The second bi-annual conference on Education Evidence for Action (EE4A) was successfully held in Nyeri on 5th and 6th December 2017. The conference was jointly organized by the Ministry of Education (Kenya), Twaweza East Africa, Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), Research Triangle International, Women Educational Researchers of Kenya (WERK), African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC), and Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD). The focus and goal of the second EE4A Conference was to consolidate evidence gathered in the past three years for policy engagement with government in the education sector. It was designed to excite conversation around evidence rather than get into the intricacies of the methodology.
Over 30 experts and stakeholders in the education sector from Kenya and beyond made presentations in the 2-day intensive Conference. It was attended by over 115 participants from government, academia, civil society and other persons with interest in Education. Among the participants was Jaslika co-associate, Samuel Mukundi, who also doubled as one of the Conference rapporteurs.
Dr Sheila Wamahiu, Director of Jaslika, made a presentation on the Positive Deviance Study. The presentation was co-authored by Ms Rosa Muraya of Twaweza, the organisation that commissioned the research. The study was conducted in selected primary schools across six different counties of Kenya in 2017. It raised a lot of interest among participants who were intrigued by the paradox inherent in the concept of ‘positive’ yet ‘deviant’.
The study, as Dr Wamahiu explained, was intended to “uncover” practices that contribute to the unique performance of some public primary schools above the general standards of others in the same locality. This despite the exposure of the study schools to similar climatic conditions and socioeconomic status of households as those performing below average in the same sub-counties.
The conference had rich content from different institutions interested in evidence for educational transformation across the regional.