With the recent successful conclusion of GPE’s Assessment for Learning (A4L) initiative after three years of implementation, the time is opportune to reflect on the key outcomes and learnings of the initiative.
With an objective of supporting country-level efforts to strengthen national learning assessment systems and promoting a more holistic measurement of learning, A4L was implemented over the 2017-2020 period. The successes of the initiative were highlighted in a recent independent summative evaluation.
As noted in the evaluation, a major component of A4L was the support to two regional networks on learning assessment: the Teaching and Learning: Educators’ Network for Transformation (TALENT) in sub-Saharan Africa and the Network on Education Quality Monitoring in the Asia-Pacific (NEQMAP) in the Asia-Pacific.
GPE has just released a brief that summarizes the main activities and key outputs achieved by these networks through A4L support, analyzes the outcomes to which this support has contributed and how this is situated vis-à-vis GPE’s broader support to strengthening learning assessment systems.
Two regional networks on learning assessment
NEQMAP was established in 2013 by UNESCO’s Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau for Education (UNESCO Bangkok) to support better alignment between assessment, curriculum and pedagogy through capacity development, research and knowledge sharing across the region.
TALENT was established in 2016 by the UNESCO Regional Office for West Africa (Sahel) in Dakar as part of the process of strengthening regional coordination on SDG 4, and to serve as a platform for promoting knowledge sharing, knowledge generation and capacity building in the areas of teaching and learning assessment.
Both networks are comprised of member institutions from governments of the two respective regions as well as other stakeholders in the area of learning assessment, such as universities, NGOs, regional and subregional organizations.
Investing in capacity, research and knowledge sharing
Through A4L support, the two networks were able to engage GPE partner countries in strengthening national capacity, producing quality research and sharing knowledge on learning assessment over the 2018-2020 period.
On capacity development, TALENT and NEQMAP each organized four regional workshops, which aimed to strengthen national capacity in various dimensions of learning assessment. The workshops covered a range of topics such as system alignment, formative assessment, reporting, use of large-scale assessments, the development and use of national assessments, data quality, contextual data and measuring transversal competencies.
Both networks also organized online learning courses focused on assessment of 21st century skills, a topic attracting increasing interest in both the Asia-Pacific and in sub-Saharan Africa.