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A Political Economy Analysis Framework for EdTech Evidence Uptake

Working paper

Written by Samuel Sharp

Working paper

This paper sets out an approach to analysing evidence uptake in relation to EdTech, relevant to the Covid-19 response and also more broadly. It sets out a political economy analysis framework that can be applied to increase understanding of the extent to which different types of EdTech evidence shape policy decisions on EdTech. It is linked to EdTech Hub’s research theme of “using technology to improve governance, data management, equity, and accountability within education systems.”

This brief sets out a framework for future political economy research in relation to EdTech evidence uptake and can be used to inform engagement with policymakers. The description of the political economy framework introduces the concept of an evidence ecosystem and its role in policymaking processes. In doing so it recognises the importance of mapping out and understanding the characteristics of the system in which knowledge production and knowledge uptake interact. 

In particular, this paper is designed to inform both EdTech Hub’s own research and engagement work, as well as the wider community of researchers and practitioners interested in the applied political economy analysis of evidence-informed policy processes for the sector.

It is structured as follows: first, it defines and conceptualises the evidence ecosystem and sets out how this applies to EdTech. Second, it outlines the evolution and utility of political economy analysis and explores its application to education more generally. Third, it outlines a framework for understanding evidence uptake as related to EdTech and alongside this presents snapshots from three country case studies exploring their Covid-19 responses.