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Session Submission Type: Group Panel
With the U.S. government and USAID’s renewed emphasis on measuring, evaluating, and learning (MEL), it is now more important than ever for implementers, researchers, and donors to share and build off the lessons learned of MEL methodologies derived throughout the world. This will foster a shared understanding to inform program design and policymaking in a variety of global and cultural contexts. Conflict and post-conflict settings, in particular, offer an important opportunity for this experiential sharing, given the importance of education as a means of alleviating tensions, building capital, and re-establishing a sense of normalcy and recovery (Smith, 2005; Matsumoto, 2008; Barakat, et al., 2013; Burde, 2014). Even, and in fact especially, in post-conflict and conflict contexts, monitoring and evaluation are vital for ensuring the effective and efficient program implementation and progress towards development goals.
While implementing education and youth-focused projects in 10 different countries, Chemonics International has gained extensive knowledge of the MEL methodologies, particularly in conflict and post-conflict settings, including Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. These projects, despite their different programmatic goals, implementation plans, and cultural and policy settings, present a common theme for an exploration of the different methodologies for monitoring, evaluating, and learning for development.
The Pakistan Sindh Reading project (SRP) is a USAID-funded project designed to improve reading in primary schools in Sindh province by providing teachers with face-to-face teacher training and school-based support, and by providing teaching and learning materials (TLMs) to improving reading instruction and learning. In order to strengthen its teacher training and materials interventions, SRP initiated the use of ICT-based formative assessment (FA). In this program, SRP lead the administration of FA in supported schools and provide assessment results to program managers in order to make informed decisions about improving training and materials provided by the project. SRP will highlight the introduction of ICT-based (Information and Communications Technology) FA designs, and demonstrate the ways this process has allowed for stronger identification and support for non-readers, and an increase in Non-Readers’ assessment results at all three points during an academic year.
The Afghanistan Resources, Skills, and Capacities in Early Grade Reading (RSC-EGR), also funded by USAID, is a 20-month research-focused project to gather and assess the current state of early grade reading capacities nationwide, and provide data to be used in ongoing policy dialogues between the Afghan government and relevant local and international donors and stakeholders. In addition to assessing Ministry of Education (MoE) capacity and needs towards enacting policy reform, the potential for education-focused public-private partnerships, and the quality and characteristics of available early grade reading materials, RSC-EGR conducted the second largest EGRA and School Management Effectiveness and Safety survey in the world. RSC-EGR Chief of Party Nancy Parks will describe the process and challenges encountered by the project as it engaged directly with the MoE to an unprecedented amount in order to develop and conduct the EGRA in 1,249 schools in all 34 provinces of Afghanistan.
A journey of “Non Readers” towards “Readers”: A case study of Sindh Reading Program, ICT-Based Formative Assessment - Mark Lynd, School-to-School International; Andrew Lewis, Chemonics International
Starting the Dialogue Amidst Crisis: A Case Study of Conducting a Nationwide EGRA in Afghanistan - Nancy Parks, Chemonics International