exploit. The organisations managing these assessments explcitly aim to contribute to improved learning outcomes, for example, by stimualting action from the community, providing guidelines to teachers, or influencing government policy. This paper explores the extent to which this work to drive improvements is effective. The research is based on a literature review, and fourteen interviews with policymakers, assessment managers, donors and teachers.

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