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Empowering education through evidence in Cambodia

Key Takeaways from gLOCAL 2024

4 June 2024, Phnom Penh, Cambodia The transformative power of data in shaping effective education policies took center stage at the “Empowering Education through Evidence: Leveraging Data for Informed Decisions” panel discussion. IDinsight and the American University of Phnom Penh hosted the event as part of the 2024 gLOCAL Evaluation Week, connecting global experts in education and data-driven policy.

Moderated by IDinsight’s Mikka Hipol, the session highlighted the significance of data-driven decision-making in shaping effective education programs in Cambodia.

The critical role of data in education 

Dr. Kann Puthy, Deputy Director of the Primary Education Department at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS), emphasized the importance of accurate data collection tools. He highlighted the evolution of data culture with the government and the increased demand for high-quality data during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We try to develop accurate data collection tools with people with digital knowledge. Up to now, we have many data collection tools under the ministry that can be used to develop the policy for improving the school development.”


– Dr. Kann Puthy, Deputy Director of the Primary Education Department at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS)

Using the right tools for generating evidence for decision-making 

Mia Jeong, Senior Manager at IDinsight, presented an overview of IDinsight’s initiatives in using data to drive impactful decisions. She shared success stories from various Southeast Asian projects, particularly Cambodia.

“We use the right tool at the right time to get the best evidence possible, especially in the education sector. We selectively apply a large data and evidence toolkit to answer our partners’ priority questions within their constraints rigorously.”


– Mia Jeong, Senior Manager at IDinsight

Building partnerships for data utilization

The panel discussions highlighted the importance of partnerships between government, NGOs, and academic institutions in fostering a culture of evidence-based decision-making. Both Dr. Puthy and Mia underscored the necessity of collaborative efforts to enhance data usage in Cambodia’s education sector.

Government agencies often face resource limitations, challenges in data collection, and the need for capacity building. Strengthening data analysis capacities within institutions and building robust data governance frameworks were identified as critical steps forward. Partnerships in scaling successful data-driven initiatives, provide innovative solutions to these challenges

MoEYS and IDinsight are teaming up to conduct a process evaluation of Cambodia’s Early Grade Learning Program (EGLP), which is currently implemented at a limited scale across multiple provinces in Cambodia to address the pressing need for improved early-grade literacy and numeracy. Over the next four years, the MoEYS plans to scale up its implementation to all 25 provinces. The MoEYS begins scaling up this year. 

IDinsight is conducting a lean mixed-methods process evaluation of the EGLP to improve the implementation quality and effectiveness of the Cambodian government’s Early Grade Learning program, which relies on strong training and mentoring of educators nationwide. The ministry hopes to use insights and recommendations from this research to support the program’s scale-up. The recommendations will inform strategic decisions regarding program design and implementation structures by the MoEYS and implementing development partners.

“We are excited about the opportunities to work together to enhance Cambodia’s education system through data. This event has shown us the immense potential of data in making a real difference.”


Mikka Hipol, Manager at IDinsight

As Cambodia continues to implement new initiatives in the education sector, emphasis on data and evidence-based policymaking is crucial. Dr. Puthy of MoEYS highlighted the Ministry’s enthusiasm and commitment towards leveraging data for educational improvements in Cambodia, opening up doors for collaboration and innovation toward a brighter future for education in Cambodia.

Watch the recorded session here.