Accountability, capacity and trust to improve learning outcomes in South Africa; a systems approach

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Learning and Leadership

Abstract

South Africa has a long history of oppression and apartheid which have led to great inequalities, despite South Africa's classification as an upper-middle income country (World Bank, 2008). 26 years after the fall of apartheid, the systematic racial segregation practiced under apartheid, in conjunction with an overtly white supremacist ideology still has a profound impact on South Africa's society as well as its education system (Spaull, 2012). Howie (2012) explains how South Africa struggles with a widening performance gap between rich and poor students and high levels of drop out, particularly among black Africans. Spaull's (2012) analysis of SACMEQ III data shows that students in the 25% wealthiest schools are far more likely to have their own textbook, receive homework frequently and experience less teacher absenteeism compared to the poorest 75% of schools. The distribution of resources and capital still privileges white South Africans, according to Nattrass and Seekings (2001) and Spaull (2012) and essentially divides the country and the education system into two nations.

Several authors point to problematic accountability relationships and a lack of trust and capacity in the South African education system as key issues in the lack of improvement of learning outcomes. Spaull (2001) for example explains how the national, provincial and local levels of government are not held accountable for their use of public resources, and how there are few (if any) tangible consequences for non-performance or to address the high rates of teacher absenteeism and low rates of curriculum coverage. Eddy Spicer, Ehren et al's (2016) systematic review also points to lack of teacher accountability in South Africa as school-based registers of teachers' attendance are not checked and national government fails to sanction teachers who are often absent.

Lack of trust inhibits the implementation of effective assessment and inspection systems as teacher unions, for example, reject inspections of teachers and block the publication of assessment data, while lack of capacity subsequently prevents district managers, area managers, principals, heads of department and teachers to effectively use the data that is available (see Eddy Spicer, Ehren et al, 2016; Howie, 2012). This 'vicious' cycle of distrust, lack of accountability and lack of capacity renders the system powerless to improve and creates a series of 'binding constraints' (e.g. weak institutional functionality, undue union influence) that need to be addressed in order to improve learning outcomes, according to Van der Berg et al (2016).

These examples highlight the need to understand the intricate relations between accountability, capacity and trust and how these relations produce (or fail to produce) a pattern of change in learning outcomes over time and create a divided unequal system. We aim to study these relations in South Africa's public primary education system in three phases: 1) Social network analysis of the (accountability and trust) relations and flow of resources in a low and high performing school in quintile 1 and 5 (20% of schools in most deprived and wealthy areas), 2) A focus group in which we will map the causal loops which describe how trust, capacity and accountability interconnect through a series of balancing and/or reinforcing feedback loops and how these loops have (in the past) produced (or failed to produce) a pattern of change in learning outcomes and have created large inequity in the system, and 3) Collecting quantitative (assessment and questionnaire data) to test the causal loops via longitudinal path models and multiple-indicator multiple-cause (MIMIC) models.

Planned Impact

Our impact strategy is set to promote more positive and effective accountability relationships in South Africa's public primary education system with the goal of improving learning outcomes of disadvantaged children and close achievement gaps. Our study will highlight where relationships need to be improved mostly and in what way to improve learning outcomes, but initial scoping of the South African landscape and conversations with key stakeholders suggest that an overall lack of trust in the system, and particularly between national authorities (Department for Basic Education), teacher unions, principals, and teachers are key to improving relationships.

These stakeholders are the main beneficiaries of our work, specifically:
- Department of Basic Education
- SACE (South Africa Council for Educators, responsible for registering educators, CPD and code of professional ethics)
- National Association of School Governing Bodies
- Provincial Education Department
- District-level authority/circuit manager
- Support services (e.g. MIET Africa, SAPESI)
- Developers of annual assessments (grade 3 and 6), and international assessments (TIMSS, SACMEQ, PIRLS)
- District Officials and Subject Advisors, NEEDU
- Teacher unions (South African Democratic Teachers Union, Sadtu; National Teachers Union, Natu; National Professional Teachers' Organisation of South Africa, Naptosa; the Professional Educators Union, PEU; SA Onderwys Unie, SAOU).

By the end of this project we aim to have supported these key stakeholders in:
- Building the capacity (financial and material resources, knowledge and skills) and trust to implement well-functioning assessment and inspection systems, and
- Developing effective ways to share and use data and feedback from national and international assessments and school inspections
With the purpose of improving learning outcomes of disadvantaged students.

Our research activities are set up in a manner that allows us to build constructive and collaborative relationships with key stakeholders, where building trust and buy-in is a key strategy from the start of the project.
Our impact strategy includes three strategies:
1) Trust building and stakeholder engagement (through involvement of key stakeholders in research activities, working with an advisory board and our co-investigator JET Education Services). Our pathways of impact start with building relationships though our one-on-one interviews with all these stakeholders at the start of the project, and their involvement as participants on a stakeholder group throughout the project.
2) Knowledge transfer and mobilization (academic papers, written briefings and press releases, video clips, published on YouTube, OpenLearn, plugged through personal and institutional twitter accounts and our project website, and linked to BBC iPlayer, JET bulletins and learning briefs and UNESCO/UNEVOC network),
3) Capability and capacity-building (seminar, workshops incorporated in existing teaching activities, and informing initial teacher training and development of teaching standards).
We have already received letters of support for our project from the main accountability body, the South African Council of Educators (SACE), and one of the main teacher unions, SADTU.

Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
ES/P005888/1 01/09/2017 01/02/2019 £513,992
ES/P005888/2 Transfer ES/P005888/1 02/02/2019 31/03/2022 £304,197
 
Description The first objective of our study was to examine how accountability relationships and processes within South Africa's education system enable or inhibit the raising of learning outcomes, create inequalities and maintain a divided system of poor and privileged wealthy schools. To this end we proposed three research phases; two of which have been implemented at present: interviews with key stakeholders and eight high and low performing case study schools (phase 1), and focus groups to develop causal loop diagrams (phase 2). Key findings from these two phases are:
- The accountability system in South Africa follows a hierarchical logic with a set of vertical relationships, oriented towards compliance to input and process standards (e.g. implementation of a national curriculum, attendance of students and teachers). Teachers are accountable to their principal and school management team. Schools are held accountable by their school governing body, and districts monitor the quality of schools and teachers. Further up the hierarchy, provincial departments of education are accountable to the national Department of Basic Education.
- Schools in South Africa (particularly those which serve a deprived area and are non-fee paying) view the external accountability as unfair and oppose the monitoring because 1) there is little of support for schools who fail to meet accountability targets due to lack of capacity, 2) those who monitor schools are unable to provide relevant support and advice as they lack subject knowledge or pedagogical knowledge on how to teach large multigrade classrooms, and 3) there is a lack of a shared view on goals underlying the accountability exercise across the system.
- The lack of capacity to monitor and support school quality (e.g. by districts, heads of department), combined with a lack of capacity in schools to meet accountability targets reduces the accountability to a bureaucratic form filling exercise and reduces trust across the system.
- This is particularly prevalent in the monitoring and implementation of the national curriculum (CAPS) in non-fee-paying schools in rural areas. The lack of capacity to implement the curriculum in these schools (e.g. in a context of multigrade teaching, large classrooms and high turn-over of teachers and inability to access district support) combined with monitoring to enforce compliance leads to 'malicious accountability' and micromanagement. Here, teachers have to constantly submit 'recovery plans' to explain how they will catch up on missed teaching activities, reducing their time to prepare lessons, rushing through activities and leaving the majority of learners behind.
- The high distrust across the system prevents the various stakeholders to collaborate in working towards more effective accountability and creates inefficiencies across the system, such as when district subject advisors and district circuit managers operate in silos and only communicate through formal district reporting lines, resulting in duplication of reporting requirements for schools and officials sometimes visiting the school on the same day unknowingly.
Exploitation Route Our findings raise awareness of the underlying dimensions of lack of change and how these need to be addressed to ensure meaningful and sustainable improvement.
Sectors Education,Government, Democracy and Justice

