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Conducting Early Grade Reading Assessments (EGRAs) in Low Resource and Conflict Areas

Mon, March 26, 1:15 to 2:45pm, Hilton Reforma, Floor: 4th Floor, Don Alberto 4

Group Submission Type: Round-table Session

Proposal

Working in low resource and challenging environments negatively affects the education of approximately 80 million children . In this engaging and dynamic panel, we will hear from leaders from the field of the experience in working in a perplexing environment, the challenges the projects have faced, proven best practices, and the differences in implementing reading programs in working in low-resource environments reading in conflict and crises different and what challenges they face. In a cross-
cutting view of projects in these locations, projects will share their EGRA process and different innovations led from the field. Chemonics International and School to School International (STS) will present on their work on conducting EGRA and effectively implementing early grade reading programs in Syria and Pakistan. This panel will contribute to the 2018 themes of “Remapping Global Education”, by engaging in field-based collaboration on how to provide quality education to the most vulnerable populations.

Globally, there has a concentrated focus on improving the quality of education in literacy and numeracy, with specific attention to improving the education sector in conflict and post-conflict regions, where education is often seen as a vital step in alleviating tensions, building capital, and re-establishing a sense of normalcy and a path towards recovery . Improving education is one path to enhancing and stabilizing daily life for the inhabitants of these areas, and bears great promise for the future. To do so, development work must be designed from and aligned to clear, reliable, and accurate information.

Implementing any type of an assessment in the best of conditions can prove challenging, as implementers must consider the cultural appropriateness of tools, representative sampling plans, and best methods to ensure inter-rater reliability. In low resource environments with dynamic and ever-changing conditions, even greater challenges face any aspiring implementer. These may include ongoing issues of security and school access, struggles to obtain or ground-truth information on existing schools and students, efforts to ensure inter-rater reliability between enumerators, coordination with fragile and fractious governments or political groups, minimal governmental or organizational capacities and infrastructure, or negligible acceptance or cooperation from community members and aid recipients. Because of the tense relations and feelings during and following a conflict, any actions an implementer takes could unintentionally drive a group or nation back towards violence, repression, or other forms of conflict. The success or failure of an EGRA in a conflict zone, therefore, depends heavily on the success or failure of an implementer in anticipating these challenges and dealing with them when they appear.

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