Policy expertise

Building a stronger education system in Nigeria: monitoring and evaluation for the Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria (ESSPIN)

Policy Area
Department for International Development (DFID)
2008 - 2017
OPM contact

This nine year project is providing a framework to support the more efficient and effective delivery of education services in Nigeria. The lack of robust systems for gathering performance data at the school-level has limited the scope and impact of sector reforms in the country to date. Oxford Policy Management has developed a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation framework for assessing the impact of DFID’s Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria (ESSPIN) based on an impact evaluation survey methodology designed to accommodate a number of follow-up surveys over the programme’s lifetime. In addition, the team is working with state-level education authorities to strengthen monitoring and evaluation and public financial management functions. Capacity building activities including formal training and on-the-job mentoring is supporting the sustainable adoption of new systems and processes that are compatible with existing technology and skill-sets.

Many schools in Nigeria fail to provide even basic opportunities for learning. The education sector is characterised by weak governance and ineffective implementation of policies and plans compounded by a lack of transparency and accountability. Teaching standards are low and there is little motivation for teachers to improve.

The Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria (ESSPIN) aims to address these issues by encouraging more efficient and effective use of Nigeria’s own resources to improve basic education service delivery. The programme supports initiatives at all levels - in schools, communities and within state and federal authorities.

This project was established to support the monitoring and evaluation of ESSPIN interventions and to improve the capacity of state authorities to measure education performance and plan and budget for improved services.

At the state level, OPM is working with Ministries of Education and State Universal Basic Education Boards (SUBEBs) to build capacity within monitoring and evaluation and public financial management functions. This is being achieved through formal training workshops and on-the-job mentoring to build on existing skillsets. Participatory approaches are being adopted to promote stakeholder engagement and support the effective and sustainable implementation of new systems and processes including management information systems.

At the school level, the team has designed and conducted impact evaluation surveys to quantify programme performance based on a number of education improvement indicators. In the first round of the survey, schools were stratified according to programme phase with those schools not supported by ESSPIN providing a control group to measure impact against over the lifetime of the programme.

Specific areas of work being undertaken include:

  • Designing and conducting two rounds of an impact evaluation survey based on composite questionnaires and a two-staged sampling strategy covering teachers and pupils across over 700 schools
  • Designing, developing and implementing an Education Management Information System (EMIS) to support state-level evidence gathering and informed policy making
  • Supporting the development of Annual Education Sector Performance Reports based on robust data
  • Developing innovative capacity indices to support state-level resource allocation decisions
  • Coordinating and conducting training workshops and providing on-the-job support within state governments



This project is providing a framework for the effective monitoring and evaluation of ESSPIN over its lifetime. Insights from the two rounds of the surveys are contributing to a better understanding of the programme’s impacts at the school level, and of learning outcomes and teacher development in Nigeria generally. It has helped to inform both external donors but also the federal and state-level ministries of education about what will be needed to ensure all children have access to meaningful learning in Nigeria.

At the state level, the project is supporting the strengthening of education planning and budgetary systems based on robust, timely evidence. Over the longer-term, the adoption of models of budgeting based on outputs will support the move towards more efficient, cost-effective model of education service delivery in Nigeria.

Data Manager, OPM Nigeria
Principal Consultant
Associate Consultant
Senior Consultant
Senior Consultant
Leader, Cross-cutting Team; Consultant, Education
Senior Consultant