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Economic growth and democracy have raised the value of education and made it all the more important

In today’s world, economic growth and democracy have raised the value of education and made it all the more important that all children and adults have access to high quality and effective teaching.

Areas of expertise

  • Policy, Planning and Monitoring & Evaluation
  • Governance and Accountability
  • Low-Cost Private Sector
  • Access
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Skills Development

Modern education reforms are increasingly driven by a better understanding of what works in education, and how to improve teaching and learning in schools

We have been closely involved in developing and supporting the reforms of education systems in a wide range of transitional and developing countries in South Asia, the Middle East and across Africa, including in conflict-affected environments.

Our areas of expertise

Policy, Planning and Monitoring & Evaluation

Long-term educational success requires effective policy, clear strategy, ambitious targets and focused execution planning. Education sector plans can chart reform development but can also encounter barriers to effective implementation. Plans often fail to fully acknowledge the local context and political economy. Likewise, too little importance is given to sophisticated monitoring and evaluation (M&E) to inform decision-making.

We support the design of long-term policy and planning, developing or working within education sector plans to give them immediacy.

Governance and Accountability

Delivery of education can be critically affected by poor management, unclear structures, or mismanagement of the public purse. With rapidly expanding systems to match increased enrolment and the rise of alternative providers, the opportunities for mismanagement increase. If educational institutions cannot respond quickly and competently the credibility of the education sector is undermined, leading to reduced educational in the community.

Governance and accountability are at the core of building better education systems. Sustainable reform is possible when it is underpinned by effective, transparent and accountable institutions from the school to the ministerial level.

Low-Cost Private Sector

Where government systems struggle to deliver quality education, more parents have turned to low cost private schooling. Low Cost Private Schools (LCPS) have demonstrated that they are able to provide a better-quality education at a lower cost. Governments face the challenge of how exploit the complementarity of public and private systems to ensure better quality outcomes, value for money and increased enrolment.

The private sector has much to offer, especially in responding more quickly to specific local needs whilst minimising the cost to parents and reducing the burden on government institutions.


Many children still struggle to attend school and those that do attend too often receive an education inappropriate to their needs. The social and economic arguments for more access are clear: education is a right and educational access allows children to fulfil their potential, and families and communities to prosper.

Reaching universal enrolment in basic education is still a challenge. Initiatives targeted specifically at those who are out-of-school are needed, especially for remote populations or under-represented minorities. Governments also struggle to minimise the disruption caused by ongoing conflict.

We have experience in implementing innovative and culturally sensitive programmes to increase access.

Teaching and Learning

Schooling is not synonymous with education. Despite significant improvements in enrolment and attendance across the developing world, many children learn very little (through no fault of their own). Improving the quality of classroom practice is the most likely intervention to have a profound impact on pupil achievement.

Skills Development

Many young men and women lack the basic life skills, work preparedness or core business skills necessary for gainful employment. This is a key contributing factor in high unemployment as well as economic growth and productivity. There are social as well as economic impacts because large numbers of unemployed youths can damage social stability and lead to extremism in fragile environments.

While young people may not have the skills to enter employment, there are often demand side factors that contribute to low rates of youth employment. Poor links between employers and training providers, as well as a lack of clarity in government administration can exacerbate a shortage of skilled labour.

Long-lasting change in the skills development sector is best achieved by addressing demand and supply side issues together.

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