ProjectBetter Learning - Delivering higher quality, lower cost education

Project context

Every year, governments, donor agencies and the private sector invest billions in education programs and innovations targeting the poor. In low- and middle-income countries, education expenditures average $99 billion per year. Despite these investments and notwithstanding promising new interventions such as low-cost chain schools and ICT-enabled initiatives, the Sustainable Development Goals identify large gaps in education access, quality and equity, which have enormous negative impacts. India, for example, loses an estimated $100 billion annually because so many
children drop out of secondary school. The problem is most educators serving the poor struggle to provide a good quality education at low cost. How can they simultaneously deliver quality and affordability?

Project objective

We want to help answer this question with concrete and specific recommendations that are grounded in reality and tested by practitioners. By identifying ways to reduce costs and improve quality, we seek to enhance the impact of the billions of dollars invested in education initiatives. Better Learning will increase the availability of high-quality, cost-effective education for the poor through an innovative process that will engage stakeholders across the education value chain in a partnership approach directed towards four components:

  1. Vision and Pathways: Co-create a vision of high-quality education in 2030 with practitioners and other key stakeholders, and identify pathways to achieving it.
  2. Prototype Solutions: Make the vision and pathways tangible through a tested prototyping methodology that combines a workshop series with designing, testing and iteration.
  3. Low-cost tools: Evaluate existing solutions in low-income communities that significantly reduce the cost of education while improving or maintaining quality. We will synthesize the results in a publication featuring 10-15 tools.
  4. Review, Share, Inspire: Showcase results in a range of engaging visual and audio formats to be disseminated on existing platforms targeting practitioners, investors, learners and the wider public. The lessons and responses will also be fed back to refine the vision and future rounds of the initiative.

Project results

To achieve our goal we will work on three interconnected and overlapping focus areas: Quality, Cost and Impact.

Quality: Identify solutions that will enable high quality education

Cost: Evaluate ways to deliver quality at a lower cost

Impact: Collaborate with a network of education providers to provide insight, feedback and test solutions


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