URL https://www.jet.org.za/accountability-in-education
 
Description Through the following three strategies we have 1) raised awareness of policy-makers at all levels and schools that the lack of trust is inhibiting effective accountability and preventing the entire education system to build capacity for improvement, 2) provided specific improvement strategies and examples of where and how accountability needs to change to enhance learning outcomes, 3) build more collaborative relationships between academics, practitioners, policy-makers and schools through our various group model building sessions: Trust building and stakeholder engagement 1) March 2018: we had 18 meetings with the following key stakeholders to discuss the study and how it might be relevant to their work: five teacher unions, Gauteng Department of Education, FEDSAS (national representative organisation for school governing bodies), advocacy groups such as Corruption Watch, Global Teachers Institute, Global Campaign for Education, the ZENEX Foundation, Save the Children South Africa (SCSA) and a range of academics. 2) March 2018: we organized a seminar in Johannesburg with stakeholders to discuss findings from our literature study and discuss outcomes in small groups (20 high level participants). 3) March 2018 and February 2019: meetings with our advisory board (14 academics and practitioners) to share findings, discuss next steps in our research and inform their work. 4) February 2019: we held 3 one day group model building sessions with: a. 10 district curriculum managers and subject advisors from KwaZulu Natal b. 10 teachers from high and low performing schools in KwaZulu Natal c. Academics and practitioners working on school accountability and improvement. In these sessions we constructed a causal loop diagram to explain the high inequality across the system. The sessions informed our research but also helped participants develop a shared understanding of barriers for change within their own context, allowing them to share good practices and build trust to enable more effective accountability and collaboration across the system. 5) February 2019: meetings with the district director and circuit managers from KwaZulu Natal and the Gauteng Department of Education to discuss outcomes of the literature review, next steps in the research and further collaboration. We shared and discussed ways in which the monitoring of schools can become more effective and how to build high-trust relations with schools. 6) February 2019: we met with Corruption Watch to discuss outcomes of the literature review, next steps in the research and further collaboration. Knowledge transfer and mobilization Knowledge transfer and mobilization took place in the above meetings, and in various international networks, such as the OECD's Strategic Education Governance project (PI is involved in the development of the accountability module of the policy toolkit), the UNDP's accelerator lab workshop in New York and the EU working group on school evaluation (PI was an external consultant). Specific sessions to share our research outcomes with academics and practitioners are: - April 2018. Seminar at the IOE in London on 'trust and accountability', sharing the findings from our literature review with academics and practitioners (including online streaming). - August 2018. EARLI (European Association on Research on Learning and Instruction), presenting the paper 'Trust and accountability to improve learning outcomes; a systematic literature review'. - September 2018. RLO Africa Symposium; presentation 'An exploration of the relationship between trust and accountability in South African primary education'. - October 2018. Seminar at George Washing University, US on 'trust and accountability to build a more equitable education system in South Africa. - October 2018. Talk about 'intelligent accountability', Oxford University. - April 2019. BSA Annual Conference. Presenting a paper on 'Corruption and trust in South African Education: Perceptions of teachers and school boards'. - April 2019. CIES (Comparative International Education Society) annual conference. Paper presentation on 'Trust and accountability to improve learning outcomes in South Africa; a systematic literature review'. - May 2019. Opening address to NASCEE annual conference South Africa (National Association of Social Change Entities in Education). - June 2019. RISE annual conference Washington; presentation 'Trust and accountability to improve learning outcomes in South Africa; a systematic literature review'. - July 2019. United Nations Development Program (UNDP), workshop accelerator labs in New York; presentation on network learning. - August 2019. Professor Ehren appointed as advisor to NASCEE board. - September 2019. Workshop for EPG (Education Partnership Group) on realist approaches to evaluation. - November 2019. International seminar 'Trust and Accountability to Improve Education Systems'. VU Amsterdam (40 participants). Various online publications of both outline and outcomes of the research and instruments: - Website JET, continuous updates of research findings and instruments; https://www.jet.org.za/work/project-showcase/accountability-in-education - Website LEARN! www.learn.vu.nl - Website UCL IOE: https://ioelondonblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/04/rebuilding-trust-in-a-context-of-suspicion-south-africas-failing-education-system/ - Website the Impact Initiative: http://www.theimpactinitiative.net/blog/blog-rebuilding-trust-context-suspicion-south-africa%E2%80%99s-failing-education-system. We have published the following papers/chapters/reports: - Baxter J, Ehren, M., (2019) Corruption and trust in South African Education: Perceptions of teachers and school boards. Open university Festival of Research: 19-20 February, 2020. The Faculty of Business and Law. - Baxter J, Ehren, M., (2019) Corruption and trust in South African Education: Perceptions of teachers and school boards. . BSA Annual Conference 2019 - Challenging Social Hierarchies and Inequalities24-26 April 2019. Glasgow Caledonian University, UK. Glasgow Caledonian University, UK. - Ehren, M.C.M., Paterson, A., and Baxter, J. (2019). Accountability and trust: two sides of the same coin? Journal of Educational Change, 1(31). DOI: 10.1007/s10833-019-09352-4 (included in special issue journal on 'intelligent accountability') - Ehren, M.C.M. (2019). Trust and accountability to improve education systems, the golden duo of education system reform (inaugural lecture). Amsterdam: Vrije Universiteit. - Ehren, M.C.M. (2019). Chapter 3. Accountability structures that support school self-evaluation, enquiry and learning (p.41-56). In: D. Godfrey and C. Brown (Eds). An ecosystem for research-engaged schools. Reforming education through research. London: Routledge. Capability and capacity-building We have built capacity through the group model building sessions and various knowledge sharing meetings described above. Other activities include: - July 2018. Organizing and teaching of a short course on 'Educational Accountability and Evaluation: Theory and Effective International Practices' at UCL IOE. Session 2 covered the outcomes of our study: 'Accountability and trust: how do they relate to improve learning outcomes?' Participants were a group of 30 international inspectors and policy-makers. - October 2018. Group model building session to construct causal loop diagrams explaining the high inequality in South Africa with South African colleagues from the PARI institute (Public Administration Research Institute). - 2019. Joint work with colleagues from PARI and the University of Witwatersrand on a book on 'trust and accountability to improve education systems', and a joint chapter for the Worldbook of Education. - 2019. Joint work with colleagues from JET Education Services on a journal article on 'A national curriculum to reduce inequality? How South Africa's curriculum and assessment policy is increasing achievement gaps'. - 2019/2020: collaboration with JET Education Services and teacher unions to incorporate research findings in the new teaching standards. Systemic impact Our research has had a direct impact on the conceptualisation and design of the following national initiatives in South Africa through the work of JET Education Services: - The development of Professional Teaching Standards completed in collaboration with the South African Council for Educators (SACE) and a wide range of state actors, including the Department of Basic Education (DBE). - Provincial-wide intervention for Grade R teachers in the Gauteng province of South Africa, including local and international partners, such as the Maitri Trust. - The Anglo American South Africa Education Programme currently being rolled out in three provinces in South Africa, focusing mainly on non-fee paying schools. - A new collaboration on teacher internships with multiple stakeholders, and currently being considered by USAID for its direct involvement.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Education,Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Policy & public services

 
Description Advisor to NASCEE board
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Raised awareness for trust to ensure effective accountability and how monitoring needs to move beyond bureaucratic reporting.
URL https://nascee.org.za/news-events/video-nascee-conference-2019-address-by-prof-melanie-ehren
 
Description Development of professional teaching standards
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
Impact JET Education Services utilized outcomes of this study in their development of Professional Teaching Standards which was completed in collaboration with the South African Council for Educators (SACE) and a wide range of state actors, including the Department of Basic Education (DBE).
 
