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On June 19th, BEC, in partnership with Girls Not Brides USA, The Coalition for Adolescent Girls, Global Citizen, UNICEF USA, and World Vision, sponsored a Congressional staff briefing on Keeping Girls in School Around the World. The briefing focused on the Keeping Girls in School Act (H.R. 2153) and the need for U.S. foreign assistance to address the barriers that keep adolescent girls out of school internationally. The event featured remarks by Rep. Quigley (D-IL), Rep. Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Rep. Frankel (D-FL), and Dr. Kakenya Ntaiya. BEC Executive Board Member, Heather Simpson, moderated the widely-attended event.



The event on June 18th introduced and explored new research regarding impact of Delivery Approaches on education systems and learning outcomes, and built on a recent UNICEF Think Piece. This latest work was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Lead presenter, Robin Todd, is a Senior Education Adviser at Cambridge Education and served on a Government Delivery Unit, assigned by former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Robin shared about his experiences and research findings and opened up a discussion for participants to learn about, question and critique the work done to date.


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On June 6th, BEC members met with USAID representatives to provide input for USAID's Private Sector Engagement planning. USAID sees the private sector as an engine of growth and self-reliance for developing countries, and they are working to identify shared interests and value in achieving education goals. BEC is currently circulating a member survey to gather additional input regarding implementers' experiences with Private Sector Engagement. BEC will continue to provide feedback to enrich and guide planning for strategic Private Sector Engagement in education.


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The Society for International Development- Washington DC hosted their 2019 Annual Conference on May 30th, 2019 at the Ronald Reagan Building. Anne Simmons-Benton (Arizona State University) chaired the conference committee. The conference, attended by nearly a thousand international scholars and practitioners, featured a Global Education Policy breakout session with discussion of how to prepare young people for 21st century workforce and problem-solving. Panelists included Robert Burch (USAID E3), Bethany Johnson (BEC), and Laura Ripani (IDB). Dan Runde (CSIS) served as moderator. Video available here.

BEC Co-Hosts Capitol Hill Briefing on Aid to Northern Triangle

Above: Expert panel speaks to a packed room at briefing on aid in Northern Triangle

Above: Expert panel speaks to a packed room at briefing on aid in Northern Triangle

BEC and Interaction jointly convened a briefing on the afternoon of April 25th, 2019 to inform Congress of the scope and impact of programming Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala and to encourage Congressional Members to reach out to the Administration and express support for aid to the region. Panelists included: Ana Flórez (Director of Global Education, FHI 360), Lanre Williams-Ayedun (Director for Child Protection and Education, World Vision), Anna Sahakyan (Director of Accountability and Transparency, Counterpart International) and Justin Fugle (Senior Advisor for Policy and Program Outreach, Plan International). Marilyn Shapley (Senior Policy Advisor, Mercy Corps) served as moderator. 

BEC believes that the Administration’s decision to suspend funding for foreign assistance programs in the Northern Triangle will jeopardize international efforts to stabilize the region and provide opportunities for families in need. USAID’s education programs provide students with safe and equitable access to quality education so that children develop the necessary skills to build a life for themselves. Suspending U.S. funding for these critical activities will only further exacerbate local tensions and decrease the likelihood that children in these communities will grow up safe, educated, and ready to pursue a vibrant and prosperous future.

The Basic Education Coalition is grateful to the Members of Congress who have already spoken out in support of foreign assistance to this region and vowed to oppose the Administration’s decision to suspend aid funding. Continued U.S. support for Central America is vital to ensure that children and youth have access to safe, quality education and opportunities to participate in the 21st century economy.

Above: Marilyn Shapley (Mercy Corps) and Ana Florez (FHI 360) championing the positive impact of aid in the Northern Triangle

Above: Marilyn Shapley (Mercy Corps) and Ana Florez (FHI 360) championing the positive impact of aid in the Northern Triangle

CIES 2019: San Francisco Recap

Above: CIES Trivia Night reception co-sponsored by BEC

Above: CIES Trivia Night reception co-sponsored by BEC

By popular demand, BEC co-hosted the second annual CIES Trivia Night with ECCN, Education Equity Research Initiative, FHI360, INEE, JEiE, and 2 SIGs. Trivia questions focused on education in conflict and crisis settings.175 guests attended the reception to meet colleagues, eminent leaders and scholars in the Education in Conflict and Crisis field. Anjuli Shivshanker (USAID) and Cornelia Janke (ECCN) gave opening remarks.  

BEC's Gender and Girls' Education working group organized a CIES panel: "Engaging governments to ensure sustainability; three case studies of civil society efforts to promote gender and girls’ education." Representatives from Room to Read, World Learning, The Brookings Institute and the Basic Education Coalition presented evidence and strategies that are working to advance progressive gender and girls' education around the world. More from the BEC Gender and Girls' Education working group

CIES was big on Twitter this year. Extend dialogue on #Ed4Sustainability from #CIES2019 and consider the #EdBeyondHuman theme of #CIES2020 in Miami, Florida. Read about next year's theme at

Below: BEC members presenting research, at the BEC Booth in the exhibit hall, and mingling at receptions


BEC Co-Hosts Meet the Authors Panel at Global Reading Network

Above: Authors Mary Sugrue and Deepa Srikantaiah, and Rebecca Rhodes (USAID)

Above: Authors Mary Sugrue and Deepa Srikantaiah, and Rebecca Rhodes (USAID)

On Friday, April 12th, 2019 The Global Reading Network and the Basic Education Coalition co-hosted a meeting to explore how best to distribute resources across education program components and across literacy and mathematics, to assure appropriate school support for strong learning outcomes in both discipline areas. The authors of GRN's newly published working paper, "Towards the Design and Implementation of Comprehensive Primary Grade Literacy and Numeracy Programs" presented findings from their review of the evidence base, lessons learned from comprehensive programs, and a potential research agenda during a 2-hour technical discussion. 

BEC Co-Hosts Inclusive Education Event at DAI

Above from right (Panel #1): BEC Co-Chair, Candace Debnam (STS) with Antonio Eskandar (DAI), Sue Swenson (Inclusion International), Jerry Mindes (GCE), and Josh Josa (USAID)

Above from right (Panel #1): BEC Co-Chair, Candace Debnam (STS) with Antonio Eskandar (DAI), Sue Swenson (Inclusion International), Jerry Mindes (GCE), and Josh Josa (USAID)

On Thursday, April 4th, BEC co-hosted a symposium on Inclusive Education at DAI, in Bethesda, Maryland. Donors, implementers and advocates convened in-person and via Webex to launch a dialogue about opportunities, lessons-learned, and next level of work in inclusive education for development. Sakil Malik (DAI) gave opening remarks. Panel #1 (pictured above) titled, "Policy Perspectives on Increasing Inclusiveness" responded to the following questions:

  • What are the key concepts that we all need to understand as we talk about and design inclusive education programs?

  • What are some of the foreseeable challenges to progress in inclusive education? What lessons have you learned for how to mitigate those challenges moving forward?

  • How have you seen (or how could you envision) donors and governments successfully supporting inclusive education around the world?

  • what gaps remain in the evidence base to effectively implement inclusive international education programs?

A second panel, "Implementer Perspectives on Increasing Inclusiveness" featured Deborah Backus (All Children Reading), Josh Josa (USAID), Dr. Lisa Wadors Verne (Benetech), Zehra Zaidi (DAI), and Farah Mahesri (education consultant).