Towards improving educational attainment in middle Africa: eBASE Triple Jump Approach
Evidence is to decision-making as a recipe is to a chef. Unfortunately, decision-makers in sub-Saharan Africa do not always have the best available evidence supporting their actions and duties either because it is not available or not easily understandable The slow generation and uptake of evidence is ominous, calling for a swift and innovative strategy for embedding research evidence.
The eBASE triple jump approach is borrowed from the sports discipline bearing the same name. Emulating from the athletic discipline, we believe for evidence to be embedded, we need three major steps: the Hop, the Step, and the Jump. A practical demonstration of this approach can be seen in our bid to improve educational attainment in middle Africa by contextualizing and disseminating an evidence-based tool for teaching and learning called the eBASE Teaching and Learning Toolkit. We Hopped with the global fellowship, Step with a re-contextualization and Jump with global trial and system integration.
1- The hop: eBASE global fellowship
The aim of the global fellowship funded by the Education Endowment Foundation is to set up and disseminate a teaching and learning toolkit, building from contextualized global evidence. This entails contrasting global evidence with research conducted in sub-Saharan Africa, but also with stakeholders’ preferences and experiences. The product of this process is bilingual, tailor-suited guidance for teachers and learners in middle Africa.
2- The step: The re-contextualization
Building from the springboard global fellowship, the Re-contextualisation process funded by the Centre of Excellence for Development Impact and Learning (CEDIL) aims at using meta-analysis to explore the transferability of education mid-range theories to Cameroon, Chad, Nigeria, and Niger. Simply stated, it involves a systematic, robust, and better-structured synthesis of available evidence in middle Africa; active stakeholder involvement, and exploring transferability across countries.
3- The jump: perpetuating the eBASE TLK
The two previous phases provided sufficient momentum to fly high and achieve our objective. It involved setting a reliable product, identifying its weaknesses and patterns for improvement. The Jump is about filling research gaps by conducting targeted randomized control trials and evidence implementation projects. We will also focus on ensuring systems integration and building long-lasting partnerships between local and international education stakeholders.
In a resource-challenged setting with very poor outcomes in terms of basic services, embedding evidence into policy and practice stand as our best alternative for a buoyant development. Our Triple Jump approach offers an interesting perspective on steps to take in order to improve educational attainment in middle Africa.