Final Performance Evaluation of the Improving Quality of Primary Education Program

USAID/Ethiopia’s Improving the Quality of Primary Education Program (IQPEP) was a five-year, country-wide program launched in August 2009 to build the capacity of the country’s rapidly expanding primary education sector. AMEX conducted the final performance evaluation of the project in August 2014 as IQPEP was nearing the end of its fifth year of implementation. IQPEP focused on improving the planning and management of primary education and transforming teaching and learning processes. The program also placed new emphasis on improving reading and writing proficiencies in the early grades, and on monitoring students’ and teachers’ progress. IQPEP directly supported 2,615 primary schools, 30 Colleges of Teacher Education, 200 focus woredas (districts), and all regions and city administrations.

AMEX was contracted at the end of term, when classes were already over and most schools were into their final exams. Conducting an educational performance review in the absence of classrooms to observe proved challenging. In spite of this hurdle, the team, with the assistance of IQPEP regional staff, managed to locate teachers, principals, and children, thus allowing the evaluators to gather sufficient data and produce a comprehensive evaluation report. The team conducted 687 interviews with participants and stakeholders, either individually or in small groups.

The evaluation provided the USAID/Ethiopia Education Office, the Ministry of Education and regional state education bureaus with data-based evidence needed to make future programming decisions. The evaluation was particularly relevant as the USAID education policy was shifting from support for comprehensive programming to Early Grade Reading programs. The final evaluation report contains more than a dozen recommendations for and significant lessons learned from USAID’s support for broad-based education projects in Ethiopia since 1996. Most notable were the program’s efforts to confront gender equity, create a large cadre of trainers and trainers of teachers, and address early grade illiteracy. In conducting the evaluation, the team used a non-experimental, mixed-methods, summative research design that was implemented over a four-week period in Addis Ababa and six regions throughout Ethiopia. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used, including semi-structured interviews, quantitative surveys, focus group discussions, and document and archival reviews.

Monitoring, Evaluation and Research

"Please extend my thanks to the entire team for the excellent job done and the timely submission of deliverables.”

Maricela Ramirez / DR Education Portfolio