IDPRSP Research

As critical but uneven steps towards universal access to quality education are taken, millions of families around the world are turning to low-fee private schools (LFPS) to prepare their children for a better future.

These schools, mostly operated by “mom and pop” proprietors, offer local communities an affordable educational option where there is a lack of access to free public schools and education at elite private schools would otherwise be too expensive to obtain.

Families that enroll their children in low-fee private schools are refusing to wait for universal access to become a global reality. To better serve their growing demand for quality, accessible education, it is imperative that stakeholders match their urgency in efforts.

To address this need, the IDP Foundation, Inc. (IDPF) created the IDP Rising Schools Program (IDPRSP) in partnership with Ghanaian financial institution Sinapi Aba. The initiative targets existing low-fee private schools in Ghana by providing proprietors access to loans with accompanying financial literacy and school-management training.

Throughout the ten years of implementing the IDPRSP, we have commissioned various research reports evaluating the program’s effectiveness. Read more about each research report below.

A Review of IDPRSP at Sinapi Aba Ghana, by CapitalPlus Exchange (CapPlus) November 2016

A Review of IDPRSP at Sinapi Aba Ghana, by CapitalPlus Exchange (CapPlus) November 2016

Our partners at CapPlus completed a review of the IDPRSP, focusing on our strong partnership with Sinapi Aba and evaluating whether the program demonstrates that commercial financial institutions can sustainably lend to low-fee private schools. The review found five key indicators of success:

  • A strong partnership between Sinapi Aba and IDPF
  • The proprietor training has been well-received and sought out by LFPS proprietors
  • A productive/reasonable relationship with the Ghanaian government
  • A lending model that combines the distribution of loans with training
  • The program is financially viable and is sustainable even with the added expense of training

Needs and Impact Assessment of the IDPRSP by Results for Development (R4D) October 2016

Needs and Impact Assessment of the IDPRSP by Results for Development (R4D) October 2016

After expanding the IDPRSP to over 500 schools, IDPF commissioned Results for Development (R4D) to measure the impact of the program and understand the broader needs of low-fee private schools throughout Ghana. The report, “Understanding Household and School Proprietor Needs in Low-Fee Private Schools in Ghana,” contributes to the discourse on low-fee private schools by analyzing: (1) the priorities, motivations, and strategies of low-fee private school proprietors, (2) school profitability and sustainability, and (3) affordability.

The report was conducted in partnership with Consumer Insight Consult Africa and assessed data from 150 low-fee private schools, including 110 schools from the IDPRSP and nearly 2,000 households.

Some key findings are:

  • Low-fee private schools demonstrate impressive resilience despite the challenges they face
  • Teacher quality in low-fee private schools is a priority for parents and school proprietors
  • Low-fee private schools often do not reach the lowest-income households
  • The IDPRSP interventions have enabled low-fee private school proprietors to acquire more business acumen and expand their schools

The study concludes by providing recommendations that offer guidance for how education stakeholders can support the provision of high-quality education by LFPS.

IDPRSP Program Survey Reports December 2012

IDPRSP Program Survey Reports December 2012

During the three-year pilot phase that included 120 low-fee private schools that were initially scouted, we commissioned an independent evaluation by the Educational Assessment and Research Centre (EARC), a local research firm with extensive experience in conducting analytical research activities. The goal of the study was to assess any significant changes the participating schools experienced. The study was completed through quantitative and qualitative surveys, including focus groups consisting of proprietors, parents and teachers.

The results show how the IDPRSP training contributed to an increase in teacher salaries, a nearly doubling of school profits, and an increase in school accountability efforts, including greater participation of parents, the formation of School Management Committees, and registration with Ghana Education Services.

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