J-PAL Japanese partnership aims to enhance education in Africa
Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) has signed a cooperation agreement with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Pratham, a global education charity, to enhance education in parts of Africa.
The cooperation agreement was signed at a public forum on health and education in Tokyo in June, co-hosted by the three organizations.
The centerpiece event, held at JICA headquarters, was an opportunity for attendees from Japanese academic institutions and government agencies to learn about J-PAL and Pratham’s recent research, particularly in the education sector.
J-PAL and Pratham also convened a series of private meetings and workshops with the JICA leadership and education and health sector teams.
Through the new collaboration, the organizations will work to expand the ‘Teaching at the Right Level’ (TaRL) program for school education in Africa, following a successful scale-up of the program in Zambia.
TaRL is a pedagogical approach that involves evaluating children using a simple assessment tool and then grouping them according to learning level rather than age or grade. It was pioneered by Pratham in India and its effectiveness has been evaluated and enhanced in collaboration with J-PAL’s rigorous scientific approach.
“J-PAL’s pioneering education research with Pratham in India, the ‘Teaching at the Right Level’ program and now its scale-up in Zambia, are helping to improve learning outcomes for millions of children around the world,” said Fady Jameel, President of Community Jameel International.
“Through cooperation with JICA, with its outstanding record of development work in Africa and beyond, the impact of J-PAL’s research and Pratham’s education work is set to achieve an impact at an even greater scale.”
J-PAL has a track-record of leveraging insights gained from its research to support policymaking around the world, including in the Middle East, where J-PAL has active and completed research projects and local partnerships to support policymaking in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Morocco.
To date, J-PAL affiliated researchers have conducted more than 860 evaluations in 80 countries, and more than 300 million people have been reached by programs tested and found to be effective through J-PAL evaluations. The organization has been instrumental in increasing the number and quality of randomized evaluations on development interventions.