BEC Visits USAID for Briefing on Assistance and Acquisitions Strategy

On Thursday, December 20th, BEC members attended a special briefing on USAID’s new Acquisition and Assistance strategy. Representatives from BEC member organizations had an opportunity to learn and ask questions about expected changes to the procurement process.

Excerpts from USAID Administrator Mark Green's remarks on the new Acquisition and Assistance Strategy: "By streamlining approaches to design and procurement, and utilizing new and innovative methods of collaboration, the A&A Strategy is a shift away from traditional approaches that can unduly constrain our staff and partners.  These reforms will foster more flexibility, adaptability, and creativity as we work with our partners to design and deliver impactful initiatives worldwide. 

The A&A Strategy also outlines how we will embrace USAID’s new approach to self-reliance in our approaches to partnering.  Diversifying our partner base and integrating locally-led development into how we deliver development assistance help our partner countries become self-reliant, and will get us closer to the day when such assistance is no longer needed..." 

Read more about the A&A Strategy

USAID Administrator Mark Green Launches new Private Sector Engagement Strategy at AEI

On Wednesday, December 12th, 2018, US Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Mark Green spoke at AEI about the agency’s new private-sector engagement policy. Administrator Green outlined the goals of the program and the role of the private sector in fostering local ingenuity and innovation. He also discussed the importance of fostering self-sufficiency and of the judicious use of aid in both development and diplomacy to advance US national and humanitarian interests. Sarah Glass, also of USAID, provided the background for the policy and explained how her department will work to implement the policy on a daily basis.

Watch the event here
Read the U.S. Private Sector Engagement Strategy here

Room to Read Leads Life Skills Presentation for BEC Gender & Girls' Ed Group

Lucina Di-Mecco and Linda Tran presented to the BEC Gender & Girls' Education working group about Room to Read's Girls' Education Program (GEP). The GEP is specifically designed for girls in low-income countries, where skills like how to speak confidently, build relationships and communicate their needs can be crucial for young girls facing big life decisions like early marriage. 

GEP supports entire classes of girls (cohorts) and operates in Lower Secondary School (Grade 6-9) and Upper Secondary School (Grades 10-12).  Room to Read, therefore, support girls for approximately seven years - from Lower Secondary School until they graduate. Once they begin working at a school, the program remains at the school for three subsequent cohorts or about nine years in total. Across countries, this year, Room to Read is working in 444 schools with 37,700 girls.
Room to Read’s Girls’ Education Program has four key components: Life Skills, Mentoring, Family and Community Engagement, and Material Support. The Life Skills Education component is highlighted below:

Based on the research of the World Health Organization, Room to Read identified 10 core skills that are needed for children to succeed in school and beyond, including communication, empathy, critical thinking, self-confidence, perseverance and relationship building, among others. To support this learning, Room to Read Social Mobilizers (local women who implement all GEP activities) facilitate a life skills curriculum with participating girls.  Through life skills lessons, girls develop these foundational skills and learn about reproductive health, nutrition, financial literacy, career choices and begin to challenge limiting gender stereotypes around girls’ abilities and expectations. 

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UNESCO Launches 2019 GEM Report

The 2019 GEM Report continues its assessment of progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) on education and its ten targets, as well as other related education targets in the SDG agenda.

The report's main focus is on the theme of migration and displacement. It presents evidence on the implications of different types of migration and displacement for education systems but also the impact that reforming education curricula and approaches to pedagogy and teacher preparation can have on addressing the challenges and opportunities posed by migration and displacement. The Report gives voice to experiences in host and home communities. With the help of case studies, it illustrates approaches which work and could be scaled up. In this way, the GEM Report aims to be a tool for practitioners. It will make the case for investing in education of good quality in rural areas suffering from depopulation and in slum areas suffering from large population inflows; in countries with high rates of emigration and those with high rates of immigration; in short-term refugee emergencies and in protracted crises. The analysis, conclusions and recommendations in this report advance the aims of SDG 4 and the call to leave no one behind.

