Miscellaneous Knowledge Notes

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  • Publication
    Book Chain: Incentivizing Actors in the Book Chain to Increase Availability of Quality Books for Children
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-12) World Bank Group
    The Results in Education for All Children (REACH) Trust Fund builds evidence on results-based financing in education, including by capturing operational lessons around its use. In the PRACTICE series, experts share their experience from working in the field to provide practical advice on how to apply results-based approaches to boost education outcomes. Reports in this series highlight key discussion points from REACH roundtables, backed by direct though anonymous quotes from participating experts to allow for frank discussion.
  • Publication
    Tanzania: A Simple Teacher Incentive System Can Improve Learning
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-12) World Bank
    Tanzania devotes about one-fifth of government spending to education, focusing much of the funding on expanding school access. Primary school enrollment rates have surged, yet the quality of education services and learning outcomes remain poor, with only 38 percent of children aged 9–13 able to read or do arithmetic at the second grade level. Teachers play a critical role in helping children learn, but in Tanzania, many do not show up to teach. Poor motivation and lack of accountability have contributed to the high absenteeism and commensurate loss of instructional time. One way to strengthen teacher motivation and management is through performance pay. Teacher incentive schemes link bonuses or other rewards to specific targets, whether outputs (e.g., verified classroom presence) or outcomes (e.g., student test score improvement). Performance pay can help achieve learning results at low cost compared to teacher base salaries. In Tanzania, the Results in Education for All Children (REACH) Trust Fund supported a randomized control trial comparing two types of teacher performance pay systems and their effect on early grade learning.
  • Publication
    South Africa - Results-Based Financing and the Book Supply Chain: Motivating Writers and Publishers to Create Quality Storybooks
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-12) World Bank Group
    Literacy serves as an essential building block for learning, so when children master reading, they are more likely to succeed in school generally. To support the South African government’s campaign to improve literacy rates and foster a love of reading among children, room to read implemented an initiative that included results-based elements to increase the availability of affordable, quality storybooks in African languages. The project brought together public and private sector players in the book supply chain to develop new national standards on storybooks and translations, and helped to identify and build capacity of smaller publishers and writers to publish African-language storybooks. In doing so, the project demonstrated how results-based financing can be effective in the production and procurement stages of the book chain in South Africa. Results-based financing motivated and engaged publishers and writers to participate and stay engaged in the two-year project, which armed them with the skills and knowledge they need to continue to create and publish quality storybooks on their own. The success of the South Africa project underscores the potential of using innovative models such as pooled procurement, open licensing, and one day one book workshops along with results-based financing to increase the availability of quality children’s books in a cost-efficient manner. By strengthening the book chain, the project ultimately helped to foster children’s love of reading and helped them to become better learners.
  • Publication
    Colombia: Can a Management and Information System Improve Education Quality?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-02-28) World Bank
    The Results in Education for All Children (REACH) Trust Fund at the World Bank funded the development of a Management & Information System to monitor the quality of the education system in Colombia. This system builds on existing monitoring tools, which focus on outcome measures such as test scores but do not capture intermediate quality indicators that can shed light on how learning outcomes are achieved. The overarching purpose of this system is to foster improvement in the education system by informing the decision-making and everyday activities of education practitioners and policymakers. This can be achieved by: (i) gathering detailed and relevant information about activities within schools and (ii) managing the information efficiently and making it accessible to users to enable them to analyze, understand, and provide evidence-based recommendations on how to improve education quality. This monitoring system is not intended to be an accountability mechanism for schools but rather a management tool for stakeholders to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the education system and take appropriate action.
  • Publication
    Cameroon - Can School Grants and Teacher Incentives be Used to Increase School Access and Improve Quality?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-02) World Bank
    The Results in Education for All Children (REACH) Trust Fund at the World Bank funded a feasibility study and a pre-pilot of performance-based school grants and teacher incentives among 20 rural primary schools in Cameroon. The purpose was to assess whether these RBF mechanisms could feasibly be used to improve transparency, financial management, and monitoring at the school level, increase community satisfaction, and draw lessons from the implementation of these RBF mechanisms to enable the initiative to be scaled up throughout Cameroon. While it is not possible to draw conclusions about the effect of this RBF program on education access or quality given the short time period and small sample size, this pre-pilot demonstrated that RBF is feasible in rural primary schools in Cameroon and highlighted the importance of several critical preconditions that must be in place for RBF to be effective. These preconditions include a simple and context-appropriate design, clear communication with key stakeholders, effective monitoring tools to assess school and teacher performance, and community involvement.
