EFA-VI Research Task Force
To underpin the EFA-VI strategy through research
Possible Activities of the Research Task Force
- Provide guidelines to document the existing situation and achievements in education for children with impaired vision in terms of proportion of children accessing education, the services available and gaps in provision of services with necessary infrastructure and resources
- Disseminate relevant existing and new research
- Recommend the research priorities for EFA-VI
- Advise on research into existing models of provision of education support to students with impaired vision
- Advise on design of studies to provide evidence for effective models of educational support
- Conduct or commission research into existing or new effective models of educational support
- Investigate and advise on evaluation of available technology and needs for new technology that is suitable in both developed and developing countries
- Advise on tools and procedures for monitoring and evaluation educational programs including cost effectiveness analysis; priority should be given to Focus Countries of the first phase of EFA-VI
- Provide advice on research projects to be conducted in Focus and other countries
- Investigate and support opportunities for research training to build research capacity in all regions
- Recommend and support networks of centres of excellence
Possible Areas of Research
- Needs analysis:
- prevalence of vision impairment in children
- educational needs and optimum media of learning of children in existing services
- coverage of current national education programs
- existing human resources (numbers and skills)
- availability of necessary equipment and materials
- access to eye care for treatment or assessment of vision
- access to low vision assessment and prescription of devices
Outcome and impact assessment
The following have been suggested as performance indicators by the Task Force.
- Have education enrolment rates of children with visual impairment increased?
- Have drop-out rates among children with visual impairment decreased?
- Do children with visual impairment have access to the support services and learning materials they need (in the appropriate format) to allow them to compete on an equal basis with their sighted peers.
- Is the performance of children with visual impairment on par with those of non-visually impaired children?
It is suggested that additional indicators are included:
- Evaluation of teacher training curricula and the use of training to provide the necessary support for the education needs of students
- Assessment of outcomes of education which can be academic, visual function and changes in quality of life
- Availability of necessary equipment and resources for teachers and students
- sustainability of service
- cost effectiveness of services
- People trained and continuing to work in education of students with impaired vision
- Increasing coverage, ie greater numbers (and %) of children having access to education with appropriate support services
- Evaluate outcomes of advocacy
Roles of Centres of Excellence
Centres of Excellence could be established from existing research and teaching centres, initially in selected regions or Focus Countries, and possibly within all regions. Criteria for designation of Centres of Excellence need to be established but they should have capacity for research training and conducting high quality quantitative and qualitative translational research, and undergraduate and postgraduate teaching. "Twinning" of centres within and across regions should be considered.
To conduct its work the Task Force would seek input and advice from practitioners, researchers, training institutes, policy makers and INGOs.
Roles of Research Task Force
- Advise on methods of evaluation - process, outcome and impact studies
- Provide examples of content of surveys for needs analysis
- Advise on incorporation of strategic management frameworks into projects that can be used to plan, monitor and evaluate EFA-VI projects so that they include governance and management, human resources, the customer (children and parents), and advocacy and awareness
- Disseminate existing, relevant data such as the estimated numbers of children who are vision impaired (blind + low vision)
- Disseminate research findings and information on effective and sustainable services
- Disseminate information on current research activities such as the USA PhD students
- Advise on management information systems for collection and reporting of national data from EFA-VI plans
Areas of research and research workers
Develop a database of interested research personnel in the areas of:
For people to be entered on the database, information required would include
- program development and delivery
- learning methods and media for students who are blind or have low vision
- outcomes measures and assessment
- operational research
- monitoring and evaluation
- skills in quantitative and qualitative research
- languages spoken (fluently)
- experience in named countries
- peer reviewed publications
- research experience (countries)
Strategic Framework to Manage EFA-VI Global Campaign
- Download ( .pdf file ) For Strategic Framework to Manage EFA-VI Global Campaign
Introduction to Research
- Who are these guidelines for?
These basic guidelines are for people with little formal training in research and limited resources who wish to collect basic baseline information about the education of children with visual impairment in a developing country.
- What is research?
It is a way of collecting information in an ethical, organised and transparent way that can inform our understanding of a situation. For our purposes here, research is carried out to improve the education prospects of children with visual impairment.
- Why do you need to do research?
People responsible for supporting and implementing education for children with visual impairment e.g. MOES, NGOs require evidence of the scale or nature of the need. Your arguments for provision are more likely to be successful if you are able to provide clear and reliable data about the extent of the problem.
- How can research help?
The results can be used in several ways:
- As an advocacy tool e.g. for those seeking change;
- A basis for drawing up plans, strategies and policies;
- A means to evaluate effectiveness of initiatives to improve the education of children e.g. you can calculate how many more teachers have acquired specialist training or how many more children are attending schools since you began your initiative;
- To support request for resources;
- To demonstrate comparative performance (e.g. one country with another).
- What role will your research play?
Research can fulfil different roles in a process of working for change. It will be helpful to be clear where in the process you think you are and what you hope to achieve through the research. You should think of the research work as closely linked into advocacy processes, a campaign to influence policy or to programme planning and development.
Research is not always the only way of investigating a question. A simpler investigation may be all that is required to gain some greater understanding of an issue. If in doubt before starting a full-scale research project, you could try one or more of the following:
- Small-scale internal fact-finding
Find out what people inside your organisation and those working closely with you already know about the issue or problem and what they think should be done. This can be done through a meeting or a short questionnaire.
- A mini-literature search and review
Spend some time collecting existing research on the issue you are interested in, if possible and write a summary of what you have found out. Make an effort to contact people who have grappled with the same types of problems in different neighbouring countries.
- Carry out a small pilot study
Once you have identified the research questions you want to investigate, carry out a small study to get some general impressions of the information you could collect e.g. interviews with head teachers at schools that integrate children with visual impairment, or use part of a planned meeting with a group of teachers to discuss the issue. It may be helpful to record the information on a recorder or ask another person in your team to take notes. You may need this information if you decide to do larger research.
- Test the idea for the research project
If you are uncertain about committing your organisation to a research project, it may be helpful to carry out a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threat) analysis on the project and make some guesses about future outcomes.
Finally, there is no one recipe for research for development work - what you do needs to be appropriate to its purpose.
- Download ( .doc file ) Research priorities
Summary of studies on research for website
- Download ( .doc file ) Summary of studies on research for website