Read the 2019 GEM Report
Watch an animated video of key takeaways

U.S.G. International Basic Education Strategy & USAID Education Policy Launched

The new USAID Education Policy was launched at an event with the Administrator celebrating the U.S. Government International Basic Education Strategy on Thursday, November 15th at 9:30 a.m. EST at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C. The event was recorded and can be viewed here.

Stay tuned for more on the USAID Education Policy, the USG Strategy, and the Program Cycle Implementation and Operational Guidance. 

BEC Appoints 2018-2020 Executive Committee 

With the full support of the BEC Board of Directors, the following leaders have been appointed to the BEC 2018-2020 Executive Committee. This dynamic team will steer the Coalition during a pivotal moment in U.S. policy. They will shape the Coalition's strategic plan for the next two years, setting priorities for BEC's advocacy and technical work. 

BEC 2018-2020 Executive Officers

Nancy Devine, Senior Vice President, International Development Division, Education Development Center

Candace Debnam, Executive Director, School to School Intl

Kevin Hardy, Vice President, Cambridge Education

Josephine Kennedy, DVP, Global Development at World Learning

Heather Simpson, Chief Program Officer, Room to Read

We are thrilled with this new team and look forward to their leadership! 

What's next for the Education Equity Research Initiative? 

On November 6th, at Save the Children, the Education Equity Research Initiative hosted a discussion of recent progress and remaining challenges around data and evidence. Participants heard from leading Equity Initiative members on their efforts to generate data and evidence on equity at both a systems level and at a programmatic level for teaching and learning. The second part of the morning consisted of breakout group sessions to discuss what was learned during the presentations and ways forward for making progress on SDG4 and equity overall.

View presentation slides from the event

If you would like to join an Equity Initiative task team or working group, fill out this form and someone will follow up with you about protocols for joining and the obligations and expectations of its members.

Brookings hosts girls’ education research and policy symposium: creating systems change for girls

On November 7, 2018, the Center for Universal Education (CUE) at Brookings hosted the Girls’ Education Research and Policy Symposium. The symposium held a series of thematic conversations that explored approaches to creating systems change for the most marginalized girls. Topics were based on the research of the 2018 Echidna Global Scholars, such as rethinking early childhood education from a gender perspective; addressing the need for data on the most marginalized populations in developing countries; leveraging political transitions for girls’ education reform; and working with teachers on empowering girls through gender sensitive pedagogies.

The panel discussions included brief presentations from the Echidna Global Scholars on their research on girls’ education in their home countries of China, Pakistan, Peru, and Uganda, followed by a moderated discussion with other experts in their thematic areas. In addition, panel discussions with alumni of the Echidna Global Scholars Program highlighted their continuing work on girls’ education policy from around the world.

Watch the panel discussions and presentations here

Michele Obama announces Global Girls Alliance

Excerpt from op-ed "Educated every girl" by former first lady, Michele Obama via

October 11- ...because of the outstanding work that's been done for years by so many international organizations, the Global Girls Alliance is focused not on duplicating efforts or competing for resources, but on collaborating within the sector and building capacity for everyone. We're centering our work around fresh ways of empowering those working on the ground to support these girls.

First, we'll connect organizations and grassroots leaders to each other, allowing them to hear about what's working elsewhere, to learn from one another, and, in turn, to achieve more together than they could on their own.

Second, we're working to connect these leaders directly to people like you. We've partnered with GoFundMe to create a new social fundraising platform at -- a place where anyone, anywhere around the world, can support girls in places like India, Guatemala, or Uganda. We've instituted a rigorous process to identify projects that need support, so whether you're giving a portion of your paycheck or a dollar from a lemonade stand, we don't take it lightly that you're donating your hard-earned money to this cause.

Finally, we're looking for everyone's help -- everyone can be an ally. I hope you'll visit our website to educate yourself on this issue, read about the tremendous work already being done, and get started taking whatever action you can. Believe me, one person can make a difference here. And together, who knows what we can accomplish?

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