Data Must Speak to Strengthen Education Capacity and Advance Local Evidence Use (DMS SCALE)
Project Abstract

Inadequate use of education data in policymaking hampers progress in improving learning outcomes and promoting equity. More research is necessary to understand data use and how to bridge the data-implementation gap, especially at the local level. This project adapts and further scales a successful initiative, Data Must Speak (DMS) that integrates data sets to identify districts and schools that outperform others and then investigates how to scale the factors that led to those successes.  

The project continues to bring education data and policy systems into closer alignment by harnessing existing data already collected by Ministries of Education. While the previous DMS research focused on identifying "what" policies and practices could enhance learning and equity, DMS SCALE dives deeper into the "how" of translating data into actionable decisions to achieve these goals at all levels, particularly local levels. The project seeks to strengthen the capacities of central policymakers and local officials in understanding the value of their data for designing, implementing, and monitoring policies. It aims to increase the sustainability of the approach by developing practical tools to also address future policy questions. DMS SCALE incorporates impact evaluations to further understand and generate evidence on the benefits of knowledge co-production and dissemination at both central and local levels. By documenting critical success factors in its four partner countries — Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, and Nepal — the project promotes and facilitates future scaling in different contexts. This research aligns with education priorities of these countries, which emphasize the need for improved data management and use at all levels.   

Project Stats

Implementing Organization: UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti (Lead)
Project Leader:Renaud Comba & Jessica Bergmann
Implementing Countries: Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Nepal
Main Theme: Data Systems
Duration: 36 months