Helpdesk Report: Accountability in Education

Abstract

Query

HEART were asked to:

  • Complete an annotated bibliography of 10-20 key resources on accountability in education. It should highlight which resources are most useful for focus areas of DFID's emerging approach, such as working in fragile states and measuring impact. Evidence can be from OECD countries or developing countries as long as can be applied.
  • Develop a section on measuring impact/evaluation of accountability initiatives.  This section should be supplemented with evidence from RCTs etc.
  • Develop a section on school autonomy and how appropriate levels of autonomy can enhance learning outcomes in conjunction with accountability strategies.
  • Further develop the section on fragile states, supplementing with evidence.

Summary

This paper includes an annotated bibliography showing key resources including those assessing different types of accountability systems, analysis of improved schools and what makes schools successful. The section is also divided into performance accountability, professional accountability and market accountability. There are additional sections on impact and evaluation of initiatives which outlines key areas such as the need for a credible comparison group, collection of baseline data, basing the evaluation design on the theory of change and paying attention to collecting relevant, high quality data. A further section focuses on school autonomy and looks at strategies which aim to improve accountability relationships between policymakers, education providers and the citizens and students they serve. The final section focuses on fragile states which looks at the difference between short route accountability and long route accountability. It concludes that the latter is preferable where possible and should be encouraged for example through pro-poor service delivery interventions 'that maximise the access and participation of the poor by strengthening the relationships between policy makers, providers and service users'.

Citation

Holley, C.; Bolton, L.; Thompson, S. Helpdesk Report: Accountability in Education. Health and Education Advice and Resource Team (HEART), Oxford, UK (2013) 26 pp.

Helpdesk Report: Accountability in Education

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