Inspiring change in Burundi’s education system with OpenRBF

By Aléa Kagoyire, Project Manager @BlueSquare.org

Since September 2014, Cordaid has been running a performance-based financing (PBF) pilot project in Burundi’s Bubanza province. The project, which focuses on the education sector, is currently being carried out in 81 schools.

Working together with Cordaid, BlueSquare is providing crucial project support through the development of innovative technologies and applications. Our technology provides assistance in the collection, management and data visualization of the PBF education project through Burundi Education OpenRBF.

OpenRBF gives users easy access to share timely and reliable results, as they are verified by an independent and external third party. After the verification process, data collected using tablets is sent to the OpenRBF database, at which time Cordaid pays performance-based subsidies to schools and regulators involved in the project. Once payments are completed, Cordaid can proceed in publishing the new data online, where key results and information shared can give readers a deeper look into the project’s success. 

For this PBF project, OpenRBF allows visitors to visualize the following information about the project, including: 
• number of beneficiaries 
• target population
• number of entities involved
• total amount of project investment
• investment per beneficiary
• quality score
• satisfaction score
• other performance scores

All these key points are then displayed publicly on the project website in a clear and understandable way that allows all visitors to comprehend the project and its results. Below are some examples of different data visualizations that became accessible to the public.

[Image 1] Home page

The image above gives an overview of the entire project. Through this visualization, you can learn about: 
• the number of schools which benefit from PBF funds, the number of child beneficiaries, the number of classrooms engaged, and the investment amount; 
• various quality indicators and average scores obtained. The evolution of these scores over time on a graph and the project’s donors and partners. 
This type of visualization gives the public unlimited access to key information concerning the project.

[Image 2] Data page: Commune (region) level

This data page gives readers access to key regional (commune) information. For example, the number of children enrolled in the school, the quarterly investment made for a given commune, the average of quality score, and the average satisfaction and performance scores. The regional data page aims to visually present an overview of the project and its regional impact.

[Image 3] Data page: school level

Through BlueSquare’s OpenRBF, Cordaid can now present relevant project information and results in real-time and transparently. By choosing OpenRBF and transparency, Cordaid not only increases its accountability towards their partners, but the communities they work in as well.

BlueSquare’s system, and its capacity to visually and publicly give life to project results and act as a measurement of quality, makes it a great tool for both Cordaid and Burundi’s government.

As each project can be different, we offer customizations and work with our clients to adapt to their needs. We find this aspect of customization and co-creation exciting as it pushes us to explore and take our tools to new levels.
Currently, we are beginning new development work for a PBF project in Malawi, also in the education sector. As we go deeper into the project, we’ll be sure to share some of the exciting adaptations and innovations we are implementing on OpenRBF. Stay tuned!