Provide a literature review of various approaches to transporting books and curriculum materials to schools in low-resource and fragile settings.
Most programmes have faced similar challenges and limitations in transporting materials to schools, and have found transferable approaches to what works. These are:
- Financing: the burden of paying for delivery falls on different
actors. The literature is clear that either the government or the
publishers should cover the costs, but often it has been teachers who
travel to warehouses and pay to collect school supplies.
- Accessibility: many countries experience problems in getting supplies
through the ‘last mile’ to their final destination. Rains and
difficult roads can prevent final delivery to rural and inaccessible
areas. Appropriate vehicles and timing can overcome this. School
stakeholders express a clear preference for supplies to be delivered
directly to the school rather than having to collect them.
- Partnerships: commercial, NGO or school partnerships are a key factor
in facilitating delivery. Some programmes have piggybacked on existing
commercial organisations’ delivery systems to help deliver their
goods; while others use local organisations to provide data and
information on how best to operate. Publishers and booksellers are a
key part of the supply chain. Cooperation with school stakeholders
(teachers and parents) is essential for successful management.
- Management systems: there is often poor and unreliable data from
end-to-end of the programme, including numbers of students in a
school, numbers of materials produced, correct storage and
stocktaking, monitoring of delivery and correct invoicing.
- The literature considered in this review was largely gender-blind,
although one report raises that female teachers may not be able to
collect books from warehouses and are reliant on male peers to help.
Browne, E. Transporting materials to schools (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1255). Governance and Social Development Resource Centre, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK (2015) 10 pp.