Monitoring the Performance of Educational Programmes in Developing Countries


The overall purpose of this monograph is to lay the groundwork for developing a series of indicators for education that can be used to monitor progress in education projects, in country specific education systems, in developmental spin-offs from investment in education and in terms of poverty reduction. In the current policy climate, the focus is on basic education.

In Chapter One, a 'conceptual framework\" is sketched out. This includes, in the first three sections, an analysis of the reasons for the resurgence of interest in educational performance indicators, identifying the problems of definition and development and reviewing the literature about the use and abuse of performance indicators. The second half of Chapter One discusses possible frameworks for performance indicators drawn from the experience of a selection of countries and contexts.

In Chapter Two, case studies of the experience in Kenya (with a long-standing DFID involvement in various projects), Andhra Pradesh (where there has been a large scale unified programme for over six years), and South Africa (where appropriate structures are being developed) are examined.

Chapter Three, moves beyond the education sector to develop a framework of overall social indicators. The rise of what has been called the 'social indicator movement' in the 1960s is discussed, drawing attention to the major split between those focusing on a uniform method of valuation (usually money) across the social sectors and those concerned to reflect the diversity of living patterns. The concerns that led to the development of social indicators in the 1960s continue to be relevant today. Examples of different approaches to developing social indicators systems are reviewed.

The overall message of the report is that whilst anyone can develop performance indicators, the problem is to identify the social forces which have led to the generation of data, and therefore to take into account the misuses to which they can be put by arbitrary authority.


Educational Paper No. 37, DFID, London, UK, ISBN 1 86192 224 8, 190 pp.

Monitoring the Performance of Educational Programmes in Developing Countries

Published 1 January 1999