Education Quality Improvement Programme, (EQUIP), Kenya and Uganda

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Education Quality Improvement Programme, (EQUIP), Kenya and Uganda

Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.


EQUIP addresses the key issues which stop rural Ugandan schools providing a decent education: poor learning environments, a lack of community participation and low capacity of teachers and managers. EQUIP seeks to promote quality education by empowering parents, communities and school management to sustainably improve the quality of education provided.
About You
Project Street Address
Project City
Project Province/State

Kumi, Bukedea, Masindi and Buliisa

Project Postal/Zip Code
Project Country
Your idea
Country your work focuses on:


What stage is your project in?

Operating for 1-5 years

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What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?


Describe your idea in fewer than 50 words.

We aim to increase the quality of education at 34 Kenyan and Ugandan schools by working in partnership with them to develop their own unique School Development Plan which will form the basis of all future improvements. Build Africa will implement construction work, teacher and School Management Committee training while linking the schools to other organisanisations which will meet other needs.

What makes your idea unique?

The EQUIP project is unique in that it involves everyone who has a stake in the future of the school: all relevant organisations, authorities, local leaders, religious bodies, local NGOs and community based organisations and of course parents, pupils, teachers and the management committees at the school. This approach ensures that everyone is aware of the issues faced by their school, and that together they can generate solutions and ensure that the schools can provide a sustainable, good quality education to all who attend. Many approaches to improving education in Africa simply focus on construction work, teacher training or supplying materials without consulting the local communities and establishing what they feel the key issues and solutions to be. Through this project the community will be fully involved and will take ownership and responsibility for the future of the school.

What is your area of work? (Please check as many as apply.)

Children & Youth , At risk youth , Education , Girls' development , Community development , Poverty alleviation , Rural development , Rural , HIV/AIDS , Sanitation .

What impact have you had?

Build Africa Uganda has been working with 29 rural Ugandan schools for at least three years. As a result of this work, enrolment at these schools has increased by an average of 71% with 7,309 more children attending. In addition, the total number of children being entered for the Primary Leaving Exams increased by 75%, meaning that many more children now have the opportunity of passing these exams and going onto secondary school. Daily attendance, teaching quality and exam results have also significantly increased, transforming the schools and giving the children a real chance of continuing their education and working their way out of poverty.

Describe the primary problem(s) that your project is addressing.

EQUIP seeks to address the key problems which prevent rural schools offering a decent education:

(i) Poor quality learning environments – a lack of classroom and sanitation facilities

(ii) A lack of community participation

(iii) The inability of teachers and the School Management Committees to effectively run the schools

Describe the steps that your organization is taking to make your project successful.

There are many factors critical to the provision of a quality education and many actors involved in ensuring delivery. The key to success of this project is Build Africa’s role as a facilitator to bring these different actors together, to ensure that they analyse the problems as a whole, and to catalyse change. Success depends upon the willingness of the community, parents and teaching staff to engage in the process willingly and diligently for the betterment of their school. As the facilitator of the process Build Africa must ensure the buy-in of communities in particular to lead the process of identifying the challenges facing the school and linking with others to find appropriate and locally-manageable solutions. We work closely with the teachers, School Management Committee members and parents to ensure that each school understands the process which it will undergo and that each group understands their specific role.

What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Success in Year 1:

• Community understanding of the role which Build Africa will play in the development of their school

• Community co-operation with an external School Performance Review which will identify the strengths and weaknesses of their school

• Parents, teachers and pupils meet to discuss the results of the Performance Review and develop a three year School Development Plan which will outline the challenges faced by the school and the proposed solutions and targets

Success in Year 2:

• The school community successfully implementing their identified priorities for the school

• The School Management Committee able to monitor the progress of the school against the proposed activities and targets

• Build Africa and other local agencies able to help the school address the issues for which they require additional help, such as construction activities, food security issues and teacher training

• School participation in all training sessions provided by Build Africa and other external agencies, including but not limited to teacher training, School Management Committee training, gender awareness sessions, monitoring training for parents and community awareness sessions on the importance of education

