The Blavatnik School of Government is to help lead a new large-scale, multi-country research programme called Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE). The programme has been created to launch a transformative agenda to study education systems in developing countries, and build a body of world-class evidence to inform education policy.

Supported by £27 million in funding from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the RISE programme will fund research teams and facilitate policy engagement in up to five countries, as it seeks answers to the question: “How can education systems be reformed to deliver better learning for all?”

RISE will be managed and implemented through a partnership between the Blavatnik School and leading international development consultancy Oxford Policy Management (OPM). The research will be led by Professor Lant Pritchett with a team at the Center for Global Development (CGD), a non-profit think tank based in Washington DC.

This programme is urgently needed. Despite advances in schooling worldwide, there are still significant challenges in education. While we are 90 percent of the way towards achieving the Millennium Development Goal of universal enrolment in primary education, at least one third of children are not learning the basics in reading and mathematics, whether they have been to school or not. That scale of learning failure comes at a cost equivalent to US$129 billion, or 10 percent of global spending by governments on primary education, according to the 2014 UNESCO Global Monitoring Report. It is clear from the evidence that many developing countries face a learning crisis, and efforts to address this crisis must focus on quality of education, as well as access.

Calum Miller, chief operating officer at the School and co-director of RISE, said:

"Great education transforms lives and creates new opportunity. So the Blavatnik School of Government is delighted to be part of this project. The School’s research is all about helping governments do better by showing them what works. With our world-class partners, we will deliver a research programme that shows how millions of children can learn more in school. That is a huge opportunity.”

Research for this project will be coordinated by Prof Clare Leaver.


Photo credit: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe