GPE and IDRC approve $88 million to extend Knowledge and Innovation Exchange (KIX)

10 February 2023
A classroom in Cambodia
Credit: GPE/Roun Ry

The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) Knowledge and Innovation Exchange (KIX), a joint endeavour with Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), will be extended to strengthen and expand its support for actionable evidence for education systems up to 2027. 

The GPE Board of Directors approved an US$ 80 million extension. IDRC is contributing a further US$ 8 million in funding and will continue its role as implementing partner. This adds to the current budget of $76.5m for KIX activities through to 2024. 

As the evidence-building arm of GPE, KIX engages 70 GPE partner countries to identify policy challenges, build evidence from local research and share knowledge within and across regions. Shaped by demand from national education systems, KIX is the largest fund solely dedicated to bridging knowledge gaps, supporting evidence generation and adopting innovative approaches by partner countries. 

“This type of demand-driven research, shaped and driven by the needs of policymakers in GPE partner countries, is unique and we’re very pleased to hear that projects are generating results as intended. Add to that the fact that some of the biggest advocates of KIX are representatives from those partner countries and you can see how this initiative demonstrates the value of locally generated evidence in driving better education outcomes,” said IDRC President Jean Lebel. 

KIX will continue to generate evidence to address policy challenges across GPE partner countries with a renewed focus on connecting to country-level policy cycles, providing differentiated support for countries to engage with KIX and strengthening links with local education groups. It will also support the development of partnership compacts and GPE grants. 

“Informing policy dialogue with evidence from in-country research partners, and exchanged between countries, is critical to transforming education systems,” said Laura Frigenti, CEO of the Global Partnership for Education. “Evidence on what works in education increases the quality of schooling a child receives and the contribution education systems make to a country’s prosperity and success. Through KIX, GPE ensures policymaking is informed by relevant evidence.” 

The extended program will continue to ensure all research projects promote gender equality and will provide new funding for applied research on gender equality, equity and inclusion, among other themes. Further, KIX will offer new types of research grants that address national priorities and renew support for countries to generate and mobilize knowledge to strengthen the evidence base for system transformation. 

Since its launch, KIX has demonstrated significant results, conducting more than 800 knowledge mobilization and capacity strengthening activities for in-country policymakers involving more than 25,000 participants. KIX has recorded more than 60 instances of research uptake, including the scaling of KIX-supported research and innovations. For instance, the “Data Use Innovations” project in The Gambia, Uganda, and Togo is building out a platform for national digital health information systems so they will also include education management information system data, thereby opening up a new opportunity to link health and education data. 

The initiative has also noted use of KIX-generated evidence in education policy processes. For example, Lesotho acted on data from the project “Using data for improving education equity and inclusion” that showed only 17% of children in Grade 3 have the expected reading skills and fewer than 10% have the expected numeracy skills. Consequently, the ministry is strengthening children’s foundational literacy and numeracy skills by introducing rigorous models, such as Teaching at the Right Level and structured pedagogy. It is also incorporating project findings into a comprehensive national strategy for learning continuity. Perhaps most importantly, government policymakers have indicated that KIX has helped improve their understanding of evidence-based solutions to education challenges, which in turn has helped them feel better equipped to improve their education systems. 

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