RAMAA II: Breaking new ground for a sub-regional doctoral school on literacy evaluation


26 May 2017

RAMAA, the Action Research: Measuring Literacy Programme Participants’ Learning Outcomes project, is to support the establishment of a sub-regional doctoral school on literacy evaluation as part of the second phase of its operations.

Stakeholders and researchers from the national universities of the 12 participating countries – Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Senegal and Togo – gathered at the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) in Hamburg in April to discuss the founding vision and next steps for the work.

Ensuring relevance and sustainability

UIL Director Arne Carlsen told the meeting that national universities had a critical role to play in securing the sustainability of RAMAA II by partnering in the sub-regional doctoral school. He set out his vision for the doctoral school, describing a vital resource that would:

  • strengthen national capacities in evaluating and monitoring literacy programmes, by developing quality training in the field of literacy programme assessment on a sub-regional scale, which adapts to the needs of Africa;
  • encourage the production of doctoral theses in the field of literacy assessment which meet criteria recognized by the international scientific community;
  • raise awareness among stakeholders, decision-makers and donors;
  • foster national and international exchange between doctoral students and professors to create a sub-regional knowledge and resource base.

The participants discussed this vision in the plenary and group sessions, considering the feasibility of the doctoral school, as well as promising ways to ensure its successful operation in Africa. They agreed that the sub-regional doctoral school would be a dynamic platform for bachelor, master and doctoral students from universities in the 12 participating countries, allowing them to benefit from international and inter-university training. Its aim would be twofold – to produce quality doctoral theses with evidence-based research outcomes on literacy evaluation, as well as develop high level professionals to secure more effective programmes capable of responding to the literacy challenges faced by the participating countries.

Next steps

A concept note drawing on discussions at the meeting will be finalized and shared among participants. This will be used as a reference point by a core group with one professor per university, which will be established to further analyse the practical implementation of the doctoral school.