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The Role of the Local Community in Education: JICA-RI Hosts Session at GDN Annual Conference

April 4, 2016

The Global Development Network (GDN) aimed at the development of research capabilities and networking of developing nations held the 17th annual conference in Lima, Peru on March 17-18, 2016. JICA-RI serves as the hub institution for GDN-Japan, which is one of the GDN regional networks. The theme of this annual conference is "Education for Development: Quality and Inclusion for Changing Global Human Capital Needs." JICA-RI Director Ichiro Tambo (at the time) and others from JICA-RI attended the conference.

A JICA-RI-organized session is held

In the JICA-RI-organized session, "The Role of the Local Community in Education for Development: Evidence from Impact Evaluations of School Based Management" on March 18, the role of the local community in education was discussed based on the results of impact evaluations of School Based Management (SBM). Tambo served as moderator, and presentations were made by Emmanuel Jimenez, executive director of the international NGO International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie), World Bank economist Moussa Blimpo, JICA-RI Visiting Fellow Yasuyuki Sawada (professor, University of Tokyo) and Eiji Kozuka (Hiroshima University specially appointed associate professor at the time).

Jimenez introduced the policies of SBM and Community Based Monitoring (CBM) in developing countries, and the latest trends in research, indicating that although both are effective, CBM has a greater effect. Blimpo presented the results of impact evaluations in Gambia, and described the difficulty of improving the quality of education simply by providing funding.

Kozuka presented case studies of cooperation provided by JICA in Niger, analyzing the difference between cases in which only funding is provided and cases in which training intervention is made in addition to providing funding from the perspective of night classes and supplementary classes. He explained there is a greater effect when training intervention is made in addition to providing funding.

A school in Niger where JICA provided cooperation

Sawada presented the research results of the effect of school management committees in Burkina Faso, where JICA developed an activation model "School for All" for better community participation in school management. He noted that his research team adopted a method incorporating randomized controlled trials and artefactual field experiments on public goods (public goods game).

After vigorous questions and answers with the floor, the session was summed up by Jimenez saying "Local Context is important," Blimpo saying, "School is only one element in the education," and Kozuka pointing out the importance of "the local capacity and social capital." Sawada emphasized "the impact of SBM/CBM on achieving better fiscal self-sustainability and broader cost benefit consideration are the keys."

Before this session, a session was held on March 17 to announce the three finalists in the 2016 Global Development Awards (Japanese Award for Most Innovative Development Project), with Tambo serving as the moderator. The Global Development Awards provide funding from the Japanese government to discover, support research and projects on development and innovative development programs.

A school in Niger where JICA provided cooperation

A finalist Gamal Albinsaid, an Indonesian business manager, spoke about his project providing "Garbage Clinical Insurance" to resolve both low insurance participation and garbage problems. He was followed by Talantbek Aldashov, who is conducting a project for the Aga Khan Foundation in Kyrgyzstan, describing the project for cultivating cash crops in mountainous regions of Kyrgyzstan and establishing sales routes. Finally, Pakistani radio station manager Fakhira Najib made a presentation on her project to use radio programs to support teachers in the classroom, provide education opportunities to children and women unable to attend school and improve the quality of school education by conducting supplementary programs. As a result of the selection process, Fakhira Najib from Pakistan was given the award by Tambo.

Incidentally, Jaime Saavedra-Chanduvi, the Minister of Education of Peru who actively worked to bring the annual conference to Peru, received the first Japanese Award for Outstanding Research on Development in 2002.

Tambo said after the conference, "The theme of Education for Development is consistent with many of the research themes addressed by the JICA Research Institute. It's significant that we were able to communicate the results of our research at the conference attended by many prominent researchers. In particular, we were able to discuss functions of community participation in school management with important partners, which would contribute to construct the global discussion.

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