Report provides snapshot of pre-COVID life

Another year passes and another annual update of the Waikato Progress Indicators. However, this year’s was a little different because by the time the data got published in June 2020, the who world had changed due to COVID-19 and none of the data seemed particularly relevant anymore.

Thankfully those clever people in the communications department at Waikato Regional Council could spot an opportunity. Rather than worrying the WPI data was out of date, they phrased the report’s release as ‘a snapshot of life prior to COVID-19’ that will ‘provide decision-makers with valuable information to measure and guide recovery efforts in the Waikato’.

Further information: www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/community/whats-happening/news/media-releases/report-provides-snapshot-of-pre-covid-life/

Measuring and monitoring community wellbeing in the Waikato Region

This is a follow-up to my August 2018 post on Tracking Progress in the Waikato Region, and my June 2019 post on Measuring and monitoring quality of life in the Waikato Region, as well as various publications over the past decade or more.

Killerby and Huser (2019) summarises the latest available results from the Waikato Progress Indicators (WPI), a community progress monitoring programme funded and maintained by Waikato Regional Council. The WPI website shows the current situation and trends across each of 32 key economic, environmental and social aspects which together give a ‘dashboard’ picture of the wellbeing of the Waikato region and quality of life of its people and communities. This includes a report card and ‘circle diagrams’ to enable readers to rapidly visualise the current state and trends in the region.

So, is the Waikato Region on track? Looking at each of the 32 indicators in turn, there have certainly been some gains in the region as indicated by the WPI data, such as reduced levels of air particulates in some areas and less road crashes across the region. However, unfortunately around one-third of the indicators have gone backwards over the past decade or so, including (in declining order of scale):

  • Poorer perceptions of community engagement
  • Less physical activity
  • Higher water use
  • More residential expansion onto versatile land (rural subdivision)
  • Lower levels of cultural respect
  • Worse perceived health
  • Lower levels of community pride
  • Fewer Te Reo Māori speakers
  • Less use of public transport
  • lower levels of life satisfaction.

For the remainder of this blog post, I’ll be discussing various ways to summarise the above divergent trends into a single index number – giving a summary measure of overall community wellbeing in the region. This is similar to how economists have adopted a single measure – GDP growth – as a summary indicator of overall economic wellbeing. It is a way of bringing together an overall indication of how well things are doing in the region, socially, economically and environmentally – in the form of a Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) or regional wellbeing index.

One way to summarise overall community wellbeing is to look at the key indicator of life satisfaction or overall quality of life. Killerby and Huser (2018) did just that, as part of an analysis of results from Quality of Life surveys of Waikato regional residents. Questions were asked in relation to self-perceived overall quality of life and other aspects of community wellbeing. Compared to 2006, Waikato regional survey respondents in 2018 were less likely to rate their overall quality of life positively (87% in 2018 compared to 90% in 2006).

Another way to summarise overall community wellbeing in the Waikato Region to is to use the time series data for all 32 WPI indicators to construct a summary index. A key question when compiling such an index is how much weight to put on each indicator. One approach, as undertaken in Killerby and Huser (2019), is to apply an equal weighting to every indicator – more specifically, applying the Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW) reference-year method. When plotted against GDP growth, this shows that overall community wellbeing has been lagging behind economic growth since at least 2003 (noting that the WPI dataset only goes back as far as 2001). The gap narrowed for a few years following the Global Financial Crisis, but in more recent years economic growth has again been more rapid than social or environmental wellbeing.

A related approach also shown in Killerby and Huser (2019) is Principal Components Analysis (PCA), in which the indicator weightings for index construction are determined by the nature of the data itself – more specifically, through eigen-analysis of the covariance matrix of the dataset. This confirms the overall results of the CIW method, showing a widening gap over time between GDP growth and the combined results of all 32 WPI indicators. The overall picture is that community wellbeing in the Waikato Region over the last 10 years increased by about 7% compared to GDP growth of 16% (i.e. GDP doesn’t tell the full story of wellbeing progress). These PCA results were calculated for us by Professor Murray Patterson of Massey University, and in turn have helped inform Professor Patterson’s thinking around developing a Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) for New Zealand.

Articulating the ‘obvious’ can be harder than it sounds

This post is about a document that I began working on in March 2014 which finally got published online in September 2019. It is a story about persistence rather than hard work – the end result is only 14 pages long, including the cover page and contents.

