Office of Education

Students in a school in Mingun, Burma, a village just north of Mandalay.
"Education has a clear multiplier effect; with educaton comes increased health, economic growth and food security." Students in a school in Mingun, Burma, a village just north of Mandalay.
Margaret Koziol

Bureau for Economic Growth, Education, and Environment (E3)’s Role

E3’s Office of Education (E3/ED) provides technical expertise and guidance to the field and USAID/W bureaus on the design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of USAID policy, planning, and programs in the areas of basic education, youth workforce development and higher education. The Office monitors U.S. support for and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals for education; assists in the development, implementation, and evaluation of Agency policies, strategies, and resource allocation priorities; and advises Agency leadership on technical developments that could have an impact on Agency performance in designing and delivering cost-effective education programs. It also provides relevant technical content and teaching staff for training programs designed and implemented by the Bureau, and oversees the recruitment, selection, and training of new Education Foreign Service Officers.

USAID Strategy and Program Focus

USAID’s Education Strategy focuses on the achievement of three key goals by 2015:

  • Goal One: Improved reading skills for 100 million children in primary grades
  • Goal Two: Improved ability of tertiary and workforce development programs to generate workforce skills relevant to a country’s development goals
  • Goal Three: Increased equitable access to education in crisis and conflict environments for 15 million learners

 Our Education programs are designed to:

  • Improve reading skills in primary schools by strengthening reading instruction, materials, curricula and assessments, so that students can master reading skills in early grades.
  • Strengthen higher education and workforce development programs, so young people—especially disadvantaged youth and women—obtain meaningful employment and contribute to country economic growth.
  • Expand equitable access to education in regions witnessing crisis and conflict through the provision of safe, relevant educational opportunities that support continuity of learning for children and youth.

Promoting gender equality in education is also a priority in all three goal areas. USAID aims to support education programs and interventions that are evidence-based and results-focused. Let Girls Learn, a new whole-of-government initiative, is ensuring access to a quality education, reducing educational barriers, and empowering girls to succeed. Ten countries are implementing USAID-funded education programs in support of Let Girls Learn. Programs should foster innovation, be cost-effective, have impact on a national scale when funding and/or partnerships permit, be institutionally sustainable, and fit with host country priorities. 


  • Since 2011, USAID has designed or supported more than 100 early grade reading programs in 42 countries, reaching more than 30 million individual learners. In Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Kenya, governments have already taken these programs to national scale.
  • Since 2011, USAID has also designed or supported more than 80 programs to increase equitable access to education in conflict and crisis environments. These programs reach an average of 2 million learners annually, and have created learning opportunities for 1.1 million who would otherwise be out of school.
  • On average, each school year USAID education programs support: training and professional development for 331,000 teachers and 43,000 administrators and officials; strengthening of more than 35,000 school governance structures (e.g. parent-teacher associations); building and refurbishing over 1,500 classrooms; and providing more than 37 million textbooks and other teaching and learning materials.
  • Since 1997, USAID has supported more than 430 partnerships between institutions of higher education in the United States and 77 developing countries that have led to improvements in professional and institutional capacity building and applied teaching, research, technology and service for the growing private and public sectors.
  • The All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development global grant and prize competition to advance early grade reading has since September 2012 awarded 46 grants to innovators around the world for local language material development, family and community engagement, and for support of learners with disabilities.
  • From 2008-2013 USAID invested approximately $900 million in workforce development programming, leading to new and/or better employment for hundreds of thousands of young people around the world.

E3’s Partners

  • Global Partnership for Education (GPE): E3/ED represents the United States on the Board of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), a multilateral partnership aimed at getting all children into school for a quality education. In FY 2014, the Agency doubled its annual contribution to the GPE Fund from $20 million to $40 million, with a planned FY 2015 contribution of $45 million.
  • All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development: USAID is partnering with World Vision and the Australian Government to support All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development to identify and accelerate innovative solutions to improve early grade reading. The Mobiles for Education Alliance, works with a broad array of partners to find appropriate, scalable and low-cost technologies to help improve learning outcomes.
  • Global Book Fund: E3 is partnering with the Government of Norway, DfID, GPE and others on a fund to transform the development, procurement and distribution of books and reading materials for the early grades.
  • Communities of Practice: E3/ED in 2014 created three Communities of Practice (COPs): The Global Reading Network (Goal 1: All Children Reading), Workforce Connections (Goal 2: Putting Education to Work), and Education in Crisis and Conflict Network (Goal 3: Education in Conflict). The COPs bring together leading thinkers, technical experts, practitioners and donors to build and share evidence and knowledge while creating USAID staff and partner capacity to achieve the three goals of the USAID Education Strategy.
  • Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies: E3 also holds a seat on the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) Steering Committee and plays a major role in shaping the priorities and strategic direction of INEE to advance equitable access to education in countries affected by crisis and conflict.
  • GEFI/Room to Learn: UN Global Education First Initiative (GEFI): The United Nations Secretary-General launched the Global Education First Initiative (GEFI) in September 2012 to spur renewed efforts to reach global education goals. The United States is a partner in GEFI and was made a “Champion” country in January 2014.  USAID’s “Room to Learn” aims to increase equitable access to education for children in six countries (Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Nigeria, Pakistan, and South Sudan).

For More Information  

Last updated: June 29, 2015

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