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Education policy and strategy

Education systems have to respond to national, regional and global trends and influences. CfBT is at the forefront of developing and implementing education policy and strategy which responds to these ever-changing demands.

CfBT assists governments worldwide to develop and carry out education policy. We work at every stage of the reform process:

  • conducting influential research
  • advising policy makers on plans for reform
  • managing the 'roll-out' of large-scale interventions
  • evaluating the impact of reforms.

We have developed a substantial body of applied research into coherent sector-wide approaches to education reform, see The impact of sector-wide approaches reports. This helps us to consider a particular policy or strategy in terms of its inter-relationship with other parts of the education system. Our research is often undertaken with influential partners, such as the American Brookings Institution (opens in new window) and the International Institute for Educational Planning UNESCO (opens in new window)

Developing policy at national level

We work with policy makers to assist in the design of plans for national level education systems. With funding from the European Commission and the UK government, we deploy expert consultants to help policy makers in developing countries shape plans for system improvement.

Over the last two years we have worked in more than 30 countries on high level consultancy relating to the design or evaluation of strategy. We also have distinctive expertise in building organisational capacity within ministries of education and other national education agencies.

We have assisted institutional development for clients as diverse as the governments of Dubai and Somaliland. In Dubai, we helped the government to create a new School Inspection Bureau. In Somaliland, we supported the approach to education policy and strategy development. Our consultancy expertise is closely aligned to major areas of education policy:

  • the teacher workforce: recent work in Libya and Ethiopia
  • accountability and school inspection: current and recent projects in Jamaica, South Africa, Bahrain and Kuwait
  • finance and budgetary management: support for ministries in Rwanda and Lao
  • curriculum design: major projects in Qatar and Oman.

Providing specialist consultancy

Many of our consultants are 'thought leaders' in their respective fields. We provide the development agencies of the British and Australian governments with specialist consultancy in support of their global commitment to education reform in developing countries. The European Union turned towards us to analyse the effectiveness of their support to developing countries; see Education advisory team Brussels case study. On behalf of the Australian government we are researching how higher education can contribute to the creation of 'developmental leaders' in society with a commitment to public service. See Post-18 education and leadership in Ghana case study.

Unusually, CfBT not only advises on high level strategy, we also know how to do the detailed work of implementation. This involves expertise in programme and project management and logistics, often in challenging circumstances. Some key examples of our interventions concerning implementation of education policy and strategy include:

  • a national programme of  decentralisation for the Ministry of Education in Kenya
  • managing national literacy and numeracy strategies for ministries in both England and Wales.

Responding to a global agenda

CfBT's global expertise and experience means that we can support and advise education systems worldwide how to respond to national, regional and global trends and influences. These include global agendas within and outside the education sector such as:

  • the Millennium Development Goals and the emergent post-2015 agenda
  • aid effectiveness
  • wider concerns about climate change and the global security agenda.

Case studies

Working with UNICEF in Somalia

CfBT has worked with UNICEF to deliver the Integrated Capacity Development for Somali Education Administrations Programme. Students, teachers and parents share how the programme has changed their lives.

Education reform in Libya

CfBT has worked with the Ministry of Education in Libya as well as the Teacher Development Centre (TDC) to achieve better education outcomes through efficient and effective use of the teaching workforce.

Supporting sector-wide policy in Somalia

CfBT has delivered programmes on behalf of UNICEF and the Danish International Development Agency, Danida, to support sector-wide education policy across Somalia.

Latest research

Great expectations: aspiration, uncertainty and schooling in Rwanda

27 March 2015 | Rwanda, Sub-Saharan Africa

This report on schooling in Rwanda aims to shed light on children's experiences of their own education. It is from the winner of CfBT's 'Tim Morris Award.'

The Impact of Armed Conflict on Education in Syria

26 March 2015 | England

This report follows the methodology outlined in the report, 'The Quantitative Impact of Armed Conflict on education: counting the human and financial and costs'.

The quantitative impact of armed conflict on education

04 November 2014 | Asia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sub-Saharan Africa

Commissioned by PEIC, this research sheds fresh light on the numbers of children affected by conflict and estimates the impact of conflict and insecurity on education in terms of direct and indirect costs.

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Susy Ndaruhutse

Head of international development and education

Contact Susy Ndaruhutse

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