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Strengthening Accountability in Primary Education in Madagascar : Results of an Impact Evaluation. Jee-Peng Tan & Cornelia Jesse, . HDNED Chief Economist Office & Results for Development Institute Seminar “Demanding Good Governance - Inside & Out”. March 25, 2010.

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strengthening accountability in primary education in madagascar results of an impact evaluation

StrengtheningAccountability in Primary Education in Madagascar:Results of an Impact Evaluation

Jee-Peng Tan & Cornelia Jesse,

HDNED Chief Economist Office & Results for Development Institute Seminar “Demanding Good Governance - Inside & Out”

March 25, 2010

primary education in madagascar much progress but still many challenges
Primary Education in Madagascar: Much Progress, but stillMany Challenges
  • Signs of progress:
    • Primarycompletion rate doubledfrom 35% in1999 to 71% in 2008
  • Evidence of weaksector performance:
    • ½ of eachcohort of 1st graders does not finish the primary cycle;
    • Repetition rate stillhighat 18% in 2005 (30% in 2000)
    • Lowquality: in 2004-5 PASEC, average test score of 50% in Maths and Malagasy and 32% in French; deterioratedsince 1997-98
  • Multiple systemic causes :
    • Inconsistencies in teacher allocation acrossschools;
    • Ineffective management of pedagogicalprocessesatschool and classroomlevels
a problem of internal accountability
A Problem of Internal Accountability

Tasks essential for studentlearning are neglected:

  • Inadequate supervision of pupil and teacherabsenteeism

e.g. more than 80% of directorsfail to report teacher absences to administratorsat the sub-district and district levels

  • Neglect of basic pedagogicaltasks

e.g. 20% of teachersdon’tpreparedailylesson plans

  • Poor monitoring of and communication on studentlearning

e.g. results of student tests and quizes are poorlyrecorded and communicated to parents, if at all; schooldirectorshardlyfollow-up on student performance: 3/4 don’tdiscusslearningoutcomeswiththeirteachers

what tasks are deemed essential
What tasks are deemed essential?
  • Teacher:
    • Takes daily roll call
    • Prepares daily lesson plan
    • Prepared bi-monthly lesson plans
    • Monitors student learning
    • Has tested pupils during the past two months
    • Helps lagging students
    • Discusses student learning issues with the director
  • School director:
    • Keeps a register of enrollments
    • Signs off on daily roll call
    • Analyzes student absences on a monthly or bi-monthly basis
    • Reviews pupils’ test results
    • Takes stock of teacher absences
    • Informs sub-district or district officer about teacher absences
    • Follows up with teachers on lesson planning
tighter management to improve accountabilty
Tighter Management to Improve Accountabilty

Conceptual Intervention Framework & IE Design:

  • Workflow tools to clarify tasks and internal accountabilities;
  • Facilitation of meetings between school and community;
  • Better information flows within school and between school and community;
  • Structured training for teachers and school heads

Leading to:

  • improvement in actors’ behavior through bottom up and top down accountability
      • better managed school
        • increased school quality
          • higher student learning
key questions for policymakers
Key Questions for Policymakers
  • What is the impact of tighter management of processes on school functioning and student performance?
  • At what administrative level are management interventions the most effective (school, district or inspection level)?
impact evaluation design 1
Impact Evaluation Design (1)

Method: Randomized experimental design over 2 school years


  • Specify actors’ responsibilities & their mutual accountability the processes through:
    • Management Tools and Guides for key tasks (e.g. pedagogical, administrative)
    • Training
  • Focus attention on results to clarify goals through:
    • Report cards:School, district and inspection report cards
    • School meetings:Facilitated school meetings & development of school improvement plans based on school report cards
school district report cards for better information flow
School & District Report Cards for Better Information Flow
  • Report cards for school directors, sub-district and district levels officers:
    • Complement the tools and proceses
    • Draw attention to schooling outcomes
    • Include comparative data, allowing a school to compare its outcomes with those of other schools
    • Serve as basis for dialogue and accountability
impact evaluation design 2





84 ZAP



303 Schools



303 Schools


Impact Evaluation Design (2)

303 Schools AGEMAD


303 Schools



collecting data
Collecting Data

Actors’ Behavior (direct effects):

  • Questionnaire from impromptu school visits in 1,200 schools, with information for 4,000 teachers
  • Questionnaires for District and Community admin. level
  • Collection and analysis of tools used in 40 schools (850 tools)

Schooling outcomes (indirect effects):

  • Test scores from standardized tests in 3 subjects
  • National year-end school census data: flow rates, repetition, CEPE pass rate


  • 2 school years, 2005-2007
  • Baseline survey/test and post-intervention survey/test
policy implications
Policy Implications
  • Prioritize school-level actors
    • “Cascade” training model alone, as currently defined, doesn’t work
    • Though results are encouraging, better management essentially entails changing peoples’ behaviors, which takes time and effort
  • Mainstream IE results into MoE activities
    • Need a champion from the start
    • Need early involvement of a national team, with good technical support
    • Necessary to sustain change in actors’ attitudes & behaviors
  • Use existing structures and mechanisms for scale up:
    • Tools, guides and training modules integrated into teacher training
    • Tool distribution, training and facilitated school meetings funded through the local catalytic funds based on regional, district and school performance plans and needs
  • Develop leaders to drive change in management practices
    • Discussion underway on collaboration in leadership training between Madagascar MoE and partner organization in another country
stay tuned publications forthcoming
Stay tuned…Publications forthcoming
  • Africa Human Development Working Paper Series

«Améliorer la gestion de l\'enseignement primaire à Madagascar - Résultats d\'une expérimentation randomisée »

  • Journal Article undergoing peer review

«Managing for results in primary education in Madagascar: Evaluating the impact of selected workflow interventions »

it takes a village
It takes a village…
  • Government commitment:
    • Stable counterpart team (15 staff from MoE with coordinator)
  • Partner commitment:
    • Financial and technical assistance from AFD (via two staff)
    • WB team lead by Jee-Peng Tan and Cornelia Jesse, consisting of Gérard Lassibille and Trang van Nguyen (with in-country field coordinators)
    • Local NGO Aide et Action to assist with training
  • Financing: WB, AFD, MoE, EFA-FTI (EPDF), Irish Aid, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway
  • Timeline: 2004 – 2007
  • Total number of people involved: 50