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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 is working 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

Lessons from London schools

26 June 2014 | England

Research from CfBT and Centre for London demonstrates that London schools have improved dramatically since 2000, at a faster rate than anywhere else in the country.

Higher education and developmental leadership - the case of Ghana

25 March 2014 | Ghana, Sub-Saharan Africa

This research paper highlights the important role that quality secondary and higher education has played in the formation of developmental leadership in Ghana. It was commissioned by the Developmental Leadership Program.

Girls' education in pastoral communities

15 January 2014 | Sub-Saharan Africa, Tanzania

Winner of the 2012 'Tim Morris Award', this report by Adella Raymond, focuses on the particularly challenging situation facing women and girls in pastoral communities and the marginalisation they suffer.

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Susy Ndaruhutse

Head of international development and education

Contact Susy Ndaruhutse

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