We support research to ensure children and youth from vulnerable populations are in school and benefit from high-quality education. We also support women’s leadership in strong science systems that produce knowledge and innovation, and improve lives.
Education is a basic human right and key driver in reducing poverty and achieving gender equality. But insufficient progress is being made. Children in fragile, conflict-afflicted countries are more than twice as likely to be out of school, and an estimated 130 million girls between the ages of six and 17 do not attend school. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the situation worse, with an estimated 1 billion children at risk of falling behind due to school closures. Even among children who are in school, there is a serious learning crisis: more than half of children in low- and middle-income countries are not achieving basic proficiency in reading and math.
The Centre tests and scales innovations that improve access to and quality of education, particularly for girls and marginalized groups. Our research provides evidence that can be used to reduce systemic barriers and improve enrollment, school completion rates, and learning outcomes. We also scale innovations for teacher and lecturer professional development with the goal of improving educational access and quality.
Strong science, technology, and innovation systems are required for societies to advance and prosper. Even in developing countries that have strong national science and innovation councils and policies, public and private investments in scientific research and innovation tend to be well below the global average.
Scientists in developing countries face entrenched barriers to accessing quality training, research, funding, and infrastructure. Many are excluded from making contributions to new technologies such as artificial intelligence, which puts their populations at risk of being disproportionately harmed. Meanwhile, a lack of female scientists in leadership positions deprives countries of ideas that could contribute to advances in innovation and more gender-inclusive science and policies.
We will strengthen the capacity of science and innovation systems and actors to fund, manage, and use research for development tailored to national and regional priorities. We will champion gender equality by supporting education environments that enable girls and women to be leaders and innovators. And we will support capacity strengthening, innovation, and policy research to ensure developing country scientists can contribute to cutting-edge technologies.