This particular story is tied to the ‘Gonski’ reforms to school funding in Australia. As part of an ongoing attempt to expand Federal control over state and non-government schooling, the Australian Government introduced legislation in December 2013 that codified its national funding formulae and education reform goals. As part of this, section 78 of the Australian Education Act 2013 sought to achieve a further level of standardisation by requiring State Governments’ redistribution of Australian Government school funding to comply with a similar ‘base plus loadings’ approach and to be publicly available and transparent.

Unfortunately, the people who wrote this legislation adopted an overly simplistic and superficial understanding of how schooling systems are resourced. Section 78 only makes sense if each State Government passes all their Australian Government funding directly to their schools as cash. The reality is that Federal and State funding is pooled at the State Treasury level and then appropriated to the State Department of Education to convert into staffing, cash and system resources (e.g. buildings, ICT networks) which is then allocated using a combination of school-level, regional and centralised approaches. It is therefore not possible to track each cent and dollar of Australian Government money down to an individual school level, let alone to a student level or – as is intended by section 78 – down to the level of students with disability, or Indigenous students, or students with limited English language proficiency, etc.

Despite the fact that section 78 is nonsensical, the Australian Government is currently under instruction from its political masters to implement this part of the Act, and thereby somehow hold their State Government underlings to account for how they spend their Federal dollars.

In anticipation of eventually needing a publicly available and transparent description of Queensland Department of Education’s resource allocation methods, in early 2014 I initiated a project to develop such a document. This involved forming a working group from relevant areas – in particular, state school operations, human resources, school financial resources, information technology, infrastructure services – and systematically documenting and summarising how the resource allocations occur.

In any event, Queensland was not a signatory to the initial period of the Gonski reforms (2014-2017) and there was no great appetite to publish a departmental document purely for compliance with a nonsensical piece of legislation. The project was put on hold for several years, then dusted off and finalised largely from November 2017 to June 2018. Even following a rigorous process of project management and governance, graphic design, feedback from key stakeholder groups, Branch and Divisional approvals, and Executive Management Board approval, there was still hesitancy from a minority of senior managers to publish the document.

Finally, following mounting pressure from the department’s Policy, Performance and Planning Division, in September 2019 the document was published online. I am pleased to present to you the Queensland State Schools Resourcing Framework (SSRF) Guide.

Searching for words

This little blog post is about a new e-book I self-published via Amazon, titled ‘Social capital and the wellbeing of nations: Literature view and policy implications‘.

The back-story to this book starts in 1999. In my early 30s, I was working as Social Research Officer at Rotorua District Council and, in parallel, coming to terms with a failed marriage. I was desperately seeking a way to raise myself up mentally. At some point during the year I applied for a three-year PhD scholarship at the University of Otago, and somehow got myself accepted.

The doctoral topic was ‘Social capital and economic performance’, which involved a tonne of reading, data collection, econometric modelling of social capital and economic performance, development of articles for journal publication (often in partnership with one or more other researchers) and presentations at seminars and conferences.

While all of the above went well, I never ended up completing and submitting my doctoral thesis. Instead, after the three years I began full-time consulting with a view to finalising the thesis part-time. However, after three years cloistered in Dunedin, I was more interested in working long hours, earning good income and socialising with old friends.

In August 2005, I finally conceded to myself and my PhD supervisors that I was not going to finish the thesis. In part it was for the reasons above, but also because the subject matter – mathematically estimating the economic value of social capital – just seemed so esoteric and dry to me, remote from the realities and interests around me at the time.

Nevertheless, the discipline of academic researching and writing in which I immersed myself during 2000-2003 has served me well in subsequent years. For many subsequent years, I sought to publish articles in academic journals, to ‘keep my hand in’. In my day job at the Queensland Department of Education, the most satisfying outputs personally are those that involve a final published document. For me, the process of understanding is intertwined with the process of explaining – a virtuous circle, as it were. Articulating in writing my thoughts on a topic or argument has become cathartic. Even the process of writing this blog post gives me a sense of short-term personal achievement and closure that I can carry with me through the rest of the day.

In any event, after publishing my first e-book in December 2017, I decided to finalise my thesis and publish it myself in e-book format. After thinking long and hard about a meaningful strategy, particularly for updating the literature review (given the massive proliferation of research on social capital in the past two decades), I got stuck in and invested sporadic chunks of time here and there until finally I was satisfied.

