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Open School Data Initiatives in Latin America

Tue, April 16, 3:15 to 4:45pm, Hyatt Regency, Floor: Pacific Concourse (Level -1), Pacific G

Proposal

This overview presents experiences in Latin America in using open school data to improve transparency and accountability in education. It deepens on the type of information published through school report cards (SRC), those publishing it, how the public accesses the information and utilizes it, and the limits of such processes.

The research was performed in two stages. First, a documentary review was carried out to identify the existing boards and systems in the region, analyze their main characteristics and their use. The next stage consisted of a more in-depth investigation of seven cases considered to be successfully facing the main challenges of the region in this matter. For this stage, those responsible for the SRCs responded to a questionnaire and held distance interviews.

Main findings:

Although a lot of information is produced at each country, the data are not in accessible, homogeneous and compatible formats, which becomes a limiting factor for accessing them, giving them meaning and using them for different purposes.
While the existence of transparent and accessible information is very important for accountability to be possible, other factors are necessary: There needs to be clarity about who is responsible for a given action, an assessment of that action, and a consequence for it. Conditions scarcely present at the studied cases.

In Latin American countries, school resources are mainly administered centrally. However, schools are responsible for important aspects that must be subject to accountability. Nevertheless, those factors are not always being considered at the existing SRC.

It is necessary to support the SRC addressees in a permanent and systematic way, so they can use the information, but that has not been possible in every case.

We conclude that SRC has great potential to bring decision-making and responsibility closer to the community; to aloud co-creation between authorities and citizens to jointly seek solutions to social challenges.

In order of being successful at this, the SRC must:

• Establish communication between the school community and the educational authority in order to give explanations and listening opinions.
• Include open channels, to the school community, to report possible acts of corruption in the school and to set consequences in cases of malpractice.
• Encourage the participation of parents and the community in decision-making and establish a shared responsibility.
•cTo lead to taking actions.

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