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R4D Education

Global Education

Education is playing an increasingly important role as economies and societies become more knowledge-based. R4D Education’s initiatives concentrate largely on levers for change in areas with high potential for impact: innovations,evaluation and learning, out-of-school children, skills for employability, financing, and early childhood. Our education portfolio complements our work in health and governance, and cross-cutting themes include the relationships among education, nutrition and health, and supporting civil society organizations in their work to increase public sector accountability. Read more...

Global Education Projects

Over the years, the most common approach to improving youth outcomes has been to identify youth problems or deficits (such as teen pregnancy, school drop-out, or unemployment) and to attempt to narrowly address their needs for information and services. In recent years, however, program implementers and policy-makers have begun to recognize the importance of acknowledging, understanding, and building on young people’s protective factors, assets, capacities and abilities and that these are integral to building long-term positive behaviors and outcomes as well as preventing negative outcomes as youth transition into adulthood.

Around the world, 250 million children are unable to read. Because of a lack of teaching materials, they struggle to recognize even basic words and numbers. In many countries, learning assessments have found that more than 50 percent of students can’t read a single word after several years of school. Without basic literacy, they can’t go on to learn math, science, and other subjects. The result is a lost opportunity for personal and intellectual growth and a massive loss in economic growth and development for their countries.

2015 marks the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), an ambitious multi-stakeholder effort that builds upon the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to outline a set of global outcomes and targets for the next 15 years. The proposed Goal 4, relating to equitable and inclusive education and lifelong learning, is expansive, calling for access to early childhood education and the completion of free, equitable, and quality primary and secondary education for all boys and girls. However, there are uncertainties around how to mobilize additional financing for upper secondary education, and how to mitigate against negative impacts a focus on fee-free upper secondary education could have on the quality and equity at lower levels of education.

R4D’s upcoming book, Bridging the Skills Gap: Innovations in Africa and Asia, will probe deep into five key themes relevant to the skills discussion and vital to close the skills gap. The five core chapters of the book will cover the following topics: inclusive skills development, technical skills, systemic curricular change, pedagogy reform, and soft skills.  Recent research and debate in each of these themes will be explored with the support of case studies to illustrate successes, challenges, and lessons using real world examples. 

R4D is analyzing the reliability and validity of the assessments, evaluate the assessment implementation process, and explore the extent to which the assessment results have increased awareness of children’s learning outcomes and led to actions to improve them. Analytical tools include key informant interviews, field visits, and an in-depth literature review.

The Center for Education Innovations (CEI) seeks to promote the scale-up and adaptation of promising policies and practices that improve the access, affordability, and quality of non-state education interventions for the poor in mostly low income countries.

UNICEF and R4D have partnered to design and test a strategy to better understand what types of innovative programs and interventions have the greatest potential for impact. Both partners will collaborate on devising selection criteria and a rapid assessment methodology to evaluate innovations.

R4D is helping the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) develop a global advocacy strategy to achieve measurable impact in early learning. R4D will identify leading organizations, associations, and individuals in this space to inform what a global coalition focused on early learning or early childhood might look like, and in the process, provide CIFF with strategic analysis and recommendations in support of their goals.

As part of continued efforts to improve its relevance, effectiveness, and efficiency, the GPE Board requested an interim evaluation to inform GPE members about the progress GPE has made towards achieving its strategic priorities and objectives since its last evaluation in 2010. R4D, in partnership with Universalia Management Group (UMG), has been commissioned to undertake such an evaluation.

In partnership with Education Above All Foundation and UNESCO Institute for Statistics, R4D has completed a number of publications on the out of school children since 2013. These reports use cross-disciplinary quantitative methods to consider the financial and economic implications of large out of school populations. 

R4D and FHI 360 will analyze the skills required for work and identify models of secondary education in Latin America and the Caribbean. The partnership will leverage FHI 360’s long track record supporting education reform efforts and workforce development in the region, and will build upon R4D’s recent study that identified the skills required for work in the 21st century economies of Africa and Asia.

The Open Society Foundations, a supporter and funder of ASER Pakistan, has commissioned Results for Development (R4D) to evaluate the Pakistani initiative and work alongside its implementers to broaden its impact.  The evaluation will identify where and how ASER Pakistan might improve its survey methodology, deepen its findings, and strengthen its impact on policy and practice to improve education in Pakistan.

R4D is creating a toolkit and engaging stakeholders to disseminate evidence captured through the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation's Quality Education in Developing Countries (QEDC) initiative into actionable lessons and resources for practitioners and their supporters (donors, researchers, policymakers, and advocates). 

Global Partnership for Education (GPE) commissioned R4D to assess the feasibility of such a loan buy-down to support measurable reforms in education, while also raising financing for the sector. R4D's report analyzes the loan buy-down model as it has been applied to different sectors, and considers key design aspects to applying it to the education sector.

R4D - through the Center for Health Market Innovations (CHMI) and Center for Education Innovations (CEI) – is working in partnership with the UBS Optimus Foundation (UBSOF) to identify promising innovations focused on child health, education, or violence prevention in West Africa. Our approach will focus on identifying, studying, and supporting the diffusion of health and education innovations targeting children under 8, as well as violence prevention programs serving children 18 and below. R4D will work through in-country partners with deep understanding of the operating environment and current active program models with children as beneficiaries in Ghana, the Cote D’Ivoire, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

Results for Development Institute (R4D) served as the Learning Partner for the Partnership to Strengthen Innovation and Practice in Secondary Education (PSIPSE), an initiative led by a group of private donors and donor advisors to accelerate innovation in secondary education programming, research, and development in selected countries.

The Children's Investment Fund Foundation asked Results for Development Institute to develop frameworks for costing, cost-effectiveness analysis, and financial sustainability that the Foundation can use consistently across five CIFF priority areas: neonatal mortality, early childhood education, severe and acute malnutrition, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and de-worming.

With support from The Rockefeller Foundation, R4D identified the skills students in developing countries need in order to best position them for employment opportunities, and then explore paths to scale up the most effective models of delivering these skills in Africa and Asia.

R4D is working with global philanthropic foundations and other donor organizations that are seeking the most effective ways to discover, invest in, and scale up or cross-pollinate successful early childhood learning models.

The EdVenture Fund addresses gaps in access to higher quality education, particularly in developing countries, through an approach that stimulates and scales up innovations, leveraging philanthropic and investment capital.