Bringing Learning to Light: The Role of Citizen-Led Assessments in Shifting the Education Agenda

“Are children learning?” is a question that should inform all education policymaking. Yet in many countries, the answer to this question has remained largely unknown. The pursuit of an answer lies at the heart of the citizen-led assessment movement, initiated by Pratham in India in 2005. The movement is an attempt by civil-society organizations to gather evidence on learning and use it for two main purposes: first, to increase awareness of low learning outcomes and second, to stimulate actions that are intended to address the learning gap. This innovative approach to assessment has attracted interest and raised questions about the potential for non-traditional assessments to play a role in not only monitoring learning but advocating for more focus on educational outcomes within countries and at the international level.

In an effort to more deeply understand the nuts and bolts of the citizen-led assessment model and to evaluate its ability to measure learning, disseminate findings widely, and stimulate awareness and action, Results for Development Institute (R4D), supported by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, evaluated four citizen-led assessments between May 2013 and November 2014: Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) in India, Beekunko in Mali, Jàngandoo in Senegal, and Uwezo in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Findings from the evaluation can be found in the full report linked above.

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