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Russia Education Aid for Development (READ) Trust Fund

The READ Trust Fund helps countries strengthen their capacity to assess student learning

The Government of the Russian Federation and the World Bank have launched the second phase of the Russia Education Aid for Development (READ) Trust Fund program (READ 2). READ 2 aims to strengthen countries’ capacity to assess student learning and to use the information from those assessments to improve teaching and learning outcomes. READ 2 places particular emphasis on analytical and operational assistance to help countries:

  • Strengthen the capacity of key stakeholders to use assessment data to improve teaching and learning;
  • Strengthen or reform high-stakes examinations programs that make decisions about student promotion, graduation, or admission to the next level of the education system in order to ensure that they are technically solid and fair; and 
  • Strengthen existing programs or pilot new programs for training and professional development of teachers in the use of classroom assessment practices to support teaching and learning.

The countries that will participate in READ 2 were recently selected. 

READ 2 builds on results and lessons learned from the first READ Trust Fund program (READ 1, 2008-2015). READ 1 helped countries improve their capacity to monitor and support student learning through the design, implementation, and use of robust assessment systems. Many countries benefited from the extensive knowledge generation and sharing activities carried out under READ 1. Eight countries in particular - Angola, Armenia, Ethiopia, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mozambique, Tajikistan, Vietnam, and Zambia - benefited from targeted support under the program, including assistance to evaluate their assessment systems, strengthen their institutions responsible for managing assessments, and enhance the use of assessment results to improve teaching and learning.

READ 2 draws on global trends and priorities for educational assessment

Simply attending school is not enough. Only when students learn can countries build the human capital needed to construct dynamic, successful societies. In many countries, however, there is no awareness of whether or not learning is taking place because there is no measurement of learning. The READ Trust Fund program is at the forefront of providing countries with the tools, capacity, and support required to assess whether or not learning is taking place so that they can use this information to improve.

The international community has reaffirmed the importance of learning outcomes as a cornerstone of quality education. The World Bank's Education Strategy 2020 highlights the importance of "Learning for All." This is because the proven economic gains and poverty reduction tied to education only happen when children actually learn.

The 2015 Incheon Declaration and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of "inclusive and equitable quality education" both stress the importance of stronger evaluation and measurement processes at the country level. Assessment of student learning can be a powerful agent for change in schools by informing policymakers about the learning outcomes of the nation's students, helping teachers understand how to improve classroom instruction and learning, and influencing societies as they think about education quality and student learning. Student learning assessment is fundamental to improving learning outcomes in developing countries

Last Updated: Dec 13, 2018

READ 2 Countries Selected

The READ 2 Trust Fund will help countries to improve their capacity to monitor and support student learning through the design, implementation, and use of strong assessment systems. Eight countries have been selected to receive grants under the READ 2 Trust Fund Program: Armenia, Cambodia, India, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Nepal, Tajikistan, and Vietnam.

Overall, 17 country teams submitted proposals for a READ 2 grant. Each proposal underwent rigorous review by a team of independent experts. Shortlisted proposals were discussed and approved by the READ Council, which is made up of leaders from the World Bank and the Russian Federation.

Four countries on the approved list—Armenia, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Vietnam—also received grants under READ 1. These countries will continue to build on their earlier work under READ 2.


Full-size interactive map is available here


READ 2 Country Projects and Supported Activities:

Armenia: Building on Results: Strengthening Educational Assessment Capacity to Support Improved Learning Outcomes

Sample Activities:

  • Improving the Unified Entrance Examination through introduction of computer-based testing
  • Finalizing and implementing Masters’ program in educational assessment


Cambodia: Strengthen National Capacity and Feedback Mechanisms for Assessment


Sample Activity:

  • Developing capacity and mechanisms to provide feedback on national assessment results and effectively utilize the data with stakeholders


India: Improving Assessment Systems and Enhancing the Relevance of Assessment Data for Improving Teaching and Learning

Sample Activities:

  • Regional workshop on national educational assessments
  • Creating performance-level descriptors for India’s National Achievement Survey


Kyrgyz Republic: Strengthening Student Assessment for Improved Learning


Sample Activities:

  • Modernizing the school leaving examination
  • Enhancing teacher classroom assessment practice


Mongolia: Support to Early Grade Reading and Mathematics Assessments


Sample Activities:

  • Supporting analysis of data from the first round of early grade reading and mathematics assessments and dissemination of findings
  • Developing plan to train teachers on use of formative assessments to track and improve early reading and mathematics outcomes


Nepal: Strengthening Assessment and Examination Systems


Sample Activities:

  • Capacity development for improved quality of assessment data and use of results to make policy decisions 
  • Supporting public examination reforms


Tajikistan: Contribution to Establishing a Classroom Assessment System


Sample Activities:

  • Classroom assessment and grading system
  • New University Entrance Examinations beneficiary survey


Vietnam: Promoting Capacity for Fair, Aligned, and Effective Assessment


Sample Activities:

  • Mapping, review, and assessment of high school entrance and leaving examinations
  • Development and dissemination of classroom assessment tools for revised national curriculum

Last Updated: Feb 28, 2017

One of the aims of the READ Trust Fund is to increase global knowledge on assessment practices to assist policymakers and educators in devising ways to improve their student assessment systems. Knowledge publications produced to date under the program can be downloaded for free below. 



National Assessments of Educational Achievement Series



Working Papers




Flash Card



Email Updates


READ Trust Fund Global Team shares with their friends a series of occasional email updates highlighting some of the knowledge products, activities, and events emerging as key outputs of the program.




This section contains publications and other materials which (or part of which) were published with READ TF support and/or based on the research done within READ TF.



READ Trust Fund Management Team
The World Bank
MSN G7-700, 1818 H Street, NW Washington, DC 20433 USA