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This Section: Monitor, Report, Evaluate, Improve (MREI)
MREI - Continuous Improvement
Monitoring, Reporting, Evaluation & Improvement (MREI) systems should inform policymakers, officials and practitioners in several sectors about student access to schooling and their success in learning about their health, personal and social development, about child and adolescent behaviours, related determinants or factors and the reach and status of school-based and school-linked policies, practices and programs. MREI systems should track the capacities of various frameworks to coordinate these interventions, which include the physical conditions and psycho-social environments of schools, the accessibility and quality of school-based and school-linked student and staff services, the effectiveness of instruction and extended educational activities and the involvement of students, parents and communities in promoting the inclusion and equitable educational success of all children and the development of the whole child.
Reliable indicators of relevant social, economic, cultural and family factors (context), student health and development status and behaviours (inputs), ministry, agency, school and professional practices, policies, programs and capacities (processes), equitable student access & success, in-school health, safety and behaviours and student learning about health/personal-social development (outputs) should be the basis of MREI systems. These school-related indicators should be linked and contribute to health and social development over the life course. However, school programs should not be expected achieve life-long and societal changes alone or in isolation from pre-school, post-secondary and other programs.
The essential purpose of MREI systems and activities should be to support self-directed, coherent, continuous improvement at all levels across several systems rather than impose external, arbitrary accountability on front-line professionals or schools. MREI systems should gather, analyze and act on data from a variety of sources and sectors. There are several monitoring & reporting strategies that can lead to systemic improvements, including commissioned reports in different formats and regular updates, school-focused award/accreditation programs and periodic policy/program surveys. Self-assessment tools and school recognition/incentive programs may motivate innovations but sustained improvements will come from data-driven, collaborative decision-making embedded within the established improvement planning procedures of ministries, agencies and schools such as school improvement planning and joint sector reviews. A better understanding of how MREI processes can be strengthened, how they can fit better within systems approaches and how MREI systems lead to well-planned, sustainable systems change strategies is needed.
This summary was first posted in June 2010 and revised in 2016 and 2021. Currently it has been posted as a "first edition" version. The following individuals or organizations have contributed to the development of this topic; Albert Lee, Christine Beyer, Nancy Hudson, Candace Currie, Vivian Barnekow,Said Arnaout,Suleiman El Shehri, Raj’a Omar, Faten Ben Abdel Aziz, Lloyd J. Kolbe, Sean Slade, Seung Lee, Dean Brooks, Doug McCall. We encourage readers to submit comments or suggested edits by posting a comment on the Mini-blog & Discussion Page for this section or posting a comment below:
A philosophy, organizational commitment and a well-organized plan for continuous improvement at all levels in an organization should underpin its various monitoring, reporting, evaluating & improving practices. The CI concept originated in Japan after the end of the Second World War. It gained massive popularity in manufacturing and has gradually been adopted by the education, health and other public sector organizations. Similar terms and elaborate rating systems/organizational checklists have been developed under similar titles such as Total Quality Management. The over-arching idea is that organizations should establish a culture or work environment where employees continuously improve their practices towards the mission of their organization.
A leading CI proponent in the private sector, McKinsey & Company has noted that "Continuous improvement is an ongoing effort to improve all elements of an organization—processes, tools, products, services, etc. Sometimes those improvements are big, often they are small. But what’s most important is they’re frequent."
The Institute of Education Sciences within education department of the US Government has noted that "Continuous improvement is based on the principles that making sustainable change takes time and involves collective effort; is context specific; and requires constant adaptation, data collection, and learning Continuous improvement engages key players in a system to focus on a specific problem of practice and, through a series of iterative cycles, identify and test change practices (new approaches, tools, or strategies used to address the problem), make predictions, collect data about the change practices, and study the potential influence of those change practices on outcomes of interest Through these cycles the members of the system build their capacity to test proposed change practices; refine those change practices based on evidence; and increase the scale, scope, and spread of a change practice over time.
A Canadian discussion of continuous quality improvement in health promotion reminds us that "Quality is defined in a variety of ways. While there is some agreement that ‘quality embodies notions of efficiency, effectiveness and consumer satisfaction’, the fact remains that definitions of quality are subjective and depend on who is doing the defining. Further, criteria for ‘quality’ depend on whether the production of concrete goods is at the heart of an endeavour, or whether intangibles such as ‘well being’ are of central importance".
This summary was first posted in September 2021 as a "first draft" version. The following individuals or organizations have contributed to the development of this series of MREI topics; Albert Lee, Christine Beyer, Nancy Hudson, Candace Currie, Vivian Barnekow,Said Arnaout,Suleiman El Shehri, Raj’a Omar, Faten Ben Abdel Aziz, Lloyd J. Kolbe, Sean Slade, Seung Lee, Dean Brooks, Doug McCall. We encourage readers to submit comments or suggested edits by posting a comment on the Mini-blog & Discussion Page for this section or posting a comment below:
This summary was first posted in June 2012. Currently it has been posted as an "excerpt/adaptation", "first draft" or "revised draft" and "first or revised edition" version. The following individuals or organizations have contributed to the development of this topic.
We encourage readers to submit comments or suggested edits by posting a comment on the Mini-blog & Discussion Page for this section or posting a comment below:
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