The GRID lab team recently presented preliminary findings of their 5-year study, Education Equality and Quality in Afghanistan and Pakistan (EEQAP), at the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) 27thAnnual Conference. The three presentations focused respectively on children’s views on inclusive education, teachers’ accountability and the impact of a participatory intervention relying on group model building workshops, and teachers’ training measured through a randomized control experiment.
The three studies contribute to the understanding of mechanisms that improve inclusive education, show the importance of engaging school stakeholders in the school decision-making process, and identify which learning outcomes, where and for which children, were effective. Overall, the bottom-up participatory approach promoting community engagement appears to be key to children’s academic performance and cognitive development. Community group model building workshops have been found to be effective in engaging communities in defining locally relevant action steps.
We were happy to see in the audience representatives from our partners Norwegian Afghanistan Committee, Swedish Committee for Afghanistan, and National Rural Support Program who were instrumental in making this project possible. We also welcomed our Afghan and Pakistani colleagues who conducted the fieldwork during three rounds of data collection and many years of intervention (inclusive education training, implementation of actions decided by the school communities, follow-up on pedagogy). It was equally nice to see colleagues and students from Washington University in St. Louis.