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Work in Progress

The Hewlett Foundation Blog




Every Child Counts (and Reads) 

August 11, 2014 — By Pat Scheid

Despite the growing number of children in developing countries that are attending school, they are not reaching the levels of numeracy and literacy that they should. Some have called this a “learning crisis.” According to Rakesh Rajani, Head of Twaweza, previously “it [was] very hard to make that case and get policymakers to pay attention because we didn’t have data, we didn’t have evidence.”  But now we do.

Now, civil society organizations across the world from East Africa to Southeast Asia are empowering communities to collect and use this data to demand better results for their children through citizen-led assessments. In eight countries, these groups are conducting household surveys to better measure all children’s learning, regardless of their school status.

The video below, produced by Made in Africa TV in Tanzania, describes the program and illustrates both the need for collecting household-level data on children’s learning, as well as the opportunities for better policies and action presented by this innovative approach.

ASER has more information about citizen-led assessments on their website.