News: Accountability - The 2016 ESRC-DFID Raising Learning Outcomes programme funded grants

UNESCO / Desrus, B


Ten new grants through the third round of the ESRC-DFID Raising Learning Outcomes programme have been announced.

The 2016 call focused on the theme of ‘Accountability,’ with the core question - how do accountability relationships and processes within developing country education systems enable or inhibit the raising of learning outcomes? 

The following grants funded under this call are:

  • Technology, Monitoring and Teacher Support in Niger, Associate Professor Jenny Aker, Tufts University
  • Accountability for gender equality in education: Critical perspectives on an indicator framework for the SDGs, Professor Elaine Unterhalter, University College London
  • Accountability, capacity and trust to improve learning outcomes in South Africa; a systems approach, Dr Melanie Ehren, University College London
  • Can schools' accountability for learning be strengthened from the grassroots? Investigating the potential for community-school partnerships in India, Dr Ricardo Sabates, University of Cambridge
  • Improving Learning: Developing Measures of Accountability and Evaluating their Association with Students' Gains in Achievement in Nepal, Dr Dirgha Ghimire, University of Michigan
  • Making the elementary schooling system in India work for disadvantaged learners: a cross-scalar comparative study of accountability relations, Professor Caroline Dyer, University of Leeds
  • Disadvantage and Participation Accountability Processes: Theory and Evidence from School Development and Management Committees in Karnataka, India, Professor Sayantan Ghosal, University of Glasgow
  • Partnership Schools for Liberia: Impact on Accountability Mechanisms and Education Outcomes, Justin Sandefur, Innovations for Poverty Action
  • Strengthening schools accountability mechanisms through participation: Addressing education quality and equity in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Associate Professor Jean-Francois Trani, Washington University St. Louis
  • Organizational Perspectives on Accountability and Learning (OPAL): School Management Models and the Social Impact of Schooling in Mumbai and Kathmandu, Dr Robin Shields, University of Bath

The grant holders will have an opportunity to meet other RLO grant holders together with the Impact Initiative in early 2018.

Launched in 2014, the ESRC-DFID £20 million Raising Learning Outcomes programme funds world class social science research that increases understanding of critical policy areas that currently constrain education systems in developing countries from translating resources into better learning for all, and ultimately positive social and economic change. Part of a broader strategic partnership between the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and ESRC, the Raising Learning Outcomes Research Programme aims to fund research focused on how complex relationships between elements of the education system, the context in which they are embedded, and the dynamics operating within the system impact on efforts to raise learning outcomes for all.

Funding has been awarded through three research calls, each focused on a different but complementary theme within the programme’s overall focus. Previous calls have focused on  ‘Challenging Contexts’ - where education systems face particular challenges, what enables or inhibits the raising of learning outcomes and ‘Effective Teaching’ – what critical policy areas are currently constraining education systems in developing countries from translating resources into better learning and ultimately positive social and economic change.

These grants will provide a rich source of research evidence on education in developing country contexts.