Advancing Learning Around Secondary Education in Africa and Asia


Project Overview


As learning partner, Mathematica helped the Partnership to Strengthen Innovation and Practice in Secondary Education (PSIPSE), a collaborative of funders, to advance its goal of expanding the knowledge base around secondary education globally.

Project Motivation

The PSIPSE aimed to catalyze systemic change in secondary education in Africa and Asia, and tasked Mathematica with gathering and disseminating evidence to increase understanding of what works and support evidence-based program development.

Partners in Progress

  • Dubai Cares
  • Echidna Giving
  • Human Dignity Foundation
  • Intel Foundation
  • John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Mastercard Foundation
  • Wellspring Philanthropic Fund

Prepared For

Partnership to Strengthen Innovation and Practice in Secondary Education

The universal education movement dramatically increased the number of children attending primary school across the globe, but progress is sorely needed at the secondary level.

Children are unable to enter and complete secondary school given a daunting array of socioeconomic and logistical barriers. Those who attend secondary school are still held back—by outdated curricula and pedagogies that offer inadequate preparation for the 21st century marketplace.

To help address these challenges, a group of donors formed the Partnership to Strengthen Innovation and Practice in Secondary Education (PSIPSE). The collaborative invested in innovation, scale-up, and research around secondary education in eight countries (the Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda).

As learning partner to the PSIPSE, Mathematica provided vital strategy support services, including the development of a cross-cutting theory of change for the grant portfolio; creation of a monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) framework to capture the measurement needs of all donors and grantees; annual grantee monitoring to track progress on goals; and facilitation of learning exercises to identify the strategy implications of our findings. To advance learning around secondary education, we also engaged in a range of evidence generation and dissemination activities. We conducted a systematic review of the literature around secondary education globally, developed products synthesizing implementation learnings from PSIPSE teacher training and life skills development grants, and wrote a paper summarizing lessons learned from the PSIPSE around donor collaboration. We ensured our findings were shared with varied audiences, developing briefs for policymakers and practitioners and presenting our work in diverse forums.

Finally, we sought to support the PSIPSE’s strong commitment to building learning organizations across Africa and Asia. We provided intensive monitoring & evaluation (M&E) technical assistance to PSIPSE grantees, providing input on program and organizational theories of change, M&E plans and resources needed to execute them, and the technical design of evaluations.

Related Staff

Swetha Sridharan

Swetha Sridharan

Principal Researcher

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Clair Null

Clair Null

Principal Researcher

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