New report takes stock of USAID’s basic education work as Congress considers reauthorizing global education legislation

Washington DC, January 23, 2024A new report out today takes stock of USAID’s impact on foundational learning globally. This report launches as Congress advances the reauthorization of the READ Act to sustain a powerful, coordinated strategy for USAID’s education investments. “Building on strong foundations: The U.S. role in tackling the global learning crisis” looks at areas of excellence at USAID, as well as recommendations for how to better support teachers, bolster public systems, prioritize local leadership, and improve learning outcomes.

USAID remains the biggest bilateral donor on foundational learning (i.e. basic literacy, math and social emotional learning in the early years of education). The report finds that this support has been most successful when designed to strengthen public systems, guided by best practice in early grade literacy and numeracy, and responsive to local country contexts and leaders. This new analysis is a companion piece to a 2022 RESULTS UK report, which assesses the UK government’s support for foundational learning.

“Despite major progress on access to public education, we know millions of children are still denied the quality learning that is their right, even if they make it to school,” said Joanne Carter, Executive Director of RESULTS. “This right begins with free access to quality public early learning systems that support early literacy, foundational math skills, social emotional development, quality nutrition, and more. Investment in these educational priorities can unlock a world of learning.”

The report notes the strong evidence and impact from USAID-funded programs but points out that pernicious challenges persist in providing universal access to quality learning. Global conflict, environmental crises, ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and discrimination based on gender, disability, language, ethnicity and more all create barriers to education. “USAID has played a key role backing the leadership of communities, teachers, parents, and education ministries on education,” said Carter. “It will take more funding for public education systems, an unrelenting focus on equity, and support for local leadership to deliver quality learning for every child. This report lays out key steps USAID can take to help get there.”


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Laura Labarre
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About RESULTS and RESULTS Educational Fund:

RESULTS supports a movement of passionate, committed everyday people using their voices to influence political decisions that will bring an end to poverty. Volunteers and staff multiply their impact through the enormous power of advocacy.

Our movement of volunteers is backed by a staff of researchers, policy analysts, and legislative and media experts. Our shared goal is the end of poverty. We have affiliates and partners across five continents, and a network of volunteers in all 50 states and worldwide. We’re a non-partisan advocacy group comprised of RESULTS Educational Fund, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, and RESULTS, a nonprofit 501(c)4 grassroots lobbying organization.

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