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

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.
South Africa has a long history of oppression and apartheid which have led to great inequalities, despite South Africa's classification as an upper-middle income country (World Bank, 2008). 26 years after the fall of apartheid, the systematic racial segregation practiced under apartheid, in conjunction with an overtly white supremacist ideology still has a profound impact on South Africa's society as well as its education system (Spaull, 2012).

The Framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the UN in 2015 set ambitious targets for achieving an expansion of education provision worldwide and enhancing gender equality. The Policy Document Education 2030 sets out the detail on this. Some new indicators to monitor, evaluate and build accountability for this framework have been developed and others are under discussion by a number of technical committees. This project aims to contribute to this work.

Despite improvements in school enrolment over the past 20 years, 757 million adults worldwide are still unable to read and write in any language (UNESCO 2015). In Niger, the subject of this study, less than 30% of the population is considered to be literate (IMF 2013).
 
While a substantial body of research has focused on increasing school participation, there is still considerable debate about how to improve learning in a cost-effective way.

Blog: Research impact - make it, don’t fake it

Jan 2018
Kelly Shephard, Head of Knowledge, Impact and Policy at IDS, presents a new series of impact stories, produced by the ESRC-DFID Impact Initiative, which examine a range of challenges that occurred during the research process, the different approaches taken, and how barriers in achieving impact were overcome. Ultimately, the stories demonstrate how research funded through the ESRC-DFID Strategic Partnership is improving the lives of people around the world in positive ways.

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