How can broad national reforms work together to improve an education system?

Why Tanzania?

In 2014, the government of Tanzania initiated large-scale education policy reforms aimed at addressing the educational crisis in Tanzania, where basic reading and math skills remain low even as the country has increased investment in schooling and made striking progress toward achieving universal primary education. 

The Tanzania Country Research Team aims to understand what made such far-reaching reforms possible, how key components of the reforms can be sustained, whether and how the reforms work to improve skills of students in Tanzania, and what insights can emerge to inform effective ways to improve students’ learning elsewhere. From a systems perspective, RISE seeks to determine whether the combination of these individual reforms throughout the education system can work together to present a systems-level theory of change.

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

Researchers and institutions

The Tanzania Country Research Team is a multidisciplinary group composed of 11 researchers from six different institutions worldwide, with main operations in Washington, D.C., and Dar es Salaam. Key institutions represented are Georgetown University, Twaweza, the University of Dar es Salaam, and the World Bank.

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

Research agenda

The team's research was motivated by the opportunity to evaluate the Government of Tanzania’s Big Results Now in Education (BRNED) initiative launched in 2014: a system-wide reform that pivoted from a more traditional inputs-focused education policy to one centred on learning outcomes.

The first phase of the team’s research evaluates key aspects of the reform including its impacts and reach in addition to a series of diagnostic activities to identify bottlenecks across the package. The second phase builds on this work to measure the impact of past/ongoing reforms and examine three key actorsteachers, bureaucrats and politiciansto provide a better understanding of the interactions between the different layers of the education system.