Open Education Handbook/Openness and the developing world
Open data can help identify gaps in the availability of education and provide simple solutions that can be delivered through the existing education system. In order to achieve this you need a robust analytical culture that demonstrates the impact of its work.
To date much work has been on the supply side of the education equation. Improving the quality of demand is key to making long term changes. Akshara Foundation recognised that a lack of publicly available data about public education was causing an imbalance between the education system and its users and within the system itself, so they set up the Karnataka Learning Partnership.
"We need to bring about transparency and use data-based evidence to push for reforms and accountability across the system. Usually, that would mean using existing government data, but our experience has highlighted a lack of technical and legal systems to be able to publish open educational data and we have had to create the data sets ourselves."
Norrag reports on Sub Saharan African education issues and states that :
"Progress in the above areas requires both better use of existing resources and more resources. There is good scope for improving quality and internal efficiency through more strategic deployment and better management of teachers, improved accountability for teachers and principals, and provision of more and better training materials. Progress in these areas is often constrained more by weak technical capacity and political resolve than shortage of funding. But such constraints often prove more difficult to address than funding constraints."
The Ugandan government allocated funding for schools, but corruption at various levels meant much of the money never reached its intended destination. Between 1995 and 2001, the proportion of funding allocated which actually reached the schools rose from 24% to 82%. In the interim, they initiated a programme of publishing data on how much was allocated to each school. There were many other factors (Hubbard 2007) but Reinikke and Svensson’s (2004) analysis showed that the data publication played a significant part.
- Reinikka, R., and J. Svensson. May 2004. Local capture: Evidence from a central government transfer program in Uganda. Quarterly Journal of Economics: 679–705.
- Hubbard P. (2007); Putting the Power of Transparency in Context: Information’s Role in Reducing Corruption in Uganda’s Education Sector; Center for Global Development Working Paper No. 136 accessed at www.cgdev.org/files/15050_file_Uganda.pdf on March 2nd 2012
- Uganda Open Government data readiness study
- Is money reaching schools in Tanzania? and where does education money go?