December 05, 2017 - December 06, 2017
Nyeri, Kenya

Evidence-Based Curriculum Reforms for Transformative Education


Over the last several years, researchers, government, and nonprofits in Kenya have collaborated to produce a rich body of evidence around education. Consolidating the lessons from this research and applying these to policy and practice is a major challenge for Kenya’s education sector—particularly during the ongoing national curriculum reform.

In 2015, several policy, research, and government actors formed Education Evidence for Action (EE4A) with the aim of linking education evidence to education practice. The core team consists of the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology (MoEST), Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), Research Triangle International (RTI), Women Educational Researchers of Kenya (WERK), Twaweza East Africa, African Population Health Research Center (APHRC), and Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA). The group holds major conferences every two years, during which researchers and policymakers collaborate to share new evidence and identify knowledge gaps.

This page provides a brief overview of the conference which took place in Nyeri, Kenya on December 5-6. Download the conference concept note for more details.

Conference Goals

The 2017 EE4A conference involved policymakers and practitioners in the identification of knowledge gaps and setting the education research agenda. Specifically, the conference:

  1. Initiated and sustained dialogue among researchers, policymakers, and implementers;
  2. Provided a platform that enabled sharing of knowledge and results of high-quality research from various practitioners, researchers, and academics working in the education field in Kenya;
  3. Initiated discussions aimed at promoting evidence-based solutions and adoption of practices that target transformative education in Kenya;
  4. Provided input towards the creation of an ‘evidence gap map’ that would provide insight into making evidence-based policy decisions in the education sector.

Sessions included presentations, panels, and roundtable discussions.

Call for Papers

A call for papers provided an opportunity to review an array of research being carried out across the country and identify studies to present at the conference. A panel of EE4A members reviewed submissions, and selected high-quality studies and evidence for presentation during the conference.

The conference focused on the results of the Kenyan education system, particularly the question: to what extent is the system producing the human capabilities needed now in the 21st century? The theme suggests three core questions:

  1. To what extent is our education designed to generate the human capabilities that Kenya needs today? To what extent is the current curriculum reform process addressing perceived deficiencies of the current system? What (if any) concerns persist?
  2. What are the education quality issues in generating the desired human capabilities, and how can they be resolved to realize SDG 4 (to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all)?
  3. In the current education system, where are the weakest links (ECD, primary, secondary, tertiary, APBET etc.), who are the most underserved populations, and what strategies show the greatest promise for them?

Conference Themes

  1. Education for what? There is urgent need to redefine the purpose of education. Modern living demands a questioning mind, and deep thinking to develop the capacity to participate in transforming our world. While curricula today emphasize routinization and memorization, students in today’s complex world require more critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  2. Quality of learning. While there is no doubt that all stakeholders in education in the country would like to see better-quality education being provided to our children, we have a challenge in conceptualizing quality education and ensuring supply of high quality inputs.
  3. Equity. Education is a right enshrined in the Kenyan constitution and holds the key to a quality life. Addressing inequities in education will not only empower and give children the opportunity to achieve their full potential, but also contribute to sustained economic development of Kenya.
  4. Inclusion in education. Inclusive Education as defined in the MoE-National Special Needs Education Policy Framework is an approach in which learners with disabilities and special needs, regardless of age and disability, are provided with appropriate education within regular schools. Despite the many benefits of inclusive education, there is lack of inclusive policies and interventions that ensure access to education among vulnerable learners, including those with special needs.

Please email or download the event concept note for more information.

The EE4A Core Team

Research Triangle International (RTI)


Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD)


IPA - Logo (AFRICA).jpg


Africa Population Health Research Center (APHRC)


Women Educational Researchers of Kenya (WERK)


Twaweza Logo


Kenya Ministry of Education, Science and Technology




Reading Outcomes for the Blind and the Deaf: Tusome Special Needs Education Baseline
Dunston Kwayumba
Advancing Learning Outcomes among Children through Community Participation: Leadership and Life-skills Skills Training for Adolescents
Benta Abuya
Rigorous Evidence in Education: What Have we Learned?
Suleiman Asman
Age for Grade: Examining the Effect of School Entry Age on Learner Achievement among Primary School Pupils in East Africa
Ochi Boaz & Emmanuel Manyasa
The Impacts of Free Secondary Education: Evidence from Kenya
Andrew Brudevold
Are Kenyan Children Ready for the Leap from Pre-Primary to Primary School?
Patricia Kitsao-Wekulo
Evidence-Informed Education Policy: The Next Challenge of the Evidence Movement
Heidi McAnnally-Linz
Are We Ready? The Role of Educational Assessment Research Centers in Promoting Inclusive Education in Kenya
Malasi Nyali Maghuwa Flora & Samuel Wanyonyi Juma
Vocational Training Vouchers in Kenya
Joan Hamory Hicks
Developing Effective Vocational Education Outreach Communication Strategy in East Africa
Wilson Okaka
E4D/SOGA Project Poster
Peter LeFrancois
Education for Who and for What: A Call for Holistic Education for Sustainable National Development
Emmanuel Manyasa
Anchoring Utilization of Curriculum Support Materials in Public Schools as a Policy Priority for Universal Quality Learning in Kenya
Izel Kipruto
Initial Findings from Equity in Refugee Education: An RCT in Kenyan Refugee Camps
Nisha Rai & Timothy Kinoti
Effects of Language of Instruction on Learning of Literacy Skills among Pre-Primary School Children
Njora Hungi
Experimental Impacts of the 'Quality Preschool for Ghana' Intervention: Implications for System-Level Reform
Sharon Wolf
Impact at National Scale? Measuring Changes in Learning under the Tusome Literacy Programme
Benjamin Piper
Longevity of Implementation and Gender Differentials as Predictors of Impact at Scale in Alternative Providers of Basic Education and Training (APBET) Institutions in Kenya
Salome Ong'ele
Positive Deviance Schools in Kenya: Implications for Policy and Practice
Sheila Wamahiu
Quality at the Forefront of Delivery
Eunice Kimaliro



EE4A Conference Concept Note412.97 KB
EE4A Call for Abstracts122.27 KB