Before carrying out data collection at a school it is important to raise awareness of children, parents, teachers and other community members so that they have a full understanding of the right to education and the PRS framework. Selection and training of the data collection team also needs to take place at this stage.
- Raise awareness: Hold discussions and workshops in the school with community members (e.g. children, teachers, parents, SMCs, Reflection-Action circles, local leaders and local education office) to create an understanding of human rights, including children’s right to education, so that respecting these is recognised as a fundamental part of the school’s responsibility. Make sure that all the schools have a poster of the charter of 10 rights and that it is used as reference within the school. Organise a workshop with teachers, parents and children to design a child-friendly version of the charter or other age-appropriate resources for children about their rights and ensure schools are creating spaces for children to learn about their rights both in and out of class.
- Select your research team: As far as possible participants should be drawn from the local community including: local education authorities, teachers, parents and children themselves. If possible, involve professional researchers (perhaps by partnering with a university or research institute) from the outset to ensure they share their skills throughout the process.
- Organise a training workshop: with the national steering committee, organise a training workshop for research team members. This should be at least a 5-day event using participatory and other methods to convey essential information on human rights, the legal and policy framework for education, the PRS framework, basic quantitative and qualitative research methods, research ethics and how to use evidence to inform advocacy. Essentially, the training should equip key resource people to gather and analyse data from a range of respondents to develop a baseline report.
- Pilot the participatory research methodology: Carry out data collection and analysis in a small number of locations and draw learning from these experiences to revise and strengthen the research process and tools. Work with the researchers to finalise the methodology and survey questions before moving to scale. Section 3 of the PRS Handbook has a list of survey questions for each aspect of the right to education that can be adapted according to context. You are likely to start by getting a general overview of the right to education across the schools but to focus in on one or two aspects of the right to education for deeper analysis.
- Education stakeholders at school and community level (children, parents, teachers, etc.)
- Reflection-Action circles
- District Advisory Group
- National Steering Committee
- Consultant researcher
- NGO and Partner staff
- Promoting Rights in Schools: An Implementation Guide, ActionAid, 2015, pp. 28-29, 35.
- Promoting Rights in Schools Handbook, ActionAid, 2006.
- Youth Programming Toolkit, ActionAid, 2015.
- Research guidelines, Oxfam.
- So you want to involve children in research, Save the Children, 2004.