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News and Events

– Over 150 interested stakeholders, policy makers, and practitioners attended the Policy Dialogue Workshop February 26 – 28, 2014 hosted by the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MoEVT) in Dar es Salaam. Dr. Shukuru Kawamba, Minister of Education, opened the workshop with engaging remarks on the importance of the study for Tanzania. The workshop shared the findings from the recent National Baseline Assessment for the 3Rs (Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic) Using EGRA, EGMA, and SSME. The strong attendance is a strong indication of the public interest in the study and its importance to primary education in Tanzania.


– On February 11-13, 2014 USAID and the Ghana Education Service hosted a three-day National Policy Dialogue Forum on Primary Education. The keen public interest in primary school learning outcomes was evidenced by a “full house” at Miklin Hotel for all three days.
Emily Kochetkova


– Training of 80 local assessors from across Indonesia took place from January 22 - February 14, 2014 in Jakarta and Makassar. Trainees learned how to administer the EGRA and SSME instruments using the Tangerine(R) app on tablet devices. Training was followed by a pilot test during the week of Feb. 24, and full data collection will begin in March in 400 schools nationwide.
Emily Kochetkova


– A report is now available discussing the findings from a pilot study in Ghana using an innovative new approach to education assessment. The technique, called Lot Quality Assurance Sampling (LQAS), is designed for routine monitoring by school administration or education supervisors.
RTI International


– Earlier this month, the Haitian Ministry of Education and Professional Training (MENFP) hosted the United States Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, for an in-person visit to Haiti to showcase recent advances in the Haitian education system. As one highlight of the visit, Secretary Duncan toured a school receiving the ToTAL intervention.
RTI International


– What happens when a child is trying to learn to read but cannot see the text? This is the plight of many students in Haiti who have impaired vision but no access to vision testing or reading glasses.
RTI International


– As part of the Government of Tanzania’s Big Results Now campaign the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MoEVT) is putting forth a focused effort on Tanzanian primary students’ abilities in reading, writing, and arithmetic (3Rs). The 3Rs campaign has received backing from top MoEVT officials. A key phase in its implementation is the National Baseline Assessment using EGRA, EGMA, and SSME. Under Task Orders 19 and 24 of the USAID-funded Education Data for Decision Making (EdDataII) Blanket Purchase Agreement, RTI International is conducting a nationally representative baseline assessment for Standard 2 students in Tanzania. The baseline measures student performance in the 3Rs in Kiswahili and English and draws on various EGRA and EGMA subtasks to do so.


– Newton G. Teeweh is one of Liberia’s deeply committed teachers. He is proud to be doing the critical but unglamorous work of teaching the nation’s children how to read so they can read to learn. He once had been a struggling reader himself, so it wasn’t always obvious that he would become a teacher.
Timothy Slade


– In early 2013, following a baseline assessment, EdData II’s PRIMR Initiative began piloting 3 different ICT intervention strategies in Kisumu County, Kenya. The intervention is designed to evaluate how the technologies will impact instruction and pupil learning.
Emily Kochetkova


– As of July 12, 2013, two milestones were successfully reached under the EdData II Ghana Testing project. The National Education Assessment (NEA) and the Early Grade Reading and Mathematics Assessments (EGRA and EGMA) were administered by trained staff members from the Ghana Education Service.
Emily Kochetkova


– Under EdData II Task Order 19, Data for Education Research and Planning (DERP), three-day workshops were held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on April 30-May 2, 2013; Pretoria, South Africa on May 13-15, 2013; and Dakar, Senegal on June 5-7, 2013.
Kate Batchelder


– LQAS used as innovative data collection and monitoring tool in Ghana. Pilot administration receives positive feedback from partners with interest in using LQAS in future project implementation.
Kate Batchelder


– Seven community mobilizers were trained to engage parents and community members in literacy-promoting activities across 70 communities in Haiti.
Kate Batchelder


– The findings from the 2012 EdData II National Early Grade Literacy and Numeracy Survey in Jordan have led to plans, currently underway, for a reading and mathematics intervention in a pilot sample of Jordan’s primary schools.
Emily Kochetkova


– Ghana Education Service, Ghanaian linguists, educators, and local and international experts gathered together from February 18 to March 1 for an Instrument Adaptation Workshop to develop annual Early Grade Reading and Mathematics Assessments (EGRA and EGMA) across all ten regions of Ghana.
Emily Kochetkova


– In November 2012, a team of EdData II staff, led by RTI International’s Abhijit Nimbalkar and Alaa Waheed, were pleased to successfully close the MAHARAT project in Iraq with a final dissemination and policy dialogue event in Baghdad.


