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Submitted by Marguerite on

Thanks for your comments. For countries that have never participated in an international assessment, it can be a good idea to first try participating in a regional assessment exercise. In your case, SACMEQ could indeed be a good option. PISA for Development is already in progress, but you may want to investigate some of the other options out there that allow countries to ‘ease into’ participating in an international assessment. For example, the IEA offers PIRLS-Literacy and TIMSS-Numeracy, in addition to its regular PIRLS and TIMSS exercises (http://timssandpirls.bc.edu/). The important thing is for a country to be clear on what they want to get out of one of these international assessment exercises. Do they want to have a sense of their international standing? Or are they more interested in their regional position? Are they interested in building technical capacity in doing a particular type of assessment? Do they want to ensure that the data generated by the exercise are rich enough to allow for in-depth policy analyses? Depending on the answers, some assessments may be more suitable than others. Good luck and keep me posted on what you decide to do!