Success in Year 3:

• Continued participation in training sessions

• Parents able to take responsibility for monitoring the progress of the school and holding teachers and the school management to account

• Parents, teachers and school management able to effectively monitor progress against the original School Development Plan

• Build Africa and other local agencies able to help the school address the issues for which they require additional help, such as construction activities, food security issues and teacher training

• Community co-operation with a second external School Performance Review which will identify the strengths and weaknesses of their school

• Preparations for the development of a second School Development Plan to cover the next three years

Do you have a business plan or strategic plan? (yes/no)

Build Africa has a strategic plan in draft form which is currently being reviewed.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization? STEP 1:

Undertaking of the School Performance Review - A external review which evaluates the current performance and status of the school in order to ensure that the community fully understand the strengths and weaknesses of their school and can use this information whilst developing their School Development Plan.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization? STEP 2:

Development of School Development Plan - Bringing togther all the stakeholders in the school is essential to ensure that everyone knows what the future plans are and how they will be achieved. This process involves everyone from the pupils to the local community leaders.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization? STEP 3:

Implementation and monitoring of School Development Plan - The School Development Plan is a vital source for both the community and Build Africa in monitoring the progress at the school. As each plan lasts for three years, it provides an excellent basis against which to measure the acheievements and monitor any challenges.

Describe the expected results of these actions.

The School Performance Review will allow the teachers, parents and pupils at the school to fully understand the issues their school is facing and be able to effectively identify solutions. This is often the initial understanding which many parents have of the state of their children’s school. This will naturally lead to the development of potential solutions which is where the School Development Plan comes in.

As a result of developing the school’s development plan in partnership with the school community, everyone at the school will be fully aware of what the future plan for the school is. This will ensure that appropriate management and responsibility levels can be agreed for each activity. For example, some activities will simply be implemented by the teachers and parents at the school whilst others will need to be implemented by Build Africa or other agencies. This will again ensure that the community is fully informed about all the activities being undertaken at their school and paves the way for when they will be able to take full responsibility for their school.

What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

Build Africa has been implementing school building activities in Uganda since 2004. Although this has had an incredible impact on the schools involved, it was noted that there was an incredible need for the improvements to be made to the quality of the education provided in order to complement this work. As such, this project was conceived to complement our school building programme.

Information was therefore gathered in order to fully understand the impact which poor teaching, running and maintenance can have on schools. This included the development of a district wide Education Management Information System from which the level of the problem was immediately apparent. For example in the Masindi District, 90% of the schools experience teacher absenteeism, half have problems with poor leadership and 64% suffer from poor record keeping.

From this, the project, and it’s main objectives, listed above, were developed.

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

This field has not been completed. (1500 characters or less)

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Via the internet and the Daily Nation newspaper in Kenya.

What would prevent your project from being a success?

The main obstacles to the success of the project include:
- The communities not taking the process on board and not becoming increasingly involved with their school
- Flooding which could delay work at the school, especially construction work
- Limited government resources and vacant positions which would affect their ability to contribute towards the project
- Poor quality contractors
- High inflation in Uganda
- Increased incidences of HIV/AIDS or other diseases in the project area

Financing source


If yes, provide organization name.

Build Africa

How long has this organization been operating? (i.e. less than a year; 1-5 years; more than 5 years)

More than five years

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?

Yes, Build Africa Uganda has its own advisory board.

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs? (yes/no)


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses? (yes/no)


The Story
Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government? (yes/no)


Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

Throughout the project we work in partnership with local government structures and district level staff including the Local Education Authorities and the Ministry of Education. By working in partnership with the government we will ensure that work is not duplicated and that the government fully understands the process which the schools follow and can provide assistance where necessary. The project also complements local and national government strategies.

How many people will your project serve annually?

More than 10,0000

What is the total number of employees and total number of volunteers at your organization?

23 Uganda staff and several volunteers

What is your organization's business classification?

Non-profit/NGO/citizen sector organization

Have you received funding from any of the following groups? (Please check as many as apply.)

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation , DFID (United Kingdom) .