Education in international development settings, including in conflict and post-conflict contexts: teachers, quality and learning, and inequalities related to poverty, gender and disability.

Most interventions to improve education in developing countries require spending significant amounts of money on improving the quality of the inputs to the education system. While this is often a useful approach, in countries with weak governments and low tax collection, little resources are available to invest in schools.
We propose to conduct a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of one of the most ambitious recent attempts by a developing country government to improve education governance at scale.
The project will investigate how the accountability of schools differs according the school management model and whether accountability is linked to differences in learning outcomes. Recently, a great deal of attention from international development donors has focused on new models of school management (e.g.

Disadvantaged children in Low Income Countries (LICs) particularly children with disabilities are increasingly accessing schools, but not learning effectively due to social exclusion within the classroom and poor teaching methods, that perpetuate inequality.

Liberia's public education system is moribund. The civil war of 1999-2003 and the Ebola epidemic of 2014 have left the Ministry of Education with little capacity to run a national school system. An effort to clean thousands of ghost teachers from Ministry payrolls was cut short (New York Times, 2016), and while systematic data is scarce, teacher absenteeism appears common (Mulkeen, 2009).
 This interdisciplinary project will carry out innovative, policy-relevant research, focused on addressing the research question: "How do interacting dynamics in the social, political, economic and cultural context enable or inhibit the delivery of quality education in specific developing country contexts?".
 
Section 21 of The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (RTE) in India calls for the establishment of a School Development and Management Co
Indian children at school near Bodh Gaya
This project focuses on learning outcomes for 'disadvantaged learners' in India: children of primary school age who are disadvantaged by a range of structural inequalities, which are often cross-cutting, such as gender, location, caste, and class.
We propose to develop and validate measures of accountability to be shared with the Nepal Ministry of Education (MOE) and to use those measures in an analysis of the determinants of accountability and its association with students' gains in achievement.
Our project explores the potential of community based accountability relationships to raise children's foundational learning outcomes, with a focus on the most disadvantaged primary-school learners: namely those who are from poorer households and, within these, girls. We ask both whether and how changes occur when school actors are supported to view their accountability as being primarily to their local community and their goal as being to raise all children's learning.

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