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Research into Education

Education has the potential to break the cycle of poverty, particularly in relation to poverty experienced by women and girls. We invest in partnerships that produce evidence on what works most effectively to improve learning outcomes for men and women and girls and boys globally.

School children practise writing on a blackboard

Research in education makes a difference

We invest in the following education research partnerships, which produce results that are making a difference to our understanding of how we can more effectively address challenges in education.

Understanding the challenges in education

Each year we support the UNESCO ‘Education for All’ Global Monitoring Report. The report brings together a wide body of research on challenges in education to produce important policy and practice recommendations.

For example, in 2011 the report focused on issues of conflict and education. It is being used by us and our international partners to strengthen our work on protecting the right to education during conflict and rebuilding education systems in countries emerging from conflict.

Improving education systems

We know that when a girl in Africa is educated she’s three times less likely to be infected by HIV, has the potential to earn 25% more income and will have a smaller, healthier family.

Improving learning outcomes requires better knowledge on how education systems are working and improving their performance in the best way possible. 

Our support to a trust fund with the World Bank has led to the development of resources that have helped African countries conduct national assessments on their education systems.

Though this work ‘Performance Assessments’ are now routinely integrated into the World Bank and other education projects in sub-Saharan Africa.

Meeting in Zambian school

Making schools safe for children

For children to learn at a particular standard, the school environment needs to safe and children need to be protected from harm. For many children, particularly girls, this is not the case and too often their experience of school includes exploitation and abuse.

In Zambia, we have partnered with the Campaign for Global Education (CAMFED), to secure a National Child Protection Policy for schools.

As part of these efforts we have supported research on the extent of child abuse in Zambian schools (PDF, 436kb)

The research findings have been used as an important advocacy tool to influence discussions with the Zambian Government on developing national guidelines on child protection. It has already resulted in an increasing number of schools putting systems in place to monitor and report abuse. 

Read more about our approach to research

Learn more about how Irish Aid supports research