How do the current demand for education and the history of a community affect learning outcomes?

Why Nigeria?

Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, faces great challenges in its aim to increase learning among its fast-growing population of young people. As the Nigeria Country Research Team works toward the goal of improved learning in Nigeria, it is taking the distinctive approach of analysing the demand for education, meaning pressure from parents, students, and the community, rather than the more often studied supply side, meaning textbooks, teachers, financing, and buildings. Another unique aspect of the RISE Nigeria CRT’s work is its historical focus, which seeks to understand education outcomes by looking closely at historical legacies, political constraints, and community engagement in Nigeria’s past.

For more about the team's work, see their technical research overview or a list of all Nigeria Country Research Team research outputs.

Researchers and institutions

The Nigeria Country Research Team is an international group of academic researchers with extensive experience working in Africa. The principal research institution for the Nigeria Country Research Team is the African School of Economics in Benin. The Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa (CSEA) is the primary affiliated institution involved in the research. Other affiliated institutions include Barnard College, Dalhousie University, Oklahoma State University, Princeton University, and the University of Oxford.

A list of Nigeria Country Research Team members is available on our People page.

Research agenda

The team's overarching research agenda examines how the demand for education through parental investments and engagement can influence systemic changes and how this relationship is mediated through the political environment. By establishing the interplay between increased community aspiration/awareness/action and engagement in local politics, the team will examine to what extent this can lead to improved educational outcomes in Nigeria.

An intergenerational study focusing on the country's colonial and mission schools will examine whether educational aspiration increased in communities exposed to colonial schools and whether these communities engaged in local politics to build a demand for educational inputs. Building from this foundation, the team will conduct a series of studies examining the Free Primary Education scheme, National Youth Service Corps, and School Based Management Committees to provide further evidence as to how this demand mechanism may operate in modern-day Nigeria.

Finally, policy deliberation experiments will complement these studies through the analysis of how political economy considerations might be important for the successful implementation of systemic reforms in the education sector.