Generating Inclusive Education Data for Policy Influencing and Monitoring: The case of Pamodzi4Inclusive Education Data System in Tanzania, Kenya, and Malawi
David Simon, Kobia
Odhiambo, EvansShow More
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Data-driven decision making is crucial for effective and efficient planning. Pamodzi4Inclusive Education is a data-driven project established to close the inclusive education awareness gap and the disconnect between policy and practice. The project set up the inclusive education data mapping system to avail comprehensive data on inclusive and special needs education to policy makers, civil society, and other stakeholders. This paper examines contributions of the data system in monitoring and influencing policies, value addition to the EMIS and community level advocacy efforts. A qualitative research approach was used involving Pamodzi project teams in Kenya, Malawi, and Tanzania comprising of social workers, IT personnel, monitoring and evaluation officers, project officers, community champions and the management. Government officers and community champions in the three countries were also involved in the study. Data was collected using seven online surveys, three country level focus group discussions, five key informant interviews and document review. The data system has made useful contributions to availability of inclusive education data by expanding data indicators, real time dynamism, georeferencing and visualization. There are progressive efforts to collaborate with and add value to EMIS and opportunities for collaboration with governments exist, though not fully exploited. Data generated was used in policy influencing and monitoring, informing submissions towards formulation of inclusive education laws and repealing inclusive education policies. The data informed the basis of community advocacy and awareness campaigns as a reference point for community led accountability initiatives. This paper recommends formulation and implementation of data sharing and open data policies, expanding EMIS data collection processes to allow crowd sourcing, full adoption of technology in data collection and management, and increased investments in data generation and management. Pamodzi data project has the potential for scaling up and replication and could open opportunities for civil society collaboration with government to improve generation, accessibility, and utilization of data to inform policy planning and implementation.