In 2011, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation began supporting local approaches to improve learning outcomes in Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda via its Early Learning Innovation Fund. The Foundation envisioned that impactful and cost-effective approaches would eventually expand and be supported by additional donors to take to a larger scale.
To determine which approaches were ripe for expansion, we evaluated the implementation of the Fund through two intermediary grant-making organizations, Firelight Foundation and TrustAfrica.
Our team of experts used a mixed-methods approach to evaluate the Fund’s progress, which included reporting on the organizations’ contributions toward the Fund’s intermediary outcomes and lessons learned, auditing grant recipients on their projects’ progress, an online survey of sub-grantees and in-person interviews with sub-grantees and education stakeholders. The evaluation also provided a contextual analysis of the education environment in each of the four target countries to assess where the projects fit within the larger education implementation and policy environment.
MSI provided the Foundation with several recommendations for the scaling up of promising approaches:
- Provide guidance on expectations for scaling up and requesting an explicit plan from the fund manager
- Ensure the inclusion of national ministries of education and larger education donors in program design and implementation
- Conduct a scan of the education policy environment in county to take into during program design