Country-Level Research Review: EdTech in Pakistan

Introduction

1.1. Purpose of the review

This review provides an overview of EdTech research in Pakistan in order to understand the opportunities for carrying out further research in the country, and how EdTech Hub can collaborate with researchers, practitioners, and policymakers most effectively. The report will be important for researchers focusing on EdTech in Pakistan and the surrounding region, as well as for EdTech implementers seeking to understand what evidence exists and what else is needed. Through analysis of existing literature, key stakeholders, and the broader political economy, the evidence gaps with the highest potential for impact on education are identified for future research priorities of EdTech Hub in particular. These priorities can also serve more broadly to foster and sustain conversation in a community of practice and learning among education stakeholders and the use of EdTech in Pakistan.

1.2. Methodology of the review

The evidence for this report was built from a three-stage process of literature discovery and analysis, interviews with key stakeholders, and a synthesis of findings.

To discover and analyse relevant literature, a set of key terms for EdTech, alongside the terms ‘Pakistan’ and ‘Education’ were developed for searches on Google scholar and ERIC academic databases. The 1,971 results returned were then further reduced by placing the search terms ‘Pakistan’ and ‘Education’ in the ‘title’ search resulting in 272 results. These were then screened for relevance based on title and abstract, resulting in 78 papers. Those 78 papers were then read in full and the 52 that met the inclusion criteria were analysed according to a Research Landscape Index (RLI) framework. In addition, 19 papers from grey literature were added. In total 71 papers were included for analysis in the RLI. This facilitated both the analysis of the overall research landscape (Section 3), as well as the thematic analysis of particular evidence gaps.

Understanding the state of research pertaining to the EdTech sector in relation to Pakistan required considering factors beyond what research was available. Initially, this was done by looking at the existing literature which considers the challenges in producing good-quality education research in Pakistan. This has been well-documented by a number of studies, which also look at why evidence is not factored into the policymaking process. This review, however, aimed to consider the education research ecosystem specifically in relation to the EdTech sector. For this, telephone interviews were held with stakeholders active in the EdTech space in Pakistan. The information collected from these consultations not only provided an opportunity for the challenges concerning the research infrastructure but also provided points of contact through which the Hub’s future research priorities could be shaped. 

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