Using meta-analysis to explore the transferability of education mid-range theories to Cameroon, Chad, Nigeria and Niger

Programme of work

Enhancing evidence transferability

Principal investigator(s)

Jonathan Kay

Host institution

Education Endowment Foundation (EEF)

Other institutions

Durham University


February 2020 to July 2021

Project type

Evidence synthesis


Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria.

Research question

This project will expand the EEF’s existing evidence synthesis project to include education evidence from low- and middle-income countries through a partnership with eBASE, an evidence organisation based in Cameroon but working across Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria.

Research design

Meta-regression analysis will be used to explore variation in impact for theories such as meta-cognition, tracking and small-group tuition. Once the analysis of contextual variation has been established, a living evidence portal will display the efficacy of different approaches in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria.

Data source

The study will disaggregate the meta-analyses currently summarised in the Teaching and Learning Toolkit and create a database that includes data extracted from each individual study.
Each study will have data extracted for around 100 variables, including details on study design, population, intervention and outcome.

This data will then be used to create 35 living systematic reviews, which will form the basis of a new toolkit. The data will allow for greater understanding of the factors that cause variation in impact.

All data will then be added to the central EEF database for meta-analyses.

Policy relevance

This project will produce a live evidence portal that will summarise the best available pedagogical approaches in a way that is accessible to teachers and school leaders. The resources on the portal will be translated into French for Francophone regions in the target countries.

Policymakers and other decision-makers will also have access to the portal for making reasoned decisions on central government planning for curricula and funded interventions. Researchers will be able to use the portal to identify gaps in the evidence base for future studies.