So, was it worth it? Well I definitely felt a sense of closure. Was it a worthwhile addition to the stock of human knowledge? That is harder for me to assess, having grown fairly close to the topic over the past 19 years and having mixed feelings even to this day – which is why I am only just writing about this in January 2020 after publishing it in April 2019.

So here’s the Abstract to help you reach your own conclusion without reading 167 pages – enjoy….

“This book is for people interested in social capital. It seeks to summarise key theoretical and empirical information on social capital and linkages with economic performance and societal wellbeing. It is underpinned by a broad-ranging literature review encompassing the fields of economics, sociology and political science. A comprehensive list of references is provided. The literature review was done in two stages – initially in the early to mid-2000s, and subsequently in 2018 to capture key literature published over the intervening period.
The phrase social capital has been adopted by academics and policy makers to describe features of society that facilitate cooperation or collective effort. Theory and evidence suggest that social capital is comprised of both a civic and institutional form, characterised by generalised social trust and good governance. Each of these forms has complex impacts on economic performance and human welfare.
Key findings from the literature highlight that countries’ social capital, health, education, wealth, and happiness are intertwined. The marginal value of these intangible societal assets is high in poor countries and lessens when countries have achieved higher levels of economic and social development. Many policy makers therefore view social capital as a key resource for addressing poverty reduction and economic development.”

Measuring and monitoring quality of life in the Waikato Region

Around this time last year, I blogged about tracking progress in the Waikato Region – summaring the latest available results from the Waikato Progress Indicators (WPI), a community progress monitoring programme funded and maintained by Waikato Regional Council. The WPI website shows the current situation and trends across each of 32 key economic, environmental and social aspects which together give a ‘dashboard’ picture of the wellbeing of the Waikato region and quality of life of its people and communities.

This year’s summary update shows that, over the past decade there have been positive gains in some aspects of community wellbeing including reduced levels of air particulates, less road crashes across the region, increased incomes and economic activity. However, some indicators have gone backwards, including (in declining order of scale):

  • poorer perceptions of community engagement – decrease in the percentage of Waikato survey respondents who agreed that the public has an influence over the decisions their local Council makes (down from 62% in 2006 to 36% in 2018)
  • less physical activity – decrease in the percentage of Waikato survey respondents who report having been physically active on five or more of the past seven days (down from 61% in 2006 to 40% in 2018)
  • higher water use – increase in water allocation as a percent of total allocable water at the Waikato River mouth during the summer months from 67% in 2007 to 86% in 2018
  • more residential expansion onto versatile land – increase in residential use of versatile land in the Waikato region, from 13,727 hectares (ha) in 2008 to 17,287 ha in 2017 (note the greatest amount of subdivision has been occurring on land classed as having higher productive capabilities)
  • lower levels of cultural respect – decrease in the percentage of Waikato survey respondents who agree that New Zealand becoming home for an increasing number of people with different lifestyles and cultures from different countries makes their city/area a better place to live, from 51% in 2006 to 41% in 2018
  • worse perceived health – decrease in the percentage of Waikato survey respondents who rate their overall health positively, from 90% in 2006 to 79% in 2018
  • lower levels of community pride – decrease in the percentage of Waikato survey respondents who agree they feel a sense of pride in the way their local area looks and feels, from 70% in 2006 to 62% in 2018
  • fewer Te Reo Māori speakers – decrease in the percentage of Waikato region residents who say that they speak Te Reo, from 5.8% in 2006 and 6.4% in 2001
  • less use of public transport – decrease in public transport use per person from 9.1 boardings during 2007/08 to 8.5 in 2017/18
  • lower levels of life satisfaction – decrease in the percentage of people who rated their overall quality of life positively, from 90% in 2006 to 87% in 2018.

A number of these indicators are measured through a Waikato regional survey done in parallel with various metro councils’ biennial Quality of Life Survey. The Waikato regional data were analysed separately and results are reported online by Waikato Regional Council.

A total of 1,416 Waikato regional residents aged 18 years and over completed the Waikato Quality of Life survey between April and June 2018. Questions were asked in relation to their self-perceived overall quality of life, environment (built and natural), housing and other aspects of community wellbeing.