Description Meeting with district directors, curriculum managers and subject advisors from KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Implementation circular/rapid advice/letter to e.g. Ministry of Health
Impact We discussed with district directors, curriculum managers and subject advisors from KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng causes of the high inequality in their district and how a lack of trust and bureaucratic accountability contribute to such high inequality. We discussed more effective ways to monitor schools in deprived areas, particularly in how they implement the national curriculum.
 
Description Workshop with academics and practitioners to discuss preliminary findings on trust and accountability
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact We hosted a workshop on the 12th of October 2018 for academic colleagues and practitioners from US, the UK, South Africa, Chile, Israel, Austria, Finland and Sweden in which we discussed the findings from our literature review in the morning and chaired round tables in the afternoon to discuss country cases. For each participating country, we discussed how the enactment of educational accountability systems are mediated by a combination of bureaucratic capacity and societal trust, and how trust, capacity and accountability interact in ways and with consequences that vary among countries, and understand potential leverage points for system change. Colleagues from the OECD's 'governing complex education systems' project participated and contributed to the project and used our findings in their own project, particularly in the development of indicators to benchmark education systems.
 
Title Script for group model building to construct causal loop diagrams which explain high inequality in education systems 
Description The group model building script allows facilitators to work with a group of stakeholders to come to understand the persistence of inequalities in the education system and how these are linked to broader cultural, social, economic and political dynamics in South Africa. 
Type Of Material Physiological assessment or outcome measure 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact 4) February 2019: we held 3 one day group model building sessions with: a. 10 district curriculum managers and subject advisors from KwaZulu Natal b. 10 teachers from high and low performing schools in KwaZulu Natal c. Academics and practitioners working on school accountability and improvement. In these sessions we constructed a causal loop diagram to explain the high inequality across the system. The sessions informed our research but also helped participants develop a shared understanding of barriers for change within their own context, allowing them to share good practices and build trust to enable more effective accountability and collaboration across the system. 
 
Title Survey to measure relations of trust, accountability and capacity-building in schools 
Description We developed a survey to measure relations of trust, accountability and capacity-building in schools. The findings allow us to understand if trust and accountability can be part of the same relationship and how this affects a school's capacity to improve. For example: do individuals who trust each other, also hold each other accountable for the outcomes and quality of their work, or does high trust prevent meaningful accountability? does trust support improvement and professional development, and how? The survey needs to be personalized for staff working in a school so as to measure their detailed interactions with other individuals in the school. 
Type Of Material Physiological assessment or outcome measure 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The findings from the survey allows us to understand the networks in schools, and particularly relations of trust, accountability and capacity-building. Comparing these networks for different schools helps us understand the type of relations that contribute to high learning outcomes, and also whether school staff can both trust one another and hold one another accountable, and how this would improve school outcomes. 
URL https://www.jet.org.za/accountability-in-education
 
Title Trust exercise 
Description We developed a trust exercise which allows us to understand how individuals understand 'trust' and how and why they trust someone else. Administering the brief exercise allows us to understand how individuals in one organization (e.g. school) have different or similar understandings of trust and how this would support or prevent their effective collaboration. A comparison across individuals with different cultural/racial/socio-economic backgrounds and in different organisations also allows us to understand how understandings of trust vary across those dimensions. 
Type Of Material Physiological assessment or outcome measure 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The tool has been used in our project and helped us in understanding the various ways in which school staff understand trust, how this links to how they are being held accountable or engage with internal and external accountability and how differences amongst staff in understandings of trust inhibit collaboration. 
URL https://www.jet.org.za/accountability-in-education
 
