The past 10 years of our work have illuminated the problem of low learning outcomes in Kenya. Indeed this is today a widely acknowledged fact. This flies in the face of Agenda 2030’s aspirations of ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education that provides lifelong learning opportunities for all. To the credit of the government, CSOs, private sector and development actors, many interventions have been put in place to remedy the problem of low learning outcomes. The implementations of these interventions, including the early grade literacy and numeracy programs, Tusome and PRIEDE respectively is ongoing. The success or otherwise of these and other new and emerging resource intensive interventions is still an open question, whose answer lies in continuous, independent monitoring.

As we grapple with the effectiveness question around these interventions in addressing the learning crisis of the past decade, where children attend school but don’t learn, another problem that hasn’t received due attention is compounding the learning crisis. It has emerged that learning outcomes are inequitably distributed. The extent, drivers and full implications of this new trend are yet to be grasped and factored into policy and practice changes as well as in programmatic interventions.

In view of this, we intend in the next four years to use multiple methodologies, including but not limited to CLA, to inquire into the multifaceted and multi-layered nature, extent and drivers of (in)equity in education and implications for the broader societal level inequity, and lobby for action. This will enable us to contribute to the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in two ways: by holding to account the duty-bearers and other stakeholders through monitoring of the achievement of SDG 4; and by generating insights through research and experimentation that may contribute to accelerating progress towards realization of the society we envision – where all children access and benefit from equitable opportunities for quality learning.

We will pursue four strategic goals towards this overall end:

  1. Independent evidence generation;
  2. Insights and innovations generation through research;
  3. Comprehensive stakeholder engagement; and
  4. Institutional development.

In terms of practical activities we will do the following:

  1. Generate large-scale evidence on the extent of inequities in learning outcomes, their drivers, their implications for inequities in the wider society and possible solutions;
  2. Use the evidence to engage and build partnerships at the village, sub-national, national and global levels to create an ecosystem of systemic change in favor of sustainable , equitable access to quality education by all children;
  3. We have always worked with and supported local level CSOs/CBOs to undertake assessments and engage with communities and authorities at the sub-national level, thereby building their capacities. In the next 4 years, however,  we will deliberately nurture, handhold and strengthen the capacities of sub-county partners to deepen their legitimacy in the communities and bolster their role in promoting social norms change in favor equitable access to quality education by all children; and
  4. Undertake organizational development, including brand-building after re-branding, to support our ambitious mission.
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