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The World Bank & the EdTech Hub

The World Bank & the EdTech Hub

The EdTech Hub is a global non-profit research partnership sponsored by the UK FCDO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UNICEF and the World Bank, working with a consortium of public, private, academic and non-profit partners, to help decision makers inside and outside government make evidence-based policy decisions about technology use in education.

Founded in 2019, the EdTech Hub supports rigorous academic researchinnovation 'sandboxes' (exploring how to bring promising pilot activities to scale), and a variety of technical assistance activities in low and middle income countries, in close working partnership with the World Bank's EdTech Team, UK FCDO education advisers, UNICEF, and many other groups.

The uses of educational technologies to support remote learning exploded during the COVID pandemic and drew increased attention to a troubling operational reality: Education policymakers and other decision makers around the world face an overwhelming choice of technology solutions, are unclear about what works, and what doesn’t, and are forced to make related decisions quickly, based on low or no evidence. Where evidence does exist, it is primarily from highly industrialized, ‘developed’ countries in North America, Europe and East Asia. This is the operating context, and knowledge gap, that the Edtech Hub addresses, through a variety of very practical initiatives and activities.  

Themes and topics of activity

The Hub puts focused emphasis on research, sharing knowledge and technical assistance along five focus themes: digital personalised learningtechnology & teacher professional developmentdata & data systemsparticipation in schooling & learning; and girls' education; as well as exploring work along a number of Cross-cutting themes.

Focus countries

While the Hub works globally, it has a specific focus on Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, including through dedicated multi-year country initiatives in GhanaKenyaSierra Leone & Tanzania (Africa) and in Bangladesh & Pakistan (South Asia). In addition, over 70 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East are eligible to receive just-in-time, targeted support through the EdTech Hub Help Desk.

What the EdTech Hub does

The EdTech Hub supports rigorous research through:

1. At-scale research studies commissioned from partners
2. Primary research initiatives led by the Hub
3. Hub-led desk studies that synthesize existing research findings to consolidate current knowledge 

The EdTech Hub supports bringing promising EdTech interventions to scale, and showing others how to do the same, through:

4. Rapid commissions and calls for proposals that surface and connect insights, places, people and ideas
5. Sandboxes (innovative pilots) supporting implementation and generating new evidence of what works

The EdTech Hub supports education decision makers to integrate edtech into their systems in an effective, evidence-based manner through:

6. Technical assistance to governments, development partners and other organizations 
7. Help Desk supporting FCDO, World Bank and UNICEF education staff in over 70 countries as they work with governments to develop, implement, monitor and evaluate education programmes that leverage technology

All seven approaches are supported over multiple years in the six EdTech Hub focus countries. In addition, over 70 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East are eligible to receive just-in-time, targeted support in these areas through the EdTech Hub Help Desk.

EdTech Hub publications

Through its evidence library and in partnership with the World Bank edtech team, the EdTech Hub publishes evidence reviewsworking paperscountry scanshelp desk responsesblog posts, and results from its research portfolio.

Recent publications cover a variety of topics, here is a representative sample:

  1. technology & data: The use of 'building blocks' to develop digital platforms for education in sub-Saharan Africa
  2. teachers: Effective Teacher Education in Low-Connectivity Settings: A curated resource list
  3. conflict: Using EdTech in Settings of Fragility, Conflict, and Violence: A Curated Resource List
  4. ECD: Using EdTech to Support Learning Remotely in the Early Years: A Rapid Literature Review of Evidence from the Global Response to Covid-19 (EdTech Hub Help Desk Response)
  5. girls education: EdTech and Girls Education in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Which Intervention Types Have the Greatest Impact on Learning Outcomes for Girls?
  6. disabilities: EdTech for Learners with Disabilities in Primary School Settings in LMICS: A Systematic Literature Review
  7. techical assistance: Monitoring Distance Education: A Brief to Support Decision-Making in Bangladesh and Other Low- and Lower-Middle-Income Countries
  8. survey: Covid-19 and EdTech in Africa: A Country-Level Review Based on eLearning Africa Data
  9. country review: Country-Level Research Review: EdTech in Tanzania
  10. case study: Navigating the ‘Data Revolution’: A Case Study on the One Tablet Per School Programme in Sierra Leone

The open access EdTech Hub Evidence Library curates over 200 EdTech Hub publications, together with over 4000 papers from other sources, related to the use of edtech in low and middle income countries.

More information on the EdTech Hub:

related pages on the World Bank web site: