Indonesia: using open school data to improve transparency and accountability
The number of countries providing access to school data to the general public has grown rapidly over the past decade, encouraged by the development of information technologies and under the pressure of social movements demanding the right to information. A wide variety of initiatives have been developed by both governments and civil society, to share school-level information in the form of 'school report cards'. These provide key information about a school, e.g. on student enrolment, funding, number of teachers, teacher qualifications, pupil–teacher ratios, conditions of school facilities, textbooks, and student achievement. But now that such data are in the public domain, how can it be ensured that they are used to promote not only transparency but also accountability in the education sector? This case study compares the design and implementation of two major open school ata initiatives implemented in Indonesia – Sekolah Kita, which is government-led, and Cek Sekolahku, which is citizen-led. It covers the types of information published, who publishes it and how it is accessed; the critical data for improving transparency and accountability; how different categories of stakeholders access and use it; the requisite conditions for improving transparency and accountability; and the limitations of such processes. The publication highlights that greater provision of information on school report cards does not necessarily increase participation, and that parent and community participation in monitoring schools requires proper capacity building. It concludes with a set of recommendations, including: displaying and communicating clear theories of change when designing school report cards, giving the priority to data that matter for parents, and integrating transparency efforts into the blueprintfor school improvement efforts.