Description Consortium of academic colleagues writing up country cases on 'trust, accountability and capacity as conditions for education system improvement' 
Organisation Aarhus University
Department Danish School of Education
Country Denmark 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We hosted a workshop on the 12th of October 2018 for academic colleagues and practitioners from US, the UK, South Africa, Chile, Israel, Austria, Finland and Sweden in which we discussed the findings from our literature review in the morning and chaired round tables in the afternoon to discuss country cases. For each participating country, we discussed how the enactment of educational accountability systems are mediated by a combination of bureaucratic capacity and societal trust, and how trust, capacity and accountability interact in ways and with consequences that vary among countries, and understand potential leverage points for system change. The workshop has resulted in an agreement with participating colleagues to write and publish a book where the introductory framework is informed by the theoretical work and literature review from our ESRC-funded study and the second part will include country chapters, including two chapters with findings from our empirical work in South Africa. The book allows us to understand how trust, accountability and capacity-building interact in other contexts to (prevent) education system change. A proposal for the book is under review with Routledge who expect to be able to publish it end of 2019.
Collaborator Contribution The consortium of academic colleagues convened on the 12th of October 2018 to discuss the findings from our literature review, initial findings from South Africa and how these are relevant for their own countries. Participating colleagues discussed and presented examples from their country on how the enactment of educational accountability systems is mediated by a combination of bureaucratic capacity and societal trust, and how trust, capacity and accountability interact in ways and with consequences for the improvement of learning outcomes. The various examples allows for a wider understanding of how education systems change, how trust, accountability and capacity-building interact to prevent or promote such change and to understand potential leverage points for system change. Each of the participants is now working on a book chapter to capture their country case, which will be included in a book that will address and reflect on this theme more widely.
Impact The workshop will result in a book; a proposal has been submitted to Routledge and is under review. the chapters are multidiscplinairy as colleages from political science, educational sciences, and public administration are collaborating in writing the chapters.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Consortium of academic colleagues writing up country cases on 'trust, accountability and capacity as conditions for education system improvement' 
Organisation Johannes Kepler University of Linz
Department School of Education
Country Austria 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We hosted a workshop on the 12th of October 2018 for academic colleagues and practitioners from US, the UK, South Africa, Chile, Israel, Austria, Finland and Sweden in which we discussed the findings from our literature review in the morning and chaired round tables in the afternoon to discuss country cases. For each participating country, we discussed how the enactment of educational accountability systems are mediated by a combination of bureaucratic capacity and societal trust, and how trust, capacity and accountability interact in ways and with consequences that vary among countries, and understand potential leverage points for system change. The workshop has resulted in an agreement with participating colleagues to write and publish a book where the introductory framework is informed by the theoretical work and literature review from our ESRC-funded study and the second part will include country chapters, including two chapters with findings from our empirical work in South Africa. The book allows us to understand how trust, accountability and capacity-building interact in other contexts to (prevent) education system change. A proposal for the book is under review with Routledge who expect to be able to publish it end of 2019.
Collaborator Contribution The consortium of academic colleagues convened on the 12th of October 2018 to discuss the findings from our literature review, initial findings from South Africa and how these are relevant for their own countries. Participating colleagues discussed and presented examples from their country on how the enactment of educational accountability systems is mediated by a combination of bureaucratic capacity and societal trust, and how trust, capacity and accountability interact in ways and with consequences for the improvement of learning outcomes. The various examples allows for a wider understanding of how education systems change, how trust, accountability and capacity-building interact to prevent or promote such change and to understand potential leverage points for system change. Each of the participants is now working on a book chapter to capture their country case, which will be included in a book that will address and reflect on this theme more widely.
Impact The workshop will result in a book; a proposal has been submitted to Routledge and is under review. the chapters are multidiscplinairy as colleages from political science, educational sciences, and public administration are collaborating in writing the chapters.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Consortium of academic colleagues writing up country cases on 'trust, accountability and capacity as conditions for education system improvement' 
Organisation Nanyang Technological University
Country Singapore 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We hosted a workshop on the 12th of October 2018 for academic colleagues and practitioners from US, the UK, South Africa, Chile, Israel, Austria, Finland and Sweden in which we discussed the findings from our literature review in the morning and chaired round tables in the afternoon to discuss country cases. For each participating country, we discussed how the enactment of educational accountability systems are mediated by a combination of bureaucratic capacity and societal trust, and how trust, capacity and accountability interact in ways and with consequences that vary among countries, and understand potential leverage points for system change. The workshop has resulted in an agreement with participating colleagues to write and publish a book where the introductory framework is informed by the theoretical work and literature review from our ESRC-funded study and the second part will include country chapters, including two chapters with findings from our empirical work in South Africa. The book allows us to understand how trust, accountability and capacity-building interact in other contexts to (prevent) education system change. A proposal for the book is under review with Routledge who expect to be able to publish it end of 2019.
Collaborator Contribution The consortium of academic colleagues convened on the 12th of October 2018 to discuss the findings from our literature review, initial findings from South Africa and how these are relevant for their own countries. Participating colleagues discussed and presented examples from their country on how the enactment of educational accountability systems is mediated by a combination of bureaucratic capacity and societal trust, and how trust, capacity and accountability interact in ways and with consequences for the improvement of learning outcomes. The various examples allows for a wider understanding of how education systems change, how trust, accountability and capacity-building interact to prevent or promote such change and to understand potential leverage points for system change. Each of the participants is now working on a book chapter to capture their country case, which will be included in a book that will address and reflect on this theme more widely.
Impact The workshop will result in a book; a proposal has been submitted to Routledge and is under review. the chapters are multidiscplinairy as colleages from political science, educational sciences, and public administration are collaborating in writing the chapters.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Consortium of academic colleagues writing up country cases on 'trust, accountability and capacity as conditions for education system improvement' 
Organisation Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development OECD
