The Bridge effect

We wanted to prove the effect that the Bridge model was having on improving the learning gains for children in our schools. In our study, The Bridge Effect, we highlight the Kenyan results from the 2013-2014 administrations of Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) and Early Grade Math Assessment (EGMA), based on a nationally representative sample of more than 2,700 pupils first assessed in October 2013.  

This study, spanning 13 counties in Kenya and adopting quasi-experimental methods to assess the efficacy of Bridge, represents one of the most rigorous studies conducted by any practitioner, educational or development organisation to date.

For the purposes of the study as we could not randomly assign pupils to schools, we collected detailed demographic, education, and home life information in order to control for these factors. The results found that the Bridge effect equated to .31 standard deviations in English and .09 standard deviations in maths. This is equivalent to over 32 per cent and 13 per cent more schooling in one academic year for English and maths, respectively.

The primary purpose of our testing is to review what works and make sure we are being effective in producing learning gains for our pupils. However, the publication of this particular study is designed to both demonstrate our work to those interested in how an organisation such as Bridge monitors and evaluates and to knowledge-share with other interested education organisations, in the hope that we can learn from each other.

Because we know this study has limitations – for example, we serve a highly mobile population, and following up with pupils outside the school setting for a large sample was cost-prohibitive – over the next five years we will be participating in a randomised evaluation in Kenya conducted by a team of external researchers at leading institutions.

At Bridge, we strongly believe that it is only by assessing, monitoring and evaluating our work that we can not only improve learning outcomes for our own students but also make a broader contribution to global education policy.