The 2018 Waikato Quality of Life survey results provided comprehensive up-to-date information on public perceptions, attitudes and behaviours in the Waikato region and other parts of New Zealand. The results are helping inform regional and local government policy and support monitoring towards strategic social, cultural and economic goals.

Sources:

Killerby, P. and Huser, B. (2019) “Waikato Progress Indicators – Tupuranga Waikato: Summary Update May 2019”, Waikato Regional Council Technical Report 2019/07 (May 2019).

Killerby, P. and Huser, B. (2019) “Quality of Life Survey 2018: Waikato results”, Waikato Regional Council Technical Report 2019/06 (May 2019).

Tracking Progress in the Waikato Region

Life certainly takes some strange twists and turns  sometimes, and in my case some of these persist.

This month’s blog was initially going to be about my latest published report – and it still is, but with a more personal context. That’s because I just checked back through my monthly blog posts and couldn’t find one specifically on this topic. Which seems a bit weird,  consider this topic generally occupies at least a few hours of my time each and every month.

Huser and Killerby (2018)  summarises the latest available results from the Waikato Progress Indicators (WPI), a community progress monitoring programme funded and maintained by Waikato Regional Council. The WPI website shows  the current situation and trends across each of 32 key economic, environmental and social aspects which together give a ‘dashboard’ picture of the wellbeing of the Waikato region and quality of life of its people and communities. This includes a report card and ‘circle diagrams’ to enable readers to rapidly visualise the current state and trends in the region.

The idea of the WPI is to support the Regional Council and its partner-stakeholders identify where the region is doing well; where it needs to improve; and to some degree, how changes in one aspect are linked with changes in others. These stakeholders include Iwi (Māori tribal leaders), Hamilton City Council, district councils, Waikato Mayoral Forum, Waikato District Health Board, the Waikato Regional Economic Development Agency and many others, including non-government organisations.

My role in the programme, apart from co-authoring an occasional update report, is to provide data management and intelligence support to the Regional Council on a part-time, casual basis. This predominantly means keeping a schedule of which of the 32 community indicators’ data (and a wide range of secondary and territorial authority-level data) gets updated when, and thus keeping the data sheets and analysis current and ready for uploading to the web.

My involvement in the WPI goes back almost 15 years. Initially, in 2004 whilst a Social Research Officer at Rotorua District Council, I contributed ideas in various regional forums relating to the identification, prioritisation and monitoring of community outcomes in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato regions. Subsequently, as Senior Policy Officer at Hamilton City Council, and then as Strategic Policy Manager at South Waikato District Council, I was an active member of the Choosing Futures Waikato Community Outcomes Project Team, and also the Waikato Monitoring and Reporting Community Outcomes (MARCO) project team tasked with developing community outcomes progress indicators for Waikato Region.

The Waikato regional progress monitoring programme has seen many changes over the years, including name changes. Thanks largely to the persistence of my collaborator, Dr Beat Huser, the programme continues to be maintained and enhanced. The most recent enhancement opportunity, currently under consideration, is to improve website functionality along with links to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) using the Tracking Progress data visualisation tool. This was developed by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) to help communities more easily customise and visualise their indicator data using maps, graphs and charts.

So, is the Waikato Region on track? There have certainly been some gains in the region as indicated by the WPI data, such as reduced levels of air particulates in some areas and less road crashes across the region. However, unfortunately more of the indicators have gone backwards than forwards over the past decade or so, including (in declining order of scale):

  • Poorer perceptions of community engagement
  • Less physical activity
  • More rural subdivision
  • Higher water use
  • Lower perceptions of safety
  • Lower levels of cultural respect
  • Worse perceived health
  • Lower levels of community pride
  • Poorer coastal habitats
  • Fewer Te Reo Māori speakers.

So what next for me in terms of the WPI programme? I’ll just keep watching and updating from afar, hoping that key regional an local stakeholders have the wherewithal and wisdom to address some of these adverse trends. Kia kaha Waikato.

Social capital and the subsidiarity principle

This month’s blog post serves  a dual purpose: to fulfill my personal commitment to posting an item every month; and do some research to fill a gap in my forthcoming book on social capital and the well-being of nations.

Evidence suggests that participatory and community-led economic development approaches may help to maintain and grow social capital, underpinned by the subsidiarity principle – that social and political issues should be decentralised to the most immediate or local level that is consistent with their resolution.

