I’ve just been at a conference attended by 450 people from all across the world. In the opening session, the facilitator asked for a ‘show of hands’: “Hands up: who has come from another country in Africa?” “Hands up: who has never been to this country before?” “Hands up: who is sitting next to someone they’ve never met before?”
How your heart sinks when a presenter clicks to their next slide, only to reveal a wall of text, which they then proceed to read out: word, for word. We call it ‘PowerPoint karaoke’ and it grinds your audience down. It also provokes either complete disengagement or a stream of hostile attacks in your Q&A.
Uwezo’s annual learning assessments have in only five years become the gold standard for finding out whether our children are learning. Each year they assess children in their homes and put out reports detailing their findings for Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and the region. The cyclical nature of Uwezo’s work and the fact that there have been few changes in the data over the period meant that they had to do something else if they wanted policy makers to concentrate on quality. If Uwezo was to approach its goal of increasing literacy and numeracy by ten percentage points they realised they would have to raise their voices.
The African Population and Health Research Center is a world-renowned pan-African research institution that conducts high quality policy-relevant research on population, health, education, urbanization and related development issues across Africa. APHRC actively engages policymakers and other key stakeholders to achieve measurable policy impacts and ensure decision making across the continent is informed by rigorous evidence-based research.
When Mango Tree started to see astounding results in the reading and writing skills of primary school learners from their Lira literacy project in Lira, Northern Uganda, they wanted influential people in the Ministry of Education to know about it. This would help them in their relations with the ministry and administration.