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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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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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)?

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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

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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

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84 ZAP



303 Schools



303 Schools


Impact Evaluation Design (2)

303 Schools AGEMAD


303 Schools



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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

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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

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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 »

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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