Country France 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We hosted a workshop on the 12th of October 2018 for academic colleagues and practitioners from US, the UK, South Africa, Chile, Israel, Austria, Finland and Sweden in which we discussed the findings from our literature review in the morning and chaired round tables in the afternoon to discuss country cases. For each participating country, we discussed how the enactment of educational accountability systems are mediated by a combination of bureaucratic capacity and societal trust, and how trust, capacity and accountability interact in ways and with consequences that vary among countries, and understand potential leverage points for system change. The workshop has resulted in an agreement with participating colleagues to write and publish a book where the introductory framework is informed by the theoretical work and literature review from our ESRC-funded study and the second part will include country chapters, including two chapters with findings from our empirical work in South Africa. The book allows us to understand how trust, accountability and capacity-building interact in other contexts to (prevent) education system change. A proposal for the book is under review with Routledge who expect to be able to publish it end of 2019.
Collaborator Contribution The consortium of academic colleagues convened on the 12th of October 2018 to discuss the findings from our literature review, initial findings from South Africa and how these are relevant for their own countries. Participating colleagues discussed and presented examples from their country on how the enactment of educational accountability systems is mediated by a combination of bureaucratic capacity and societal trust, and how trust, capacity and accountability interact in ways and with consequences for the improvement of learning outcomes. The various examples allows for a wider understanding of how education systems change, how trust, accountability and capacity-building interact to prevent or promote such change and to understand potential leverage points for system change. Each of the participants is now working on a book chapter to capture their country case, which will be included in a book that will address and reflect on this theme more widely.
Impact The workshop will result in a book; a proposal has been submitted to Routledge and is under review. the chapters are multidiscplinairy as colleages from political science, educational sciences, and public administration are collaborating in writing the chapters.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Consortium of academic colleagues writing up country cases on 'trust, accountability and capacity as conditions for education system improvement' 
Organisation Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaiso
Country Chile 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We hosted a workshop on the 12th of October 2018 for academic colleagues and practitioners from US, the UK, South Africa, Chile, Israel, Austria, Finland and Sweden in which we discussed the findings from our literature review in the morning and chaired round tables in the afternoon to discuss country cases. For each participating country, we discussed how the enactment of educational accountability systems are mediated by a combination of bureaucratic capacity and societal trust, and how trust, capacity and accountability interact in ways and with consequences that vary among countries, and understand potential leverage points for system change. The workshop has resulted in an agreement with participating colleagues to write and publish a book where the introductory framework is informed by the theoretical work and literature review from our ESRC-funded study and the second part will include country chapters, including two chapters with findings from our empirical work in South Africa. The book allows us to understand how trust, accountability and capacity-building interact in other contexts to (prevent) education system change. A proposal for the book is under review with Routledge who expect to be able to publish it end of 2019.
Collaborator Contribution The consortium of academic colleagues convened on the 12th of October 2018 to discuss the findings from our literature review, initial findings from South Africa and how these are relevant for their own countries. Participating colleagues discussed and presented examples from their country on how the enactment of educational accountability systems is mediated by a combination of bureaucratic capacity and societal trust, and how trust, capacity and accountability interact in ways and with consequences for the improvement of learning outcomes. The various examples allows for a wider understanding of how education systems change, how trust, accountability and capacity-building interact to prevent or promote such change and to understand potential leverage points for system change. Each of the participants is now working on a book chapter to capture their country case, which will be included in a book that will address and reflect on this theme more widely.
Impact The workshop will result in a book; a proposal has been submitted to Routledge and is under review. the chapters are multidiscplinairy as colleages from political science, educational sciences, and public administration are collaborating in writing the chapters.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Consortium of academic colleagues writing up country cases on 'trust, accountability and capacity as conditions for education system improvement' 
Organisation Umea University
Country Sweden 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We hosted a workshop on the 12th of October 2018 for academic colleagues and practitioners from US, the UK, South Africa, Chile, Israel, Austria, Finland and Sweden in which we discussed the findings from our literature review in the morning and chaired round tables in the afternoon to discuss country cases. For each participating country, we discussed how the enactment of educational accountability systems are mediated by a combination of bureaucratic capacity and societal trust, and how trust, capacity and accountability interact in ways and with consequences that vary among countries, and understand potential leverage points for system change. The workshop has resulted in an agreement with participating colleagues to write and publish a book where the introductory framework is informed by the theoretical work and literature review from our ESRC-funded study and the second part will include country chapters, including two chapters with findings from our empirical work in South Africa. The book allows us to understand how trust, accountability and capacity-building interact in other contexts to (prevent) education system change. A proposal for the book is under review with Routledge who expect to be able to publish it end of 2019.
Collaborator Contribution The consortium of academic colleagues convened on the 12th of October 2018 to discuss the findings from our literature review, initial findings from South Africa and how these are relevant for their own countries. Participating colleagues discussed and presented examples from their country on how the enactment of educational accountability systems is mediated by a combination of bureaucratic capacity and societal trust, and how trust, capacity and accountability interact in ways and with consequences for the improvement of learning outcomes. The various examples allows for a wider understanding of how education systems change, how trust, accountability and capacity-building interact to prevent or promote such change and to understand potential leverage points for system change. Each of the participants is now working on a book chapter to capture their country case, which will be included in a book that will address and reflect on this theme more widely.
Impact The workshop will result in a book; a proposal has been submitted to Routledge and is under review. the chapters are multidiscplinairy as colleages from political science, educational sciences, and public administration are collaborating in writing the chapters.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Consortium of academic colleagues writing up country cases on 'trust, accountability and capacity as conditions for education system improvement' 
Organisation University of Jyvaskyla