– The Council on Foreign Relations reports on the local response to Egypt's Early Grade Reading Program. "I have never seen teachers, administrators, and parents more excited about a new approach to learning, anywhere," writes author Isobel Coleman. The article can be found here.


– Dr. Amber Gove, team leader for teaching and learning in RTI’s International Development Group, spoke to Congressional staffers and policy analysts on September 11, as part of the Basic Education Coalition’s Congressional Briefing “Education and Literacy: A Path to Economic Growth and Stability” on Capitol Hill.
Lynda-Marie Taurasi


– On August 28-30, representatives from USAID/Jordan, Jordan’s Ministry of Education, and RTI International gathered in Amman to discuss the findings of the National Early Grade Literacy and Numeracy Survey. The survey exercise was led by RTI and its Jordanian Partner Dajani Consulting under the USAID-funded Education Data for Decision Making (EdData II) contract. Read more.
Emily Kochetkova


– Under the USAID/Philippines/Office of Education-funded technical assistance project called “Strengthening Information for Education Policy, Planning and Management in the Philippines (PhilEd Data Project)”, EdData II is providing support to the Philippine Department of Education (DepED) in strengthening its production and use of data for policy, planning, and management of the basic education sector. These efforts are expected to help the national government and donors better design interventions that respond to national realities based on evidence, as well as having data against which to measure gains. At the national level, EGRA will help inform curricular reforms in the country by providing a baseline of reading achievement prior to implementation of curricular reforms.
Sarah Pouezevara


– EdData II staff led a full-day workshop at the 2012 Comparative International Education Society conference in Puerto Rico on April 22nd. The workshop was titled "Understanding the Early Grade Reading and Math Assessments: From Development to Data Analysis." Several EdData II staff members presented at this workshop and throughout the conference. Presentation materials are available under the Reading and Math headings on this website.
Emily Kochetkova


– US Congressman David Price of North Carolina visited RTI headquarters in June and heard from a number of program directors across the institute. In a follow-up meeting, Rep. Price, who was interested to learn more about RTI’s international development work, spoke with EdData team member Benjamin Piper. Rep. Price had read about USAID’s Primary Math and Reading (PRIMR) Initiative in Kenya, led by Mr. Piper, and asked several informed questions during their conversation. Mr. Piper was able to share his experiences working to improve reading outcomes, and particularly PRIMR’s emphasis on bilingual literacy acquisition.
Emily Kochetkova


Cartoon of Parents and Children getting ready for school EdData recently held a policy dialogue workshop to discuss the results of a 2011 EGRA application in Yemen. The project assessed grade 2 and 3 students from 40 schools in three governorates of the country.
(Cartoons were created by Mazin Shuga’a Aldeen for the USAID Community Livelihoods Project.)

Emily Kochetkova


– Under the EdData task order titled Data for Education Programming in Asia and the Middle East (DEP-AME), RTI staff members conducted a rapid education sector assessment to better understand past, current, and planned policies, practices, programs, innovations, and initiatives targeted towards early grade reading in Nepal.
Sharon Loza


– The EdData II task order in Jordan—the National Early Grade Literacy and Numeracy Survey—has completed the data collection phase of the project, which took place in 156 primary schools across Jordan, and included assessments of over 2,000 students in grades 2 and 3.
Emily Kochetkova


– On March 28, 2012 RTI staff members Amber Gove, Medina Korda, and Hank Healey led a one-day EGRA training workshop in Washington DC for approximately 20 USAID Education Officers.
The objectives of the training were to provide USAID staff with an overview of key considerations for reading program design, including identification of focus areas and considerations for implementation and education reform support, as well as suggested resources for further information.
By the end of the day of training, participants were expected to demonstrate knowledge of key areas of reading improvement, understanding of lessons learned to date about effective implementation, and priorities for sustaining and scaling improvements. Participants listened to presentations by RTI staff as well as worked on case studies in small groups.

