This spring, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded RTI International as a holder of the Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Contract to support its Reading for East Africa’s Development (READ) program. School-to-School International (STS) is excited to be part of this consortium.
The IDIQ seeks to improve access to quality education for children in eight East African countries—including potential buy-ins from USAID missions in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, and the DRC—by reducing barriers to education, improving classroom equity, and increasing learning opportunities.
“We are excited to blend our technical expertise, commitment to locally led and sustainable solutions, and integrated approaches to education assessments to meet the needs of READ,” says Dr. Carol da Silva, senior director of impact and learning for STS.
The COVID-19 pandemic has complicated the challenges that education systems in East Africa face, leaving many students even further behind in key literacy skills. The READ program will work to improve foundational skills in reading to increase retention rates and future success in school.
Through programs under the IDIQ, STS will leverage its deep expertise in student learning assessment, mixed-method evaluation, operations research, and actionable monitoring approaches. Serving with READ’s partners, STS will work to continuously improve education interventions and use data through a Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting (CLA) framework to build in regular analysis and interpretation of results amongst a wide range of education stakeholders.
This award continues an illustrious history of STS’s partnerships on foundational learning programs in East and Central Africa, including past work on the Improving Reading, Equity and Access (ACCELERE!1) project in the DRC; the external evaluation of the Supporting Transition of Adolescent Girls through Enhancing Systems (STAGES) in Ethiopia; the Integrated Child and Youth Development (ICYD) project in Uganda; the Tanzania 21st Century Basic Education (TZ21) project; and the All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development (ACR GCD) project, including grantees in Rwanda and Somalia. These projects improved literacy outcomes by enhancing classroom instruction and formative assessment, promoting access to EdTech and learning materials, expanding instructional support, and collaborating with critical actors at the system and local levels.
RTI is one of seven organizations selected for the funding mechanism, which released a pre-solicitation notice for its first task order from USAID/Kenya this month. “We look forward to collaborating and partnering broadly on this mechanism as task orders are released,” says STS Executive Director Candace Debnam.