Impact Study of the School Improvement Grant

UNICEF, Zimbabwe

The School Improvement Grant (SIG) is implemented by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and has been operational in Zimbabwe since 2013. The objective of the evaluation, which was carried out by a Mokoro led by Matthew Smith, was to establish the impact of the School Improvement Grant in order to assist the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to determine how best the programme can be improved and sustained as a mechanism for school financing.

This was a theory-based, mixed-methods impact study that combined secondary data from documentation, baseline and monitoring sources with primary data obtained through a survey of a random sample of schools, interviews, focus-group discussions, and an analysis of  Education Management Information System (EMIS) data. Two surveys were conducted, with identical questions, answered by head teachers at the 900 randomly selected schools (700 receiving SIGs) for deeper exploration of its impact, and 200 without SIG payments for comparative analysis.

The Covid-19 pandemic required that the survey take place by phone, although in-person interviews and focus-groups were able to take place led by national partners Muthengo Development Solutions.

The people behind the project

Project leader: Matthew Smith

Principal Consultant

Principal Consultant and Director


Sibangani Shumba, Chagwiza Godfrey, Jack Jackson