Emily Kochetkova


– EGRA, EGMA and SSME can now be collected on mobile devices, thanks to internal funding from RTI International that sponsored the development and testing of a browser-based application for collecting survey data, including specialized surveys such as the timed EGMA and EGRA tools. The application, coined as Tangerine™, is optimized for touch-screen mobile devices such as tablets or e-Readers, but usable on a wide range of devices - including netbooks with mouse input.
Carmen Strigel


– With funding from USAID and logistical assistance from the EduAccion project in Honduras, EdData II staff led a workshop to show teacher trainers how EGRA can be used in the classroom and how to use the data to make decisions about instruction.
Jessica Mejia


– In January 2012, RTI’s Joe DeStefano and Souhila Messaoud-Galusi travelled to Morocco to present the findings from the implementation of the Snapshot for School Management Effectiveness (SSME), which included elements of both the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) and Early Grade Mathematics Assessment (EGMA). Data collection took place in May 2011. These assessment tools provided a robust picture of the state of school management and students’ reading and math abilities in the Doukkala Abda region of Morocco.
Emily Kochetkova


– On February 16, 2012 RTI International, USAID, and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) will host a webinar for anyone planning or supporting the implementation of early grade reading assessments (EGRA).
Emily Kochetkova


– On February 7-10, 2012, EdData II will hold a workshop on the administration and use of EGRA in the classroom in Honduras at the Zamorano Pan-American Agricultural School. The purpose of the workshop is to not only teach participants how to administer EGRA, but also to give teachers background on the reading process and how to use the data gathered from EGRA to make decisions about instruction.


– The Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) measures students' progress towards reading. RTI worked with education experts to develop the EGRA in 2006, and it has been piloted and implemented in more than 40 countries. This volume, edited by RTI's Amber Gove and Anna Wetterberg, aims to take stock of the substantial amount of information and experience generated through the use of EGRA, and to share this knowledge with practitioners, policymakers, and international donors.
Emily Kochetkova


– A growing number of children complete primary education each year. To what extent do they develop the skills taught at this level of education? By monitoring learning outcomes, countries can verify progress and improve their school systems.


– The findings from the pilot implementation in Zambia of the Snapshot for School Management Effectiveness (SSME), Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA), and Early Grade Mathematics Assessment (EGMA) were shared at a two day workshop in late November 2011.
Emily Kochetkova


– On November 18, 2011 USAID, AusAID, and World Vision partnered to launch All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development. The Grand Challenge is a multi-year funding competition for innovative ideas, strategies, and projects that can improve reading outcomes through teaching and learning materials and education data.
Emily Kochetkova


– Ed Data II was recently awarded and has begun work on a USAID contract for the Kenya Primary Mathematics and Reading (PRIMR) Program. The PRIMR Program will use innovative, data-based instructional improvement methods in reading and math to evaluate ways to improve student outcomes in urban areas. These approaches aim to teach the fundamental skills in reading that are necessary for improving oral reading fluency and comprehension; and the mathematics skills critical for improved number sense, computational fluency, and problem solving.
Emily Kochetkova


– EdData’s Dr. Sylvia Linan-Thompson, a Senior Education Research Analyst at RTI, was among the presenters at the All Children Reading event to mark International Literacy Day on September 8.
Emily Kochetkova


– In partnership with USAID and Rwanda’s Ministry of Education, RTI’s Ed Data II project administered the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA), the Early Grade Mathematics Assessment (EGMA) and the Snapshot of School Management Effectiveness (SSME) in 42 Rwandan primary schools in March 2011.
Emily Kochetkova


– EdData II, in partnership with USAID and Iraq’s Ministry of Education (MOE), has begun work on a multi-faceted assessment of Iraq’s education system.
Emily Kochetkova


– In the summer of 2011, three survey instruments - the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA), the Early Grade Mathematics Assessment (EGMA) and the Snapshot of School Management Effectiveness (SSME) were administered to 2nd and 3rd grade primary school students in 40 schools in 4 Bemba speaking provinces in Zambia. RTI partnered with USAID/Zambia, Zambia’s Ministry of Education, the Examinations Council of Zambia and Family Health Trust on this activity. Final results from the data collection will be disseminated at a policy dialogue workshop in November 2011. The instruments used for this study are available here.
Abhijit Nimbalkar


– Two members of the EdData team presented at this year’s Global Education Workshop, hosted by USAID in August.
Emily Kochetkova


– The final report detailing the results of the 2010 Nigerian Education Data Survey (NEDS) is complete and available here, along with downloadable brochures summarizing the study findings. The survey instruments are also available. The project was jointly funded through USAID’s EdData II project and the UK Department for International Development’s Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria (ESSPIN). RTI International collaborated with USAID/Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Education, the National Population Commission, and the Universal Basic Education Commission to conduct NEDS across Nigeria in May 2010.
Emily Kochetkova