  • Publication
    Haiti: Can Preconditions for Results-Based Financing be Established in Fragile States?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-09) World Bank
    The Results in Education for All Children (REACH) Trust Fund at the World Bank provided funding to the Government of Haiti with the goal of establishing the preconditions for the adoption of RBF in the Haitian National Ministry of Education and Professional Training (Ministère de l'Education National et de la Formation Professionnelle, MENFP). To this end, the grant funded the development of a quality assurance system (QAS) based on specific standards for the most important dimensions of educational quality in the country. The idea was to include clear indicators for each quality dimension that would make it possible to measure education results on the ground. The grant also funded a series of complementary activities aimed at strengthening the technical capacity of MENFP staff to define and measure quality. By developing a QAS for all primary schools in the country, the grant aimed to improve governance, enhance the data systems needed to measure results, and establish the preconditions necessary to introduce an RBF mechanism in the education sector in Haiti.
  • Publication
    Haiti: Can Preconditions for RBF be Established in Fragile States?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-09) Adelman, Melissa; Lehe, Jonathan; Barone, Andrea
    The Results in Education for All Children (REACH) Trust Fund at the World Bank provided funding to the Government of Haiti with the goal of establishing the preconditions for the adoption of RBF in the Haitian National Ministry of Education and Professional Training (Ministère de l'Education National et de la Formation Professionnelle, MENFP). To this end, the grant funded the development of a quality assurance system (QAS) based on specific standards for the most important dimensions of educational quality in the country. The idea was to include clear indicators for each quality dimension that would make it possible to measure education results on the ground. The grant also funded a series of complementary activities aimed at strengthening the technical capacity of MENFP staff to define and measure quality. By developing a QAS for all primary schools in the country, the grant aimed to improve governance, enhance the data systems needed to measure results, and establish the preconditions necessary to introduce an RBF mechanism in the education sector in Haiti.
  • Publication
    Mozambique: Can Information and Incentives Increase School Attendance?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-03) World Bank
    Although more children than ever are starting school in Africa, in many countries dropout rates remain high and few students complete their schooling, especially girls. Results-based financing (RBF) has been used in many developing countries to attempt to incentivize various stakeholders such as students, parents, and teachers to achieve better results. RBF mechanisms work by linking financial incentives to measurable results, for example school attendance, dropout rates, or student test scores. Conditional cash transfers (CCTs) are one such RBF mechanism that has been used in many developing countries to incentivize individuals to take actions that they may not otherwise take, such as attending school or using preventive health services. CCTs work by giving individuals a cash transfer, conditional on verification that they have completed the prescribed behavior. CCTs have been shown to be effective in increasing school attendance in many countries, but their cost and complexity makes them difficult to manage for countries with limited administrative and budgetary capacity.
  • Publication
    China - Can Classroom Observations Measure Improvements in Teaching?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-02) World Bank
    The results in education for all children (REACH) trust fund at the World Bank has funded a pilot of the classroom assessment scoring system (CLASS) in Guangdong, China to test its usefulness as a tool to assess teaching practices. The pilot was also designed to establish a proof of concept for using classroom observations to measure the impact of teacher training and incentivize training providers within an RBF mechanism. In the pilot, the CLASS tool was used to conduct classroom observations of 36 teachers in Guangdong and to assess the strengths and weaknesses of their teaching practices. It sought to test whether this tool could be used to measure teaching practices in the context of China and how to introduce classroom observations into a quality assurance and monitoring and evaluation (QAME) system, as well as exploring how to establish the preconditions for introducing results-based financing (RBF) into China.
  • Publication
    Indonesia: Can Performance-Based School Grants Improve Learning?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-01) World Bank
    The results in education for all children (REACH) trust fund at the World Bank funded an evaluation that assessed the early impact of a performance-based school grants program on student learning in Indonesia. This evaluation focused on two separate effects in the first two years of the new program: the effect of announcing the performance-based incentive to schools, and the effect of receiving the bonus for top performing schools. Announcing the performance incentive had different impacts on primary and junior secondary schools. Student test scores improved in all junior secondary schools, with the largest gains being made in schools that were already the highest performing. The effect of the program on learning was largely due to the change in incentives created by announcing the performance-based grants, rather than by the additional grant funding itself. Future programs can be improved by using other measures of school performance in addition to test scores, considering alternative designs of the formula to determine grant allocations, and allowing schools more flexibility in experimenting with ways to improve learning.