IDinsight visit to a preschool centre in Morocco. ©IDinsight
IDinsight is working with the Moroccan Foundation for the Promotion of Preschool Education (FMPS in French), a major non-governmental organization (NGO), to strengthen its monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system used to track over 230,000 preschool students across more than 9,000 preschool units across Morocco.1 FMPS is a systemic actor in the Early Childhood Education (ECE) space, overseeing activities ranging from school construction to the management of children’s learning outcomes and educators’ performance. IDinsight is working on strengthening FMPS’ M&E system, which will enable its leaders to make evidence-based decisions to improve the quality of its schools. Through a long-term evidence Learning Partnership (LP), our embedded team is working on delivering an improved M&E system, as well as building FMPS’ internal capacity to sustainably operate the system in the future. The aim is to support the program’s expansion to reach a total of 20,000 classrooms nationally by 2023.2 The project’s ultimate objective is to enable FMPS to become a model for other educational institutions in Morocco.
Preschool education plays a key role in children’s development and is crucial for their social and cognitive growth. Historically, Morocco has faced challenges in ensuring access to preschool: in 2016-17, only 48% of children aged 4-6 attended preschool, with this figure dropping to 35% in rural areas.3 The government has identified improving preschool education as a major policy priority, aiming for all children to attend preschools by 2030.
FMPS, an officially recognized NGO, is a major actor in the Moroccan preschool education sector, creating and operating a network of preschool centers across the country. As of 2021/2022, it operated approximately 9,000 classrooms in all provinces, with a total capacity of up to 230,000 students (which is equivalent to 25 % of all enrolled preschool students in Morocco).15
Decision-makers at FMPS require accurate, timely, and relevant information to grow and improve the organization’s network of schools and increase the quality of its pedagogical practices. Given the size and spread of its network, FMPS has sought IDinsight’s help to strengthen its monitoring and evaluation systems and build its internal M&E capacity.
Strengthening FMPS’ existing M&E systems could help its leaders make evidence-backed decisions to grow and improve the quality of their preschool network, benefiting hundreds of thousands of children across Morocco. For example, streamlining systems used to monitor children’s proficiency in basic skills (e.g., social skills or hygiene practices) could allow FMPS to more easily identify points of strength and weakness for each preschool unit, and design remedial interventions to improve children’s learning outcomes. FMPS’ central position in the Moroccan ECE sector means that improvements can be scaled to thousands of preschool units and have widespread benefits across the country.
More broadly, the efforts of FMPS to modernize its M&E system form part of a larger initiative led by the Moroccan Government to strengthen evidence-based policymaking in the country. Within this initiative, the government has sought to define progress indicators in various policy areas, and modernize the systems used to collect, monitor, and use data on these indicators. IDinsight’s work with FMPS is a frontrunner in this broader initiative, aiming to illustrate the potential impact of evidence-based policy in Morocco, and forming a model for other actors and sectors.
IDinsight is working with FMPS to strengthen its existing M&E systems related to preschool creation and operation, and students’ learning levels. First, we have been supporting the team to articulate the Theory of Change (ToC) motivating FMPS’ programs, and working closely with field and pedagogical teams to define indicators based on this ToC.
In this instance, we identified the following key indicators across four main topics: the number of preschool units created within a certain timeframe, the number of in-service educators and students, a sense of the quality of infrastructure and classroom equipment at each centre and indicators measuring children’s learning outcomes.
IDinsight advised FMPS teams on how to collect these indicators through existing traditional and electronic data collection systems. We initially worked with the foundation’s team to identify indicators that were already being collected on the construction and implementation of preschool units, defining data sharing procedures that could allow us to timely access, clean and analyse the data. We also advised FMPS pedagogic team on the design, piloting, and scale-up of a paper and digital survey instrument that could inform the progress of children across key educational outcomes. After piloting the instrument, we supported FMPS to scale it up across its dispersed network of centres, providing training material – in the form of videos and manuals – that could help educators navigate the data collection process. In order to clean and safely store this data, we designed a server that automatically elaborates the raw data and makes it readily available to FMPS.
We then combined and visualized data on these indicators in a custom dashboard. We are currently working to transfer the data collection and management systems we developed to FMPS, while adapting the dashboard to facilitate its usage by key-decision makers across all levels (educators, pedagogical supervisors, regional representatives, and senior staff).
Beyond the M&E system itself, IDinsight is also hosting knowledge-sharing workshops, aimed at ensuring that FMPS’ technical staff can sustainably operate, maintain, and update the system into the future.
The partnership between FMPS and IDinsight is still ongoing, with work focusing on:
Finally, IDinsight is supporting FMPS to strengthen its own internal M&E capacity. This entails training technical staff to sustainably operate data collection and processing tools developed by IDinsight, and supporting FMPS to expand the size of its internal M&E teams. IDinsight has also sought to transfer non-technical skills developed through years of project experience: sharing work planning, feedback, and communication practices that will enable FMPS to succeed in implementing new initiatives and projects in the future.
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We support NGO partners to improve program design, streamline implementation, evaluate impact, and accelerate scale-up.
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