The concept of subsidiarity  underpins efforts to ensure that authority for collective action is devolved to an appropriate level. The principle stems from Catholic social thought, that a central authority should have a subsidiary function, performing only what tasks cannot be performed at a more local level. This tenet holds that nothing should be done by a larger and more complex organisation when it could be done just as well by a smaller and simpler organisation (Bosnich, 2010). In other words, that any activity which can be performed by a more decentralised entity should be. This principle underpins ideas of limited government and personal freedom and is counter to ideas of a centralised bureaucracy and ‘welfare state’.

According to the 19th century analysis by Alexis de Tocqueville (1838): “Decentralization has, not only an administrative value, but also a civic dimension, since it increases the opportunities for citizens to take interest in public affairs; it makes them get accustomed to using freedom. And from the accumulation of these local, active, persnickety freedoms, is born the most efficient counterweight against the claims of the central government, even if it were supported by an impersonal, collective will.”

Subsidiarity is well known as a principle of European Union (EU) law, which requires that action to accomplish a legitimate government objective should be taken at the lowest level of government capable of effectively addressing the problem. In this way, subsidiarity is a guideline for contemporary power-sharing between the relatively new institutions of the EU and the constituent member states that originally formed it (Vause, 1995). The ever-attendant counterpart to subsidiarity is the principle of proportionality, that actions of the EU itself must be limited to what is necessary to achieve its objectives.

According to Macrory (2008), the positive effects of a political/economic system governed by the principle of subsidiarity include that systemic failures can largely be avoided; individual and group initiative is given maximum scope to solve problems; and local initiative and responsibility are given an opportunity to be activated.

Successful application of the subsidiarity principle depends on the willingness of people to become active participants in civil society. In this regard, subsidiarity and social capital are inter-related: a nation’s adherence to the subsidiarity principle is a necessary but not sufficient condition for fostering social capital; and an adequate level of social capital is needed to enable localised collective action for decentralisation to be effective.

References

Bosnich, D. A. (2010) “The Principle of Subsidiarity”, Religion and Liberty 6(4), July 2010: https://acton.org/pub/religion-liberty/volume-6-number-4/principle-subsidiarity

Macrory, R. (2008), Regulation, Enforcement and Governance in Environmental Law, Cameron May, London.

Tocqueville, A. (1838) Democracy in America, Saunders and Otley (London).

Vause, W. G. (1995) “The Subsidiarity Principle in European Union Law-American Federalism Compared”, Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law 27(1): 61-81: https://scholarlycommons.law.case.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2204&context=jil

 

 

 

 

On the nature of social capital

Having last year self-published my first book, I’m feeling the need to repeat the process and start building up a library on Kindle. I’ve got a few ideas for topics, but easiest pickings are to re-draft the 150+ pages of research material I initially compiled in the early-mid-2000s towards an unsubmitted PhD thesis on social capital, economic performance and human welfare.

Thankfully I have a full draft in electronic form, with various bits I have added to it in recent years with no particular intention. There’s some useful material in there but it’s currently written so densely and academically that it needs a re-write to make it more readable.

This morning, I sat down and crafted a one-page introduction and a full chapter on ‘defining social capital’. Here’s an early teaser…

“The phrase social capital was originally coined in the early 20th Century by Mr Lyda J. Hanifan, a state supervisor of rural schools in West Virginia, to describe “good will, fellowship, sympathy, and social intercourse among the individuals and families who make up a social unit”. Since that time, it has been intermittently rediscovered and redefined to describe various features of the social and political environment. The phrase was popularised by sociologists and political scientists in the 1980s and 1990s including Coleman (1988), Putnam (1993) and Fukuyama (1995)….

Economists commandeered and redefined social capital in the 1990s and 2000s to include any non-market phenomenon that facilitates cooperative production, including social trust, civic-mindedness, networks of informal association and features of the institutional environment….

Theory and evidence suggest that social capital is comprised of both a civil and institutional form, characterised by generalised social trust and good governance respectively, each of which interacts and has complex impacts on economic performance and human welfare. The literature also makes a distinction between generalised social trust (bridging social capital) which exists across sub-groups of society and interpersonal trust (bonding social capital) within sub-groups. Some forms of bonding social capital, such as interpersonal trust within criminal groups, may negatively impact economic performance and human welfare, whereas generalised social trust is posited to have an unambiguously positive value….”