Country Finland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We hosted a workshop on the 12th of October 2018 for academic colleagues and practitioners from US, the UK, South Africa, Chile, Israel, Austria, Finland and Sweden in which we discussed the findings from our literature review in the morning and chaired round tables in the afternoon to discuss country cases. For each participating country, we discussed how the enactment of educational accountability systems are mediated by a combination of bureaucratic capacity and societal trust, and how trust, capacity and accountability interact in ways and with consequences that vary among countries, and understand potential leverage points for system change. The workshop has resulted in an agreement with participating colleagues to write and publish a book where the introductory framework is informed by the theoretical work and literature review from our ESRC-funded study and the second part will include country chapters, including two chapters with findings from our empirical work in South Africa. The book allows us to understand how trust, accountability and capacity-building interact in other contexts to (prevent) education system change. A proposal for the book is under review with Routledge who expect to be able to publish it end of 2019.
Collaborator Contribution The consortium of academic colleagues convened on the 12th of October 2018 to discuss the findings from our literature review, initial findings from South Africa and how these are relevant for their own countries. Participating colleagues discussed and presented examples from their country on how the enactment of educational accountability systems is mediated by a combination of bureaucratic capacity and societal trust, and how trust, capacity and accountability interact in ways and with consequences for the improvement of learning outcomes. The various examples allows for a wider understanding of how education systems change, how trust, accountability and capacity-building interact to prevent or promote such change and to understand potential leverage points for system change. Each of the participants is now working on a book chapter to capture their country case, which will be included in a book that will address and reflect on this theme more widely.
Impact The workshop will result in a book; a proposal has been submitted to Routledge and is under review. the chapters are multidiscplinairy as colleages from political science, educational sciences, and public administration are collaborating in writing the chapters.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Consortium of academic colleagues writing up country cases on 'trust, accountability and capacity as conditions for education system improvement' 
Organisation University of London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We hosted a workshop on the 12th of October 2018 for academic colleagues and practitioners from US, the UK, South Africa, Chile, Israel, Austria, Finland and Sweden in which we discussed the findings from our literature review in the morning and chaired round tables in the afternoon to discuss country cases. For each participating country, we discussed how the enactment of educational accountability systems are mediated by a combination of bureaucratic capacity and societal trust, and how trust, capacity and accountability interact in ways and with consequences that vary among countries, and understand potential leverage points for system change. The workshop has resulted in an agreement with participating colleagues to write and publish a book where the introductory framework is informed by the theoretical work and literature review from our ESRC-funded study and the second part will include country chapters, including two chapters with findings from our empirical work in South Africa. The book allows us to understand how trust, accountability and capacity-building interact in other contexts to (prevent) education system change. A proposal for the book is under review with Routledge who expect to be able to publish it end of 2019.
Collaborator Contribution The consortium of academic colleagues convened on the 12th of October 2018 to discuss the findings from our literature review, initial findings from South Africa and how these are relevant for their own countries. Participating colleagues discussed and presented examples from their country on how the enactment of educational accountability systems is mediated by a combination of bureaucratic capacity and societal trust, and how trust, capacity and accountability interact in ways and with consequences for the improvement of learning outcomes. The various examples allows for a wider understanding of how education systems change, how trust, accountability and capacity-building interact to prevent or promote such change and to understand potential leverage points for system change. Each of the participants is now working on a book chapter to capture their country case, which will be included in a book that will address and reflect on this theme more widely.
Impact The workshop will result in a book; a proposal has been submitted to Routledge and is under review. the chapters are multidiscplinairy as colleages from political science, educational sciences, and public administration are collaborating in writing the chapters.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Consortium of academic colleagues writing up country cases on 'trust, accountability and capacity as conditions for education system improvement' 
Organisation University of Portsmouth
Department Portsmouth Business School
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We hosted a workshop on the 12th of October 2018 for academic colleagues and practitioners from US, the UK, South Africa, Chile, Israel, Austria, Finland and Sweden in which we discussed the findings from our literature review in the morning and chaired round tables in the afternoon to discuss country cases. For each participating country, we discussed how the enactment of educational accountability systems are mediated by a combination of bureaucratic capacity and societal trust, and how trust, capacity and accountability interact in ways and with consequences that vary among countries, and understand potential leverage points for system change. The workshop has resulted in an agreement with participating colleagues to write and publish a book where the introductory framework is informed by the theoretical work and literature review from our ESRC-funded study and the second part will include country chapters, including two chapters with findings from our empirical work in South Africa. The book allows us to understand how trust, accountability and capacity-building interact in other contexts to (prevent) education system change. A proposal for the book is under review with Routledge who expect to be able to publish it end of 2019.
Collaborator Contribution The consortium of academic colleagues convened on the 12th of October 2018 to discuss the findings from our literature review, initial findings from South Africa and how these are relevant for their own countries. Participating colleagues discussed and presented examples from their country on how the enactment of educational accountability systems is mediated by a combination of bureaucratic capacity and societal trust, and how trust, capacity and accountability interact in ways and with consequences for the improvement of learning outcomes. The various examples allows for a wider understanding of how education systems change, how trust, accountability and capacity-building interact to prevent or promote such change and to understand potential leverage points for system change. Each of the participants is now working on a book chapter to capture their country case, which will be included in a book that will address and reflect on this theme more widely.
Impact The workshop will result in a book; a proposal has been submitted to Routledge and is under review. the chapters are multidiscplinairy as colleages from political science, educational sciences, and public administration are collaborating in writing the chapters.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Advisory Board meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact We met with leading South African researchers to discuss and reflect on our literature review. The meeting led to further insights into how we can implement future research activities, as well as key problems in the South African system. Members of our advisory group (e.g. John Volmink) are well connected to national policymakers and have led national inquiries into corruption in education. They provided very relevant feedback on which provinces to target for future work and how to engage stakeholders in the research to ensure future impact.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description BSA Annual Conference. Presenting a paper on 'Corruption and trust in South African Education: Perceptions of teachers and school boards' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact April 2019. BSA Annual Conference. Presenting a paper on 'Corruption and trust in South African Education: Perceptions of teachers and school boards'. Discussions on how the findings reflect other countries or are specific to South Africa.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.britsoc.co.uk/media/24958/ac2019_all_abstracts_by_session.pdf
 
