Under what conditions do inspection, monitoring and assessment improve system efficiency, service delivery and learning outcomes?

This review is on the poorest and most marginalised. It is a realist synthesis of school accountability in low- and middle-income countries

Abstract

This systematic review explores how school accountability policies operate locally to improve school systems and children’s learning outcomes in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs). These policies include:

  • Assessment: student examinations used to monitor the quality of the education system, some of which (high-stakes examinations) also carry direct consequences for performance for schools, school teachers and individual students

  • Monitoring: the system-level processes designed to collect, compare and report school-level information about the composition, organisation and function of schools

  • Inspection: formal site visits to schools by education authorities to observe classroom and management activities

Overall, findings suggest that:

  • Desirable school-level outcomes were associated with coherent support for meeting performance expectations and for translating information about performance into the everyday practices of teaching and learning

  • Undesirable school-level outcomes were associated with insufficient consideration of school leaders’ and teachers’ capacities to engage productively with accountability activities, whether in interpreting exam results, in making use of Educational Management and Information System (EMIS) information or in conducting school self-evaluations as part of inspection

There is a protocol and a final report for this realist synthesis

Citation

Eddy-Spicer, D; Ehren, M; Bangpan, M.; Khatwa, M.; Perrone, F. Under what conditions do inspection, monitoring and assessment improve system efficiency, service delivery and learning outcomes for the poorest and most marginalised? A realist synthesis of school accountability in low- and middle-income countries. EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Centre, UCL Institute of Education, University College London (2016) 369p

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