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Education is Transformational

When children and youth are prepared to go to school, learn, and gain the skills they need for life and work, they are able to build more hopeful and prosperous futures for themselves, their families, communities, and countries. Unfortunately, as a result of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, education systems worldwide have been devastated, and many schools are closed while children, youth, teachers, and families face even greater challenges. USAID remains committed to working with our partners in more than 50 countries to ensure that learners and communities stay safe and continue to learn.

USAID is helping our partner countries, learners, and communities stay safe and continue to learn during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Learn more here.

Our Focus

The U.S. Government Strategy on International Basic Education guides our work overall across U.S. departments and agencies. The Strategy works to achieve a world where education systems in partner countries enable all individuals to acquire the education and skills needed to be productive members of society.

The USAID Center for Education within the Bureau for Development, Democracy and Innovation (DDI) advances the USAID Education Policy which aims to achieve sustained, measurable improvements in learning outcomes and skills development. The principles of the policy are:

  • Prioritize country-focus and ownership
  • Focus and concentrate investments on measurably and sustainably improving learning and educational outcomes
  • Strengthen systems and develop capacity in local institutions
  • Work in partnership and leverage resources
  • Drive decision-making and investments using evidence and data
  • Promote equity and inclusion

The priorities of the policy are:

  • Children and youth, particularly the most marginalized and vulnerable, have increased access to quality education.
  • Children and youth gain literacy, numeracy, and social-emotional skills that are critical to future learning.
  • Youth gain the skills they need to lead productive lives, gain employment, and positively contribute to society.
  • Higher education institutions have the capacity to be central actors in development.

The USAID Education Policy: English / French / Spanish

Supporting opportunities for lifelong learning allows countries and societies to prepare for and adapt to changing economies and environments.
-USAID Education Policy

The USAID Education Policy is accompanied by Program Cycle Implementation and Operational Guidance, which provides information on operational aspects of the policy. USAID also supports EducationLinks, a website to help international education practitioners design and manage effective education programs. EducationLinks will share innovations and lessons learned on implementation of the USAID Education Policy.


Results and Progress

USAID recognizes that achieving sustainable solutions to global challenges in education and beyond requires us to work in close collaboration with countries, partners of all sizes, citizens and the wider development community. In FY 2019, USAID’s global education programs achieved the following:

  • Reached more than 32 million children and youth in 51 countries with basic education, higher education, and workforce development programming. 
  • Reached approximately 45,000 youth with workforce development programming, and 14,000 individuals were newly employed after participating in USAID-assisted workforce development programs. 
  • Provided more than 12,000 individuals with scholarships and financial assistance to attend higher education institutions. 
  • Provided more than 560,000 educators, administrators, and officials with professional development activities.

USAID Education Strategy Progress Report 2011-2017 (PDF - 4 MB)

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Last updated: August 30, 2021

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