Further source material is contained in various unpublished papers including:

Killerby (2001) “Social capital and human welfare: Results from the 1995-97 World Values Survey”, presented at the New Zealand Association of Economists (NZAE) conference, 27-29 June 2001, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Killerby (2001) “Social capital and economic performance: A latent variables approach”, presented at the New Zealand Association of Economists (NZAE) conference, 27-29 June 2001, Christchurch, New Zealand.

 

 

Milestone achieved

Finally, after commiting to it seven long months ago in April, I have finalised and self-published a book:

Killerby, P. (2017) Valuing Education: A Guide to Education Return on Investment, Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, December 2017.

Tips I learnt along the way:

  1. Read the online Kindle Direct Publishing guidance, it is easy to follow and practical.
  2. Pick a topic you enjoy and know a lot about, start writing and don’t stop until you’re finished. Just kidding about the last part – the main thing is to make sure you spend some time each week and make it into a habit.
  3. Expect the 80:20 rule – the initial stage of writing may only be 20% of the time required, with the remaining 80% being re-writes, additional new material, editing and formatting.
  4. There are online repositories of royalty-free photos available for selecting a quality cover image. I went with Unsplash for a picture of some brightly coloured ABC blocks and colouring pens on the front page and a stack of books and apple for teacher on the back page.
  5. The MS Word file format works well for uploading as the e-kindle version of your book, along with a jpg or similar cover image.
  6. For the paperback version, a pdf file of the internal content is required along with a separate pdf of the print-ready cover page.

What I found the most difficult and time-consuming part of e-publishing was creating a pdf print-ready cover page, as it needs to be a very specific dimension that encompasses the front page, back page and binding thickness (which depends on page count). Unless you have clever skills with manipulating image files, this can be challenging. And each time you get it wrong requires a 5-10 minute wait while the files are processed for reviewing. In the end I gave up and used my Unsplash image with one of the ready-made cover page templates to create a version that met the specific scale requirement and was close enough to the kindle version cover page.

Now to start thinking about a second book….

P.S. Other insight post- the initial publication:

  • On the e-kindle version, restrict your table width to half a page even if this means compressing/wrapping the table contents more than you would otherwise – otherwise the right-hand columns content will be omitted
  • On the e-kindle version, left-justify (rather than full-justifying) your bullet-points and number-lists. Otherwise the e-kindle processor will do this for you in some cases and in other cases will create a bit of a formatting mess
  • When you go back to the bookshelf section of your logged-in section of the website, it will tell you if there are any spelling errors that you missed. My spell check picked up three errors, one of which I disagreed with and ignored, one of which was simlar a genuine garden-variety typo, and one of which was written in English rather than Americaneze, which was at odds with my spelling in the remainder of the book, i.e. for the US market

 

 

Valuing education initiatives

Thanks to the encouragement of my beautiful and persistent wife Lisa, I have committed to write and e-publish (via Amazon) a book. The publication process looks straightforward enough, so the ‘only’ challenge is to actually sit down a write a book that people will spend money on.

After a few months of pondering, I’ve finally decided on a topic. It will be based on knowledge I’ve accumulated over many years, particularly since 2011 working as Financial Strategy Manager for the Queensland Department of Education and Training. Here’s a glimpse of the working title and possible structure…

Education ROI: An introductory guide to ‘return on investment’ reporting
for school principals and education researchers

1. Introduction
2. Principles and stages
3. Performance story reporting
4. Logic mapping
5. Estimating costs
6. Efficiency analysis
7. Outcomes analysis
8. Benefit-cost analysis
9. Value-for-money comparisons
10. Final comments
11. Further reading
12. Glossary
13. Bibliography

And here’s an opening paragraph…

Extensive research has shown that high-quality teaching and learning leads to increased innovation, productivity, lifetime income and improved well-being. There is a general consensus that education investment has a high personal and societal return. However, decisions between different education reforms are often hampered by a lack of evidence on their effectiveness and efficiency.  The benefits of specific initiatives are notoriously difficult to measure and isolate from other effects. In many cases education decision-makers are in the dark about relative value-for-money. This Guide seeks to help address this information gap. Methods in this Guide can be used at various stages of an initiative’s life cycle from project scoping through to final evaluation. The Guide provides a standardized approach to return on investment or ROI assessments that can be applied to a wide range of initiatives.

For an update, click here