The newly released annual report on the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) Knowledge and Innovation Exchange (KIX) shows that the initiative — the largest education fund of its kind — is closing the gap between research innovation and policy impact.
Now three years in operation, KIX's unique approach to sharing education innovations in GPE partner countries across the Global South is helping knowledge producers, policymakers and national experts work together to improve the use of evidence in education planning, policy and practice. There are already tangible results. For example, Lesotho’s Ministry of Education and Training used findings from a KIX project, Using data for improving education equity and inclusion, to support the development of a comprehensive national strategy for learning continuity. And in Uganda, the government asked researchers working on a KIX project on data use innovations to scale up a platform connecting health and education information systems to learning institutions.
Capacity strengthening was also a critical area of emerging results. The annual report indicated KIX country representatives (stakeholders from ministries of education, NGOs, teacher-training institutes, and others) now have a better understanding of evidence-based solutions to education challenges in their countries and feel more equipped to propose improvements in policy dialogues.
“A lot of this success is being seen in the four regional hubs, which bring together people who work in education systems with national, regional and international researchers,“ said KIX IDRC project leader Tricia Wind. “The hubs are a key part of the KIX design ─ the participation of policymakers from the outset helps researchers best identify and respond to knowledge gaps.”
That participation is growing. The number of participants in KIX activities nearly quadrupled between April 2021 and March 2022, to nearly 18,000. By the end of that period, 79% of GPE partner countries were showing moderate or high levels of engagement in regional hubs. Hubs and applied research projects are also sharing knowledge through newsletters, blogs, videos, podcasts, policy briefs and other vehicles.
The usefulness of this stakeholder engagement is reinforced by findings from an independent mid-term evaluation of KIX which took place between September 2021 and March 2022 and identifies capacity strengthening of education stakeholders as the most effective type of support KIX offers.
“We are pleased that the evaluation concludes that GPE-KIX has made significant progress, is valued by its stakeholders, and is well positioned for impact," stated Naser Faruqui, director of education and science at IDRC, and Margarita Focas-Licht, acting deputy chief executive officer at GPE, in the annual report. “This can be seen in the levels of engagement in regional hubs and their uptake of evidence from applied research, even at the program’s mid-point and during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Read the full report here.