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Education for Competitiveness (E4C) is an initiative designed to support countries in strengthening their education and training systems for improved outcomes, including higher productivity, growth, social cohesion and inclusion.
E4C adopts a regional approach that responds to MENA countries’ common educational challenges based on 3 guiding principles; a global reach, regional perspective, and local solutions, a deeper and wider partnerships and an innovative and transformational interventions
Promoting Information for Accountability in Education
The E4C initiative has identified Promoting Information for Accountability as one of five key programs. The objective of this program is to strengthen accountability in education systems through the generation and dissemination of reliable indicators for school improvement.
Accountability in this case refers to the entire set of relationships among educational actors: the state, service providers, and citizens. The program supports interventions around the use of information to strengthen social accountability, external accountability, and internal accountability.
To improve schools, and to measure this improvement over time, policymakers and citizens need rigorous information on school performance, including learning outcomes. Relevant, standardized, and comparable information about the quality of educational services in schools has largely been unavailable to stakeholders in the MENA region.
International evidence has shown that the production and dissemination of a set of robust indicators on the quality of service delivery at the school-level has the potential to transform the relationships between schools, parents, policymakers, and civil society. This intervention will support the development of tools—such as Service Delivery Indicators, school report cards, and others—that can help hold schools accountable for improving their performance.
Why Focus on Accountability?
Research has pointed to the failure of input-based schooling policies to yield improvement in student achievement . In many countries, education systems suffer not from a lack of resources, but from service delivery failures. Adopting purely technocratic approaches to education reform in the absence of strong accountability mechanisms leads to the failure of education interventions, such as teacher training, curriculum reform, or the provision of technology.
The 2004 World Development Report “Making Services Work for Poor People” identified types of accountability relationships that can break down and lead to service delivery failures. Strengthening the ability of both the state and the citizen to hold providers accountable is essential for improved service delivery
Why MENA, and why now?
A 2008 flagship report on education in MENA, The Road not Traveled, highlighted that the region focused too much on “engineering” education and too little on incentives and public accountability. No systematic attempts have been made to link the performance of schools and teachers to student results, or to make information about school performance available to parents and students.
Addressing the quality of education is critical in any efforts to reform education systems and build more competitive economies in the Region.
The 2-day workshop exposed policymakers to research and practice on the power and limitations of information for accountability.
It also enabled them to begin conceptualizing the design and implementation of Information for Accountability tools that are appropriate for their respective countries, taking into consideration national specificities and strategies for dissemination and use of information generated by the tools. The workshop :
1) Introduced the theory of change of how the generation and dissemination of information on school performance can lead to school improvement
2) Presented international and regional practices on the use of a range of Information for Accountability tools and mechanisms, such as school report cards, Service Delivery Indicators (SDIs), national inspection units
3) Discussed the symbiotic relationships between school-based management, decentralization, information, and accountability
4) Discussed the development of country-specific indicators and country-specific information for accountability strategies
Samira Halabi, Education Specialist, World Bank: Promoting the Use of Information for Accountability in Education
Manos Antoninis, Global Education Monitoring Report Director, UNESCO: Promise and Perils of Learning Data on Schools and Students: International Lessons
Tamar Atinc, Visiting Fellow, Brookings and Lindsay Read, Independent Researcher: Information for Accountability
Cameron Harrison, Lead Education Consultant, Harrison Leimon Associates: Driving up Quality in Education
Shahram Paksima, Senior Education Specialist, World Bank: Synergies in Information for Accountability Synergies in Information for Accountability
Tamar Atinc, Visiting Fellow, Brookings and Lindsay Read, Independent Researcher: “My School” Data Platform
Samira Halabi, World Bank: Service Delivery Indicator Survey SABER Service Delivery