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Article 17/05/2024

EDT to manage technical assistance hub funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

We are pleased to announce that EDT will be managing a new technical assistance hub for foundational literacy and numeracy programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa. The $1.5 million project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has been named Engeza, which means to ‘add’ or ‘increase’ in the Zulu and Ndebele languages. Its aim is to improve foundational learning, primarily through large-scale donor-supported programmes, and it will run until April 2026.

Engeza is a mechanism for supporting education development partners, by managing the provision of technical assistance with the design and implementation of large-scale foundational learning programmes. At the heart of the project is the understanding that specialist technical assistance is key to strengthening these programmes and maximising their impact, by ensuring that they are based on evidence and adapted to specific contexts.

Despite increased funding in foundational learning in recent years, more than two thirds of children in Sub-Saharan Africa are still unable to read a simple sentence by the age of 10. With funding secured for the Engeza project from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, we are ready to get to work on improving learning outcomes and transforming the lives of children and young people across Sub-Saharan Africa.

EDT’s role in Engeza will be to manage the fund and operate the technical assistance hub. We will build upon an existing database of qualified technical assistance consultants, with expertise in structured pedagogy, remedial education, assessment, teacher professional development, inclusive and multilingual education, developing educational materials, the Teaching at the Right Level approach, and other thematic areas of work.

Dan Sandhu, EDT’s CEO, said:

“Engeza is an exciting project that promises to improve foundational literacy and numeracy across Sub-Saharan Africa. We are delighted to be working with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and building on the fantastic work they do, and we are very much looking forward to supporting our trusted partners with the development and delivery of their education programmes.”

While we develop Engeza’s pool of suppliers, we plan to stimulate demand for technical assistance provision by targeting the programmes that might benefit from it. This includes programmes funded by government Ministries of Education and other development partners in Sub-Saharan Africa such as UNICEF and the World Bank. We will develop the scope for technical assistance assignments, cover the costs of contracting and deploying them, and embed a quality assurance function. Most assignments are expected to last between three and six months, although some may be shorter and others could last up to 18 months.

Engeza will also build and host an open-access knowledge base of data and insights on fund organisation, demand, usage and outcomes – generated during the fulfilment of technical assistance assignments – along with openly-licenced resources developed by consultants. This will contribute to global knowledge of improving foundational learning programmes in a variety of contexts worldwide.