Convening Regional Partners for One Common Goal

November 08, 2013Daniel Plaut

Daniel Plaut is a Program Associate at R4D, working on the Center for Education Innovations and other projects in the Global Education portfolio. This article also appeared in the November edition of CEI Connections.

At CEI, our regional and country partners are at the core of our work. As experts in their respective education contexts, these partners serve as our eyes and ears on the ground. They are the ones that identify and engage with promising education models, seek to understand their successes and challenges, and facilitate knowledge exchange and learning opportunities among them. In doing so, they enable CEI’s work to be locally relevant, and therefore, we believe, more effective.

However, while country-specific outreach is crucial to achieving CEI’s goal of promoting scale-up, adaptation, and improvement of the most promising models that benefit the poor, there is also much that can be learned across regions. Challenges faced in India, South Africa, or Kenya might not be so different; indeed, implementers, policymakers, and funders in the education space certainly have a lot to learn from each other both within as well as across countries.

With that in mind, representatives from CEI’s regional and country partners, including team members based in the United States, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Pakistan and India, met from October 21-24 in Entebbe, Uganda for CEI’s first Global Team Summit. The three day Summit included a day of site visits and implementer engagement in Kampala, as well as two days of group discussions, including sharing experiences from the project’s first six months, brainstorming promising areas for future work, and identifying opportunities for collaboration among partners.

While there, we learned that even though partners take uniquely different approaches to their work, there are multiple opportunities for collaboration. Ranging from local communities of practice, to direct funder and policymaker engagement, and even capacity building workshops for innovators and program implementers, our Global Team has developed a wide portfolio of activities focused on connecting and supporting education stakeholders within their regions.

As we look on to the months and years to come, we imagine many of these activities will expand past their regional focus to take on a global format, utilizing the CEI platform and Global Team as resources for fostering collaboration from innovative models across borders. If the ability and enthusiasm demonstrated at our Summit are any indication of the efforts to come, we are very excited for the future of CEI.

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