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Starting the Dialogue Amidst Crisis: A Case Study of Conducting a Nationwide EGRA in Afghanistan

Mon, March 6, 3:15 to 4:45pm, Sheraton Atlanta, Floor: 1, Atlanta 3 (North Tower)

Proposal

The Resources, Skills, and Capacities in Early Grade Reading in Afghanistan (RSC-EGR) project is a USAID-funded project designed to collect and analyze data and information to contribute to ongoing policy dialogue between the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) and relevant donors concerning nationwide early grade reading reform. The data collected by the project, through a nationwide EGRA in 1,249 schools, a database and analysis of existent early grade reading materials, an assessment of the potential education-focused public-private partnerships, and a needs assessment of the Ministry of Education (MoE) capacity to enact reform, will encourage broader discussion about the challenges in early grade reading in Afghanistan and help the GIRoA shape the design and implementation of efforts to improve early grade reading outcomes.

In order to conduct the world’s second-largest EGRA in one of the most challenging country settings, RSC-EGR engaged the MoE to an unprecedented level, building the capacities of national and regional education leaders throughout the EGRA process, from instrument development and adaption to implementation as master trainers and enumerators of the EGRA and School Management Effectiveness and Safety survey (SMES). This methodology ensured greater buy-in and uptake of the EGRA results and recommendations by both the MoE and provincial and district education directorates (PEDs and DEDs).

This presentation will examine and explore the methodologies used to develop, conduct, analyze, and disseminate the EGRA and SMES in 1,249 schools with more than 18,000 students in first and third grades. It will also describe the challenges and preventative measures utilized by the project in order to counter such issues as inter-rater reliability, dynamic and changing conditions, the threat of terrorism and unsafe regions of the country, fragile and fractious government and political groups, and minimal governmental and organizational capacity and infrastructure.

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