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En Classe: Aligning Incentives in the Public School System across Democratic Republic of Congo

Published 02 Feb 2021
Reference 6495
Topic Strategy
Region Africa
Summary

En Classe is an educational foundation operating in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), one of the poorest countries in the world, where nearly 61 million people live on less than $1.90 a day. Twelve million children do not attend school and only a quarter of those who do ultimately complete secondary education. Most government-run schools are in a state of disrepair, often lacking roofing, toilets and desks. With a vision of improving the lives of Congolese children through sustained improvement of schooling, since its founding En Classe has renovated and helped to manage 18 government schools, reaching over 15,000 children. Beyond rebuilding the infrastructure, it also provides free teacher training, reading tablets, and leadership workshops for pupils. In 2019, En Classe embarked on a project to develop a ‘model school’ for the remaining schools and for future fundraising in an effort to scale up its activities. It faces three challenges. First, lacking formal authority over teaching and administrative staff, it has only non-monetary incentives to encourage the them to adopt new teaching practices and improve student outcomes. Second, most teachers receive no salary from the government and rely on money raised directly from the parents, who are often unable to pay, and pupils perform poorly in state exams. Third, since its founding, the original management team has moved out of the DRC and now manages En Classe remotely using a local team of employees, which proves challenging. Looking ahead, the founders want to transfer more responsibility to the local team.

Teaching objectives

1. Examine the role of non-monetary incentives in operating a non-profit enterprise. 2. Explore the importance of incentive alignment among multiple stakeholders with different (and often opposing) goals. 3. Develop a framework for thinking about the scaling process for a non-profit enterprise.

Keywords
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Non-monetary incentives
  • Organization scaling
  • Incentive alignment
  • Incentive design
  • Organization design
  • Stakeholder management
  • Human resource management
  • Education
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Africa
  • En Classe
  • Q12021