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Base de datos de evaluación

Evaluation report

GHA 1998/005: CHILDSCOPE: A Child-School-Community Project (A community-based effort to improve children's well-being and primary school quality in Ghana)

Author: Agarwal, S.; Hartwell, A.

Executive summary


Childscope is a project based in the Afram Plains District of Ghana - a district of low gross enrollment rates at the primary level (59.4% compared to the national average of 83.5%) and exceptionally poor educational facilities. An integrated community-based development project, Childscope, places the child at the center, and uses the community and the school in partnership as primary resources for improving children's well-being and learning experiences. Using participatory approaches to planning at the local level, the project seeks to empower parents and teachers to better understand the needs of children, to work together to ensure that all children attend and complete primary school, and that children's learning becomes relevant. Childscope thus hopes to develop a sustainable approach to decentralized planning and to effect policy shifts in support of participatory ground-up processes which place the well-being and learning of the child at the center of improving educational quality. 

Purpose / Objective

This evaluation takes as its central purpose to contribute to the capacity within communities, the schools and districts to analyze, reflect and arrive at informal actions specifically designed to increase children's participation in, and quality of, primary education.


The evaluation involved field visits and focused evaluations at ten communities and five primary schools. Virtually all adult members of each community attended the meetings. Review and analysis of literature and project documentation were also conducted. Interviews with the District Chief Executive and officials of the District Council were followed by a one-day workshop at the district level. Interviews with the Ministry of Education, Ghana Education Service and key national stakeholders were also followed by a one-day workshop at the national level.

Key Findings and Conclusions

The evaluation has found that through the Childscope activity in Afram Plains, community self-organization has become a real force for improving conditions, for meeting children's needs, for changing the environment, and for generating solutions through consensus. This was far more important and meaningful to the communities than the specific objectives that the project had initially defined. There are functioning Parent Teacher Associations in each community with regular well-attended community meetings.

We did not see dramatic changes within the schools in terms of enrolment and educational achievement. This is a concern that Childscope must address. There was progress in the physical capital of the schools with new classrooms, latrines and feeder roads built. Inter-sectoral collaboration increased with regular visits to the schools from the Department of Health and the Forestry Department, who provided seedlings and guidance on planting.

Some aspects of the Childscope project that have not been adequately addressed include support to schools in staffing and supervision from the Ghana Education Service. There is shortage of teachers and many teachers (47%) have received no training. Policy implementation led by the central Ministry of Education has not matched the needs of Afram Plains. Records kept are not adequate and do not provide a complete or reliable picture.


The success of the project can be directly attributed to a community-based development model that should serve as a model for future projects. UNICEF should support Childscope's growth in size and depth, and nourish it with material, financial and technical resources as needs emerge.

It is critical that the Ministry of Education and Ghana Education Service strengthen teacher development and support systems.

There is a need for better data from schools and from the districts about enrolment, participation, attendance and learning. Requisite skills for a responsive method of monitoring and evaluation will need to be developed at all levels.

Full report in PDF

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Report information





Education - Participatory Learning

USAID Africa Bureau, Ministry of Education, Ghana Education Service


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