The Global Partnership for Education Knowledge and Innovation Exchange (KIX), a joint endeavour between the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), hosted the Third Annual KIX Symposium on October 12 and 13, 2022.
The Symposium demonstrated how KIX supports evidence-informed policy dialogue for system transformation by taking a deep dive into two education priorities that have emerged through the initiative: Gender Equality and Data Systems and Data Use. Government partners, policymakers, and researchers shared their perspectives on (i) how these priorities are being addressed through KIX’s applied research projects and Hubs, and (ii) how education stakeholders in GPE partner countries are using evidence and knowledge from KIX’s innovations and activities. The event also provided an update on progress made in the third year of KIX and information on upcoming priorities. The virtual event attracted over 260 attendees from countries around the globe.
Day 1: Panel on Gender Equality
Dr. Leslie Casely-Hayford, Director of Associates for Change, and Dr. Yatta Kanu, the CEO of the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education of Sierra Leone, offered insight into how KIX-supported research on accelerated education programs is helping governments explore innovative and cost-effective solutions to children missing out on education.
“We have been able to get lots of data about who the students are, why they’re dropping out of school, and how we can get them back into school. [This project’s] findings have been able to provide us with policy briefs all the time that we have started using in our own work.” – Dr. Yatta Kanu, Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Sierra Leone
Lydia Wilbard, Head of CAMFED Tanzania, and Dr. Sempeho Siafu, Head of the Mass Education and Open Schooling Department and National Coordinator of the Integrated Program for Out of School Adolescents at the Institute of Adult Education of Tanzania, explained how a KIX applied research project that is scaling up a youth-led social support and mentorship program is working collaboratively with governments and local education stakeholders to transform education systems and increase access to education for marginalized children.
Dr. Maïmouna Sissoko-Touré, Coordinator of the KIX Africa 21 Hub, and Helikanto Rakotovololona, Director of Curricula and Pedagogical Research at the Ministry of National Education of Madagascar, provided concrete examples of how KIX hubs help countries to learn from each other’s actions on gender equality in education. Ms. Rakotovololona shared that the knowledge exchange opportunities offered by the Africa 21 Hub help the Ministry of Education in Madagascar develop strategies and make stronger decisions on girls’ education.
“It has been very useful to hear from other countries […] where issues regarding schooling may be different. This exchange really helps us when we make decisions and develop strategies for education in Madagascar.” - Helikanto Rakotovololona, Ministry of Education, Madagascar
Day 2: Panel on Data Systems and Data Use
Dr. Terje Aksel Sanner, Associate Professor, Institute of Informatics at the University of Oslo, and Alpha Bah, Head of Education Management Information Systems and Information and Communications Technology Units, Planning Policy Analysis and Budgeting Directorate at the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education of The Gambia, provided insight into how a KIX-supported project on data use innovations is helping countries build more robust data systems and leverage data into improved education policy and practice.
“This partnership has helped us to build a model where school-level data collection and reporting is possible, and possible at the regional level. And we are building [the knowledge] of staff and planners and regional focal points. We have a lot of things happening at the same time.” – Alpha Bah, Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, The Gambia
Renaud Comba, Data Must Speak Research Manager at UNICEF Office of Research Innocenti, and Voahangy Rahelimanantsoa, Head of the Department of Studies and Evaluation of Educational Policies, Directorate of Educational Planning at the Ministry of National Education of Madagascar, shared how KIX-supported research on using data to advance learning outcomes is being used by countries to leverage tailored investments in their education systems and address diverse education challenges.
Marina Dreux Frotté, Innovative Financing for Education Program Coordinator at NORRAG and Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Lead at the KIX EAP Hub, and Moosa Adam, Senior Policy Director at the Ministry of Education of the Maldives, showcased how KIX hubs provide opportunities for professional development and facilitate learning between researchers and government officials, in addition to inter-country knowledge exchange. Their remarks focused on a professional development opportunity led by the EAP hub on using geospatial data to improve equity in education.
“It was very eye-opening to us, how the geospatial data could be used in terms of resource allocation.” – Moosa Adam, Ministry of Education, Maldives
The symposium concluded with remarks from members of the KIX Executive Committee: Naser Faruqui, Director of Education and Science at IDRC and Margarita Focas-Licht, Acting Deputy CEO at GPE. They shared some of the progress KIX made in the past year, which is highlighted in the KIX Annual Report 2021-22, and outlined key priorities as KIX moves forward. Margarita closed the event by reiterating that effective mobilization and use of evidence and knowledge can help lead to more meaningful, sustained, and impactful change, yielding a greater return on education sector investments overall.
For even more information, view the questions & answers from the symposium here.