– RTI presented the Early Grade Math Assessment (EGMA) methodology and preliminary findings at the American Educational Research Association conference.
Peter Cvelich


– The East Asia and the Pacific Early Grade Reading Assessments Conference sponsored by the World Bank was held April 12-14 in Sydney, Australia. Teams of policy-makers, educators, and experts from Cambodia, Laos, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, and Vanuatu, among other countries, met to share experiences on how to improve student reading outcomes in the early grades of primary education within their own national education frameworks.
Peter Cvelich


– The results of the Nigerian household education survey will be released during a week celebrating the use of data to inform education policy making.
Peter Cvelich


– UNESCO releases report highlighting barriers to education amid conflict.
Peter Cvelich






– Under the Education Survey Course, RTI International has developed curriculum for Ministry of Education staff to learn how to analyze and use data for decision making, with an emphasis on early grade reading assessments. The Ministry of Education of Gambia requested RTI to teach a course that will enable its staff to better analyze data from the early grade reading assessment follow-on data collection that the Ministry conducted. Hence RTI Staff, Abhijit Nimbalkar and Michael Costello, will conduct a two-week Education Survey Course training for Ministry of Education staff in the Republic of the Gambia from August 16 to 27, 2010. The curriculum will be a combination of the instructional materials developed for the online course as well as on-site facilitation and teaching. This activity is being funded by the World Bank.


– On July 21, 2010, leaders met at the World Bank for a conference entitled “Early Grade Reading Assessments (EGRA) In Context: Reflections from Latin America and the Caribbean”. Leaders from Guyana, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Haiti attended via video conference and discussed their country’s steps since receiving the EGRA results and what they envision for the future development of early grade reading in their countries.
Madeline Garant


– The Ministry of Education in Nicaragua is following up on its strategy laid out in the All Children Reading workshop (April 12-14, 2010) with plans to assess 200,000 children in early reading skills. The objective of the assessment is to identify and improve instruction for struggling readers. Information regarding the All Children Reading Workshop may be found here.
RTI


– The Online Education Survey Course was successfully piloted in Kenya during the week of May 10, 2010. RTI partnered with Kenyatta University and the Ministry of Education on this activity. 15 District Education officials from all over Kenya participated in this course. The course contents are live on this website and can be accessed at https://www.eddataglobal.org/courses/survey/


– Largest EGRA application conducted in Ethiopia – May and June of 2010 EGRA is currently being conducted in 6 languages, 2 different scripts, in 8 of 9 regions and will include 9200 second and third graders. This application will be combined with a similar application being conducted by a second USAID funded project that includes 4000 more students for a combined total of 13200 students. This will be the largest known application of EGRA to date.


– All Children Reading by 2015: From Assessment to Action” meeting was held in Washington, DC from April 12-14, 2010. This three day working meeting, conducted by RTI International and the International Reading Association, was held at the World Bank and was supported by USAID, the Fast Track Initiative (FTI), and the Russia Education Aid for Development (READ) Trust Fund of the World Bank. The purpose of the meeting was to bring together country leaders, experts and donors to advance our knowledge of how countries can ensure that all of their children are reading at the end of Grade 2 by 2015, as per the new FTI Indicative Framework goals. If all children can read by the end of Grade 2, the quality of education is likely to improve in all subject areas and in all grades. Participants reflected on the experiences of Egypt, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Guatemala, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Nicaragua and South Africa in conducting early reading assessments and moving forward on instructional improvement. At the end of the meeting, country representatives presented the key components of their strategies for scaling up in order to meet the goal of all children reading by 2015. The workshop agenda, summary and all presentations can be found here.


– The Nigeria Education Survey (NEDS) will be collecting education data from approximately 30 thousand households throughout Nigeria. The survey instruments were successfully piloted in January 2010 and the main field work is slated to begin in May 2010. NEDS 2010 pretest documents may be found here:

family sitting in the shade 
family sitting in the shade



– The Early Grade Mathematics Assessment (EGMA) is a rapid oral assessment used to evaluate children’s foundational math skills. EGMA was successfully piloted in Kenya in July 2009. The findings from the pilot program may be found in this report: More recently (November 2009), EGMA has been adapted to assess out-of-school youth and young adults in Liberia under USAID’s Core Education Skills for Liberian Youth (CESLY) project.


– In January 2010, EdData II will launch a campaign in Nicaragua to draw attention to the importance of learning to read in the first 3 years of school.



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