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Case study

Facilitated learning:
Stimulating evidence uptake in Jordan’s Ministry of Education

Facilitated learning that helped to influence the use of high-quality policy research for more effective decision-making with Jordan’s Ministry of Education that will ultimately lead to improvements in learning outcomes for children in Jordan.

Dates
October 2019 to December 2021
Approximate cost
£44,000
Format
Needs assessment, desk-based research, workshop, report and recommendations, and production of evidence review.
Location
Online and in person in Amman, Jordan.

Objective

To support the use of high-quality policy research for more effective decision-making within Jordan’s Ministry of Education that will ultimately lead to improvements in learning outcomes for children in Jordan.

Relevance

This facilitated learning activity was commissioned by the Queen Rania Foundation for Education and Development in coordination with Jordan’s Ministry of Education as part of the Evidence-Driven Results in Learning project, with funding from the United Kingdom Department for International Development and Canada.

The Evidence-Driven Results in Learning (EDRiL) initiative was launched in September 2017 to improve the national evidence base of how to improve children’s learning outcomes in Jordan. One of the problems identified by the project is that, while there are pockets of good practice in education research, it is not linked well to implementation/policy uptake within the Ministry of Education. To address this, the project’s leaders sought to build the capacity of Jordanian Ministry of Education staff to use of high-quality policy research to inform decision-making.

To support this process, in 2019, the Institute of Development Studies was commissioned to co-design and deliver a capacity building workshop and evidence review for the Ministry of Education.

Design

This facilitated learning project utilised a highly tailored version of IDS’ Shaping Policy with Evidence short course.

A scoping review, including semi structured interviews, and surveys with members of the Queen Rania Foundation and Ministry Officials, informed the design of a week-long workshop in Jordan which sought to:

  • Strengthen understanding of suitable frameworks and approaches for the design of research and policy strategies.
  • Deepen understanding of the role of evidence in decision-making.
  • Improve ability to apply tools and approaches to evaluate the policy context.
  • Improve ability to analyse their use of evidence.
  • Improve ability to present high-quality evidence that responds to the needs of decision makers.

Structured sessions covered theory and practice. A set of priority policy areas were co-developed with Ministry of Education staff in advance of the workshop to ground the learning in participants’ lived experience and policy context. These were:

  • Maximising vocational education
  • Systems strengthening for better use of evidence
  • Improving access and equality in education
  • Early childhood education and development.

The learning approach drew further on IDS’ ability to produce accessible research synthesis products with an evidence review which was published after the workshop: Best Practices in Strengthening Evidence Use by Government in Education Policy and Beyond.

Delivery

This project was developed and delivered by IDS’:

  • Director of Communications and Impact
  • Head of Communications and Engagement
  • Digital Knowledge Manager.

Participants

Participants included staff from across the Ministry of Education, including the Directorate of Research and Educational Development. For example:

  • Dr. Najwa, Head of Planning and Educational Research (acting Secretary General of Education)
  • Dr. Yousef Abushaar, Director of the Research and Educational Development Directorate (and Education Strategic Plan expert)
  • Dr. Yaser Al-Omari, Educational Research team member
    Mr. Mohammad Barakat, Monitoring and Evaluation team member

 

Participant numbers

  • 30

Impact

As well as directly supporting the learning of workshop participants, this learning activity influenced the Ministry of Education, increasing commitment to evidence informed approaches to policy development and implementation and commitments to increasing research capacity and deepening connections with researchers and education practitioners.

The key recommendation arising from the workshop and the scoping review was for the Queen Rania Foundation and the Ministry of Education to consider how they could facilitate or co-facilitate an evidence-for-policy event that provides cross-governmental discussions and learning in this area.

In December 2021 (delayed by Covid from March 2021), Jordan’s Ministry of Education held its first ever high-level Evidence Forum – a high profile event with speakers including the UK Ambassador to Jordan and Jordan’s Secretary General. IDS’ Director of Communications and Impact, James Georgalakis, was invited to present the findings of the IDS evidence review on the first morning to help frame the discussion.

Since the workshop, Ministry of Education officials referred to their experience attending the workshop, the knowledge gained, and how it was applied in their decision-making process. Almost two and a half years later, the review on evidence-informed decision making that was completed by IDS was presented in the Ministry of education’s ‘Evidence forum’, with a discussion on its importance and relevance to the work that the ministry is doing with regards to evidence generation and utilization in decision making - signaling the Ministry's intent and keenness on improving the culture of evidence at the MoE.
- Ministry of Education in Jordan

A short overview from the Learning Convenor

Key contacts

Image of James Georgalakis

James Georgalakis

Director of Communications and Impact

j.georgalakis@ids.ac.uk

+44 (0)1273 915781

About this case study

Research themes
Evidence into policy
Region
Jordan

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