Higher Education for Leadership, Innovation and Exchange - Supporting Holistic and Actionable Research in Education program

Funded by: USAID Date Range: 2020 - 2025 Project Lead: Pulte Institute Notre Dame Collaborators: Institute for Educational Initiatives

The Higher Education for Leadership, Innovation and Exchange (HELIX) — Supporting Holistic and Actionable Research in Education (SHARE) program, a $40 million cooperative agreement with USAID, will leverage the relative strengths of the Keough School’s Pulte Institute for Global Development and Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives (IEI) to provide research to advance USAID's education sector learning priorities in the global education sector. Priorities will include improving children and youth literacy, numeracy, and social-emotional skills that are foundational to future learning and success, in addition to providing continuous education beyond childhood. 

While progress has been made in recent years to conduct research that strengthens education systems in developing countries, more targeted research is required to create systemic and sustainable change. HELIX SHARE will bring local scholars and higher education institutions together to address these challenges and opportunities in a number of low- and middle-income countries, with a view to developing a replicable model to guide decision-makers.

The program is built upon a deep appreciation of local capacity and ownership as the cornerstone of effective development practice. The Notre Dame team will mentor an impressive coalition of partners in higher education across Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia to implement the program. The first year will convene critical country-level and regional stakeholders to identify pathways to address learning agenda questions around education in crises and conflict, foundational learning skills, youth and workforce development and higher education. Additionally, the program will offer a series of capacity-strengthening actions — including trainings, workshops, mentorship and close accompaniment — to ensure that individuals and institutions engaged in research generation, translation and utilization ecology are equipped to work together to advance education interests.

Notre Dame's overall goal for HELIX SHARE is to advance USAID learning priorities
in international education to improve education system outcomes. This will be accomplished
through the following development objectives (DOs):

  1. Targeted research and learning to advance USAID education sector learning priorities is conducted
  2. The capacity of education ecosystems to generate, translate, and use high quality, actionable data and evidence to inform programmatic and investment decisions in the course of addressing USAID learning priorities at the local, regional, and/or global levels is strengthened; and
  3. Specialized technical assistance to design and implement education research that supports country priorities is provided.

The Pulte Institute will lead management, oversight and administration of the program. The program team will be led by Tom Purekal, director of the Pulte Institute’s Innovation and Practice division, alongside four full-time team members: Jerry Wright, program director; Megan Gavin, technical director; Estela Rivero, monitoring evaluation learning and knowledge management director; and Nancy Ryberg, research specialist. The program will also invoke the contributions of many other individuals across the Pulte Institute, the Keough School, IEI and the Global Center for the Development of the Whole Child.

Press Release: Notre Dame receives $40 million federal award to improve global education outcomes


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