Description Comparative International Education Society Conference San Francisco 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The PI was invited to present the study on a panel about 'The Intended and Unintended Consequences of Accountability and Datafication in Education: Global Perspectives'. This panel explored the dynamics through which accountability instruments have been adopted in multiple educational settings (South Africa, India, Chile, US and Shanghai) and analyzed the effects these policies are generating in the everyday life of schools. Specifically, the papers included in this panel analyzed how teachers, principals and other school actors enact accountability policies and respond to emerging performative pressures at the school level, as well as how variables of a regulatory and contextual nature (including socio-economic factors or the level of societal trust in the educational system) mediate the way accountability policies are being enacted, and what are the implications of this in terms of educational quality and equity.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://cies2019.org/overview/
 
Description EARLI SIG 23 conference presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The PI presented the findings from the literature review to fellow researchers at an international conference (European Association of Research in Learning and Instruction); which took place 29-31 August in the Netherlands. the paper presented was titled 'Trust and accountability to improve learning outcomes; a systematic literature review'. the discussion with international colleagues working on similar topics raised important questions around our main findings, particularly how the extent to which trust is a necessary condition for effective accountability.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.earli2018sig1823.nl/
 
Description International seminar 'Trust and Accountability to Improve Education Systems'. VU Amsterdam 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The international seminar presented various country cases (Chile, South Africa, Shanghai, Hong Kong) on trust and accountability, offering us cultural perspectives of how schools and policy-makers engage in monitoring and which wider conditions support collaboration for improvement.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Opening address to NASCEE annual conference South Africa (National Association of Social Change Entities in Education). 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This was an opening address to the NASCEE conference, a new network which brings together all NGOs working on education improvement in South Africa.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Organizing and teaching of a short course on 'Educational Accountability and Evaluation: Theory and Effective International Practices' at UCL IOE 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact July 2018. Organizing and teaching of a short course on 'Educational Accountability and Evaluation: Theory and Effective International Practices' at UCL IOE. Session 2 covered the outcomes of our study: 'Accountability and trust: how do they relate to improve learning outcomes?' Participants were a group of 30 international inspectors and policy-makers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description RISE annual conference Washington; presentation 'Trust and accountability to improve learning outcomes in South Africa; a systematic literature review' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact June 2019. RISE annual conference Washington; presentation 'Trust and accountability to improve learning outcomes in South Africa; a systematic literature review'.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Seminar at George Washing University, US on 'trust and accountability to build a more equitable education system in South Africa 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Seminar at George Washing University, US on 'trust and accountability to build a more equitable education system in South Africa to highlight and discuss the literature review.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Seminar on trust and accountability 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact We organized a seminar on trust and accountability with presentations of our literature findings on 24 April 2018 at the UCL Institute of Education in London. Delegates where from the UK, Ireland, France, the Netherlands and included researchers, school inspectors, head teachers and policy-makers. The seminar was also streamed online, allowing the general public to view the presentations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ioe/news-events/events-pub/apr-2018/trust-and-accountability
 
Description Seminar with stakeholders to discuss literature review 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact We hosted a seminar for 20 delegates to present and discuss our literature review findings on trust, accountability and capacity to improve learning outcomes in South Africa. Delegates were from our key stakeholder groups, such as teacher unions, district officials, and advocacy groups. We discussed our literature review findings with them and how these apply to their context. Key outcomes were a better understanding of some of the key barriers to education system improvement, such as how strict bureaucratic accountability removes professional agency, and how some schools with a good reputation are (in practice) given more autonomy than formally allowed.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Talk about 'intelligent accountability', Oxford University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Presenting the findings from the literature review and discussing what 'intelligent accountability' entails with a group working on a special issue journal of educational change on this topic.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description United Nations Development Program (UNDP), workshop accelerator labs in New York; presentation on network learning 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact July 2019. United Nations Development Program (UNDP), workshop accelerator labs in New York; presentation on network learning. We contributed to the development of the strategy for how the UN can create a network for more sustainable change.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Workshop for EPG (Education Partnership Group) on realist approaches to evaluation 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Supporters
Results and Impact Workshop for EPG (Education Partnership Group) on realist approaches to evaluation to inform their M&E work with governments in developing countries
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019