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Data Must Speak

Positive Deviance Research
Data Must Speak

Despite the global learning crisis, even in the most difficult contexts, there are some  “positive deviant” schools that outperform others in terms of learning, gender equality, and retention. Since 2019, in line with UNICEF's Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Programme, Data Must Speak (DMS) identifies these positive deviant schools, explores which behaviours and practices make them outperform others, and investigates how these could be implemented in lower performing schools in similar contexts. DMS uses a sequential, participatory, mixed-methods approach to improve uptake, replicability, and sustainability. The research is being undertaken in ten countries across two continents.

Find out more about Data Must Speak Technical Assistance.

 

Publications

Investing in Teacher Capacity – The key to effective learning
Publication Publication

Investing in Teacher Capacity – The key to effective learning

While the Government of Lao PDR, through the Ministry of Education and Sports and its development partners, has made steady progress in expanding access to quality education, many children still leave primary school with difficulties in reading and writing for their age. Despite this, there are ‘positive deviant’ schools that outperform other schools located in similar contexts and with an equivalent level of resources. Data Must Speak (DMS) Positive Deviance research is a multi-staged mixed-method approach, co-created and co-implemented with Ministries of Education. It aims to generate knowledge about the positive deviant practices and behaviours of high performing schools. It also seeks to unravel practical lessons about ‘what works’ and how to scale grassroots solutions for national policymakers and the broader international community of education stakeholders. This policy brief – focused on teachers’ capacity – is part of a series that presents key research findings of the DMS research quantitative stage in Lao PDR. More importantly, it aims to inform policy dialogue and decision-making in Lao PDR and other interested countries.
School Principals in Highly Effective Schools – Who are they and which good practices do they adopt?: Data Must Speak: Positive Deviance Research in Lao PDR
Publication Publication

School Principals in Highly Effective Schools – Who are they and which good practices do they adopt?: Data Must Speak: Positive Deviance Research in Lao PDR

While the Government of Lao PDR, through the Ministry of Education and Sports and its development partners, has made steady progress in expanding access to quality education, many children still leave primary school with difficulties in reading and writing for their age. Despite this, there are ‘positive deviant’ schools that outperform other schools located in similar contexts and with an equivalent level of resources. Data Must Speak (DMS) Positive Deviance research is a multi-staged mixed-method approach, co-created and co-implemented with Ministries of Education. It aims to generate knowledge about the positive deviant practices and behaviours of high performing schools. It also seeks to unravel practical lessons about ‘what works’ and how to scale grassroots solutions for national policymakers and the broader international community of education stakeholders. This policy brief – focused on school principals in highly effective schools – is part of a series that presents key research findings of the DMS research quantitative stage in Lao PDR. More importantly, it aims to inform policy dialogue and decision-making in Lao PDR and other interested countries.

Events

Strengthening and Promoting Education Data Systems and Utilization in Africa: Lessons from the Data Must Speak Global Initiative
Event Event

Strengthening and Promoting Education Data Systems and Utilization in Africa: Lessons from the Data Must Speak Global Initiative

15 September 2021 - With reliable data, policymakers, school managers, teachers, and communities can identify problems, pose solutions, and direct resources where they are most needed. As part of the Africa Evidence Week 2021, UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti is organizing a live webinar to share and discuss how UNICEF’s implementation of the Data Must Speak global initiative has supported countries in Africa strengthen the use of data and research for education management and decision-making. It will draw on panelists from Ministries of Education from Namibia and Togo, as well as UNICEF and its office of research. 
Strengthening Data Systems and Utilization in the Education Sector
Event Event

Strengthening Data Systems and Utilization in the Education Sector

27 July 2021 - How can research play a vital role in ensuring strengthening of Education data systems and utilization for more data-informed decision-making?