Incubation of capabilities to run centralised assignment mechanisms in Rwanda: A Prototype for the case of teacher assignment

Project Active from to State Effectiveness and State

Effective deployment of skilled and motivated teachers can play a crucial role in ultimately fostering learning and as a consequence economic growth, reducing teacher attrition and turnover rates, and increasing teacher satisfaction and performance. The literature on matching has studied many of the specific challenges related to the teacher deployment problem, and therefore it is possible to recommend a sound back-end strategy to start the policy (algorithm and applications platform).

The project provides guidance to the Government of Rwanda as to how they should design their new centralised teacher assignment system. The Rwanda Education Board will be managing the recruitment and deployment of teachers nationwide, where previously these decisions were managed by local (district) governments. This provides an opportunity to address key sources of inefficiency that are typical of human resource challenges in civil services around the developing world, including high levels of churn, low levels of motivation, and challenges filling positions with skilled and motivated individuals in more needy areas.

To effectively implement a centralised assignment system, policy-makers need to make several decisions in which getting the details right is not straightforward, carefully balancing their objectives and restrictions with best practices. The idea of this project is to assist in the design and pilot stages, combining meetings and presentations with a demonstration, building a preliminary prototype of an application’s platform tailored to the context of Rwanda.

The project will provide a desk-based review of the practical implementation and substantive design considerations of such systems around the world, with a discussion that will involve the technical issues. Additionally, the project will develop a functional demonstration prototype of the software to actually implement such a deferred acceptance mechanism. The goal is for this prototype to become the foundation of a final platform that Rwanda Education Board (REB) can use to collect preferences to run the algorithm that will then match teachers to districts (or schools) in a way that meets REB policy objectives.