This study responded to one key research question: what are the accountability relationships between the actors in implementing the 3Rs curriculum reform? A qualitative research approach informed the study, using key informant interviews, focus group discussion and document review. The data were analysed using thematic and content analysis.

The study established that the key actors in implementing the 3Rs curriculum are the government institutions and the development partners. These actors provide teaching, learning materials and support in the provision of in-service teacher training. Yet, the pupils’ and teachers’ materials prepared by the donor programmes were never authorised by the Commissioner for Education. The study also found that the implementation of the 3Rs was very uneven across the country, with some regions receiving support from both the government and donors, and others receiving support from the government only. Consequently, schools in areas that were exposed to more than one type of support benefited from various teaching and learning materials, which led to confusion regarding when to use them. Moreover, the initiatives by several donors exclusively focus on public schools, which use Kiswahili as the medium of instruction and, hence, there existed inequality across the various types of schools. Furthermore, the funds for implementing the reform were provided by both the development partners and the government. The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) – Literacy and Numeracy Education Support (LANES) Program provided a large proportion of the funds. However, the funds remained insufficient to meet the training needs. As a result, the training was provided for only few days and to a few teachers. Consequently, the sustainability of the reform, in the absence of donor funding, remains largely questionable.