Research for Effective Education Programming – Africa

Generating education data, analysis, and research.

Context

The overarching purpose of the Research for Effective Education Programming – Africa (REEP-A) project is to provide the USAID Africa Bureau, overseas Missions, and partner organizations, with concrete research contributions on USAID education initiatives to inform evidence-based investment, decision-making, and the prioritization of needs.

The contract aims to improve the measurement of data related to the following development goals:

  1. Improved reading skills for 100 million children in primary grades by 2015
  2. Improved ability of tertiary and workforce programs to generate skills relevant to a country’s development goals
  3. Increased equitable access to education in crisis and conflict environments for 15 million learners by 2015

REEP-A activities support USAID’s 2011 Education Strategy, which set targets for 2015 for early grade reading, workforce development, and education in crisis and conflict-affected environments.

Approach

REEP-A contributes to USAID’s education aims in Africa by providing technical and advisory services focused on research and capacity building that intend to enhance the quality and effectiveness of USAID activities. REEP-A provides practical and action-oriented gender-sensitive research that will be applied to both project design and implementation. In addition, REEP-A contributes to the capacity development of education personnel and partners by enhancing the use of research in decision-making, mainstreaming the application of feedback-loops and lessons learned into project design and implementation, and expanding the evidence and knowledge base on education initiatives.

Achievements

Over the past few years, REEP-A has conducted a range of research activities contributing to the deliverables outlined in the scope of work. Achievements include performance evaluations of Soma Umenye, USAID Rwanda’s flagship reading activity, grade reading initiative, and Huguka Dukore Akazi Kanoze, USAID Rwanda’s flagship workforce development and youth activity. REEP-A also completed the seminal Language of Instruction (LOI) Framework Report, which outlines the landscape of LOI in sub-Saharan Africa, and the design, pilot and final report for the Teacher Language and Literacy Assessment (TLLA). Work is under way on research activities focused on soft skills and social emotional learning, including a literature review on the applicability of soft skills to workforce development and a synthesis of evidence on social emotional learning. REEP-A also continues work towards the development of comprehensive profiles of LOI policies and reading program approaches of 16 sub-Saharan African countries. These country-specific profiles will allow USAID and other partner organizations to quickly understand approaches adopted by relevant programs in light of that country’s linguistic and policy context. Lastly, the development of measurement tools with applicability across countries is progressing with the School-Related Gender-Based Violence (SRGBV) toolkit. REEP-A supplies quarterly and annual reports, and country and sector-specific profiles to show detailed findings to USAID. REEP-A supplies quarterly and annual reports, and country and sector-specific profiles to show detailed findings to USAID.

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