Using Learning Assessment Data for Educational Planning in Sub-Saharan Africa: A comparative analysis
How do countries in sub-Saharan Africa use data from large-scale learning assessments in different phases of the educational planning cycle? What facilitates and impedes the use of the data? How can governments and development partners sustain and improve the use of learning data?
The new IIEP-UNESCO publication compares data from The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Namibia, Senegal, and Zambia to answer these questions. It explores the complex dynamics of the use of learning data, examining among other factors, the interactions among the different actors.
This analysis demonstrates that the implementation of learning assessments alone is not sufficient to trigger the use of learning data to inform educational planning. We may be tempted to think that if good quality data are available, there is a good chance that education planners will actively consider them, and that the data inform their activities accordingly. However, the path that leads from data generation to informed planning is much less straightforward, especially in contexts with limited financial and human resources.
The study demonstrates that the use of assessment data in the education planning cycle remains somewhat limited, with data only sporadically informing planning processes. Learning assessment data most often inform the monitoring and evaluation of the education sector plans (ESP) as well as education sector analyses (ESA). However, it is difficult to establish a clear link between learning assessment results and ESP preparation.