Africa Fellows in Education Program


Research Initiative

Education theme

Policy and research

Focus by region


The economic growth of a country depends on the skills of its population

Through the work of Professor Eric Hanushek and his colleagues, we know that it’s how much students learn—and not how many years they spend in school—that boosts economies. And we can reframe world development goals to focus on the quality of education for better learning outcomes. For education policy to transform schools—and lives—it must be built on robust, evidence-based decision-making.

That’s especially key in parts of the world where skills development, and economies, are facing huge challenges. In countries across Africa, Latin America, and South Asia, systems are struggling to prepare large numbers of students. And by 2050, two in every five children will be born in Africa.

We have more data on student performance than ever before—but we need to use it well

Transparent, analytically useful data on students’ learning outcomes might be the most important initial step for improving school performance. But to make the most of it, we need to make sure that there’s local capacity to collect and use that data in making policy decisions.

We know that people who use and value school performance data are likely to be effective advocates for quality research. Nurturing a network of highly skilled local researchers reinforces that advocacy, as well as supporting better decision-making and improvement in policies.

Africa Fellows in Education will help build capacity to inform education policy

This research and policy development fellowship is the first program of the newly-launched Global Education Analytics Institute (GEAI). Working with Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP), the program will support cohorts of researchers through a two-year program that includes relevant research and analytical experiences and international networking with researchers and policy advisers.

The goal, ultimately, is to improve education decision-making across sub-Saharan Africa by advising, training, and mentoring a group of Africa-based researchers. This builds capacity to develop evidence and shape education policies that are locally relevant. The program will connect fellows to a global network and, if successful, could nurture local networks of strong advocates for improving schools and education systems in Africa.

Two years of mentorship, training, and networking opportunities

The program launches with a cohort of four fellows in 2023, and with eight fellows in 2024. The candidates will be young, Africa-based researchers with master’s or PhD degrees, who are motivated to work on educational improvement and who could benefit from additional support.

Over two years, they’ll develop their own research or evaluation projects under supervision and mentorship from advisers at local institutions and Stanford University—relationships and connections that will hopefully continue after the fellowship period. A local facilitator will monitor their progress through the fellowship, and fellows will present their final reports at local and international conferences organized by GEAI and its partners.

In the first year, they’ll also undertake two overseas visits packed with workshops, conferences, and short courses. That includes a visit to Munich for the annual CESifo Economics of Education conference, and meeting with officials at the OECD and IIEP in Paris. And they’ll travel to the US to meet with researchers at Stanford University and attend the annual meeting of the Association for Education Finance and Policy.

In the second year, they’ll develop effective communications strategies, present their final research reports, produce policy briefs, and write blog pieces to disseminate their research findings and advocate for evidence-based education policy.

Our 2021 laureate Professor Eric Hanushek is using his project funds to launch the Global Education Analytics Institute (GEAI) and support the fellowship from January 2023 to December 2025. The program is led by GEAI Executive Director, Ramaele Moshoeshoe, supported by the Partnership for Economic Policy headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya.