Accountability and citizen participation in education: IIEP contributes to CIES 2022

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During the week of 22 April, the IIEP ETICO team participated in the annual CIES conference, in order to share the latest of our work on transparency, accountability and anti-corruption measures in education. The conference was organised in a blended format around the theme: ‘Illuminating the power of idea/lism’.

In addition to contributing to a panel session on Different Approaches to Accountability in the Education Sector: What Role for Civil Society?, CIES was an opportunity for IIEP to launch the French version of its latest major publication:
Open school data: what planners need to know.

Panel session on accountability in education

The panel session organised through the Global Partnership for Education ‘Education Out Loud’ (EOL) initiative, brought together experts from the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social (CIESAS), Mexico, the Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA), and Oxfam-IBIS, as well as IIEP, to exchange ideas on how to improve citizen participation in education decision making.

Felipe Hevia, CIESAS, highlighted the dangers of social accountability practices that ignore inherent bias, and proposed an expanded vision of social accountability in education which brings citizens closer to the chain of decision making, rather than simply monitoring results based on a set criteria.

The second panelist, Maria Florencia Guerzovich, GPSA, talked about ways to scale social accountability actions, system strengthening through ‘resonance’ – a pathway of action which involves deliberation, compromise, multi-stakeholder social learning, and collective action.

Imad Sabi, Oxfam, discussed how the EOL initiative looks to use existing structures and organised spaces to increase the participation of diverse education stakeholders and in particular civil society voices, on education decision making, particularly in the planning stages.

Finally, Muriel Poisson, IIEP, presented the factors that emerged from IIEP’s research as being key to increasing the uptake, use and effectiveness of open data initiatives at the school level. She also highlighted the pitfalls and potential dangers involved in opening up data.

Overall, the panellists underlined the need to ensure that community and civil society voices are included at all levels of the education decision-making process, and discussed the challenges involved in ensuring that all stakeholders are able to work together to improve educational quality. The discussant, Sarah Bearmore, GPE, concluded on the need to strengthen civil society roles in a context of shrinking civic spaces fuelled by the pandemic.

Book launch on open school data

The recent IIEP publication ‘Open school data: What planners need to know’, now available in both French and English, presents the conclusions of IIEP’s multi-year, international research project on the role of open data in improving accountability in education. Moreover, the publication provides practical and clear guidelines for educational planners and policy makers who are looking to design or implement open school data policies.

‘Open school data: What planners need to know’ unpacks the chain of actions required for the successful development of open school data. The main message of the book is that decision-makers and educational planners need to change from an administrative to a citizen perspective, learning from civil society experience in the area. Overall, the book demonstrates that by stimulating expectations and hopes, open school data may well contribute to substantial changes in power dynamics within the education sector.

In addition to hearing from IIEP’s Director Karen Mundy,and from Muriel Poisson, author of the book, participants were able to discover a short video presenting the book and its major themes. You can discover the video below! 

If you would like to learn more about IIEPs work on Open school data or on Open government in education more broadly, please don’t hesitate to visit the dedicated pages on the ETICO resource platform. Further information can also be found on the IIEP website,or under ETICO Publications.