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Education initiatives


Australia's investments in education are guided by the Australian Government's development policy Australian aid: promoting prosperity, reducing poverty, enhancing stability and the Strategy for Australia's aid investments in education 2015-2020, as well as partner country policies.

Complementing our bilateral and regional investments in the Indo-Pacific, Australia has strategic partnerships to help achieve our objectives in education. In addition to support for the Global Partnership for Education, partnerships include the following.

All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development

$8.56 million, 2011-2022

Australia, together with USAID and World Vision US, is a founding partner in All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development (ACR). ACR is ongoing series of competitions and prizes that leverage science and technology to source, test, and disseminate innovative solutions to improve the literacy skills of early grade learners in developing countries. ACR also builds partnerships (including with the private sector) and leverages co-investment to extend its reach.

In the first two rounds of ACR has:

  • Reached more than 500,000 early grade learners in 24 countries
  • Distributed over 1 million mother tongue instruction and reading materials in more than 50 languages, including sign languages
  • Funded more than 80 innovative solutions
  • Published 20 research and evaluation reports
  • Collaborated with over 30 organisations

A third round of ACR, to be launched in late 2019, will focus on children with disabilities, materials in underserved languages (mother tongue) and engaging families and communities in early grade literacy.

To learn more go to the ACR grant and prize competition webpage.

Related documents*

Name of document Year published Type
Annual report All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development 2018 Annual Report

Related links

Australian Council for Educational Research

$3 million, 2014-2020

DFAT is a founding partner of the Australian Council for Educational Research's (ACER) Centre for Global Education Monitoring (GEM). The GEM Centre works to strengthen national systems' capacity to implement and use educational assessments to drive policy change and system reform. ACER is a world leader in education research and the GEM Centre provides countries with an opportunity to access technical expertise to improve education assessment in our region. DFAT's support also enables ACER to participate and represent regional interests within global discussion on education, including in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Related links

Education Analytics Service

$3.6 million, 2016-2023

The Education Analytics Service (EAS) is a service facility to provide DFAT with access to technical expertise for research, advisory support and professional development in education. EAS improves the extent and quality of evidence and expertise used by DFAT to inform education policy and programs. One of the EAS's key tasks is to undertake a longitudinal study of DFAT's teacher development programs in Timor-Leste, Vanuatu and Laos. The study reflects each unique country and program-specific context, but broadly seeks to answer questions around "to what extent does this Australian investment improve teaching quality and improve student learning?"

Related documents*

Name of document Year published Type
Conceptual Framework 2017 Framework
Timor-Leste Interim Report 2019 Report

Research on Improving Systems of Education

$9.86 million, 2016-2020

Australia is a partner with the UK, (and more recently, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) in the Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE) program. RISE is a multi-country research programme that aims to build understanding of education systems and how they can be transformed to significantly improve learning. RISE is conducting high quality research in 7 countries over 6 years: Indonesia, Pakistan, Vietnam, India, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Nigeria (from 2019). The aim of the program is to create and disseminate a rigorous body of evidence that answers the question, "what works to improve education systems to deliver better learning for all at scale in developing countries". Australia's investment in RISE ensures part of the research is conducted in the Indo-Pacific region.

The RISE program was initiated by the UK Department for International Development and is being delivered by Oxford Policy Management in partnership with the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford

Related links

Education Cannot Wait

$10 million, 2017-2020

Australia is a contributor to the Education Cannot Wait (ECW) fund. ECW aims to transform the delivery of education in emergencies by linking governments, humanitarian actors and development efforts. It provides a rapid first response at the onset or escalation of a crisis and deploys multi‑year programs in protracted crises, promoting collective action by humanitarian and development actors. ECW also provides an acceleration facility, to support research and data collection, advance best practices and promote innovation in education in emergencies.

ECW was launched at the World Humanitarian Summit in May 2016 and is an initiative of former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Related links

* The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is committed to high standards of transparency and accountability in the management of the Australian aid program through publishing information on our website, including policies, plans, results, evaluations and research. Our practice is to publish documents after the partner government and any other partners directly involved in the delivery of the initiative have been consulted. Not all material published on this site is created by the Australian aid program and therefore not all documents reflect our views. In limited circumstances some information may be withheld for reasons including privacy and commercial sensitivity.

Last Updated: 23 September 2019
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