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Middle school pupils AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images

A Networked Solution to Education Reform

Each year, millions of children are unable to attend school, and many who do are not receiving the quality education they deserve. But a consensus about how to address the problem is emerging, and new international forums known as "peer action networks" are providing the framework to implement solutions.

WASHINGTON, DC – Around the world, some 250 million children are unable to attend school, and many who do have access to a classroom are not learning the skills they need to succeed in life. And, despite a growing consensus about the systemic nature of the challenges affecting education, there is less agreement about how to address those systemic challenges. Yet 2018 is shaping up to be a promising year for global efforts to improve educational access and quality.

One reason is the emergence of so-called peer action networks, which facilitate knowledge-sharing globally and encourage continuous improvement locally. Such networks, if organized properly, could offer a partial solution to the systemic challenges affecting education.

There are numerous peer groups tackling some of the planet’s most difficult problems, but two that are associated with our organizations are worth highlighting. One is the Joint Learning Network for Universal Health Coverage (JLN), a community of practitioners and policymakers from 30 countries supported by Results for Development and other development partners. The other is the Asia Society’s Global Cities Education Network (GCEN), which facilitates improvements in urban education systems throughout North America and Asia.

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