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Introducing the EdTech Hub

Introducing the EdTech Hub: 

An 8-year, £20m research initiative exploring the use of
edtech in AFR & SAR

Sep 18, 2019 (Wed) | 12:30 - 2:00 pm
Room J 6 - 050 | 701 18th St NW, Washington, DC


Tim Unwin, UNESCO Chair in ICT4D; Emeritus Professor of Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London & Chair of the Chair of the Intellectual Leadership Team for the EdTech Hub

Molly Jamieson Eberhardt, Program Director, R4D and Engagement Director for the EdTech Hub


The vast majority of research and documentation related to the use of educational technologies around the world is generated from within ‘highly developed’ countries (most of them in Europe, North America and East Asia), animated and informed by research questions and the needs of education communities and education systems in these same countries.

A new, 8-year research initiative supported by Dfid and , the World Bank and the Gates Foundation seeks to change this existing paradigm.

The 'EdTech Hub' will bring together experts in technology, education, research and innovation to answer questions such as:

  • What works (and what doesn't work) to accelerate, spread and scale education technology interventions to deliver better learning outcomes for all children, including the most marginalised, in developing countries?


  • Which education technology interventions present the greatest value for money and social return on investment?

The Hub's initial focus will be to explore the impact and equitable use of innovative technologies to benefit teaching and learning in developing countries across Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

The work of the Hub is meant to help respond to the information needs of Dfid Education Advisors and World Bank Education Staff that surface during related country dialogues with clients. During the 'inception' phase of the Hub, which runs until the end of 2019, a set of 3-5 countries will be identified to receive priority research support over multiple years; a 'calldown' service will be established to provide just-in-time analytical support to Bank and Dfid education task teams; a calendar of regional and coutnry-level knowledge sharing activities around edtech topics will be established; and dedicated support will begin to enable 'innovative' existing activities across AFR and SAR to be scaled up. (Much more is being planned as well.)

How can the work of the Hub be relevant to you and the clients with which you work? How can you get involved? Please join us as we welcome two directors from the EdTech Hub as they outline what is being planned -- and solicit your input to help guide the way forward.

This BBL should be of special interest to World Bank education staff working in AFR and SAR.

about the speakers:

Tim Unwin, Chair of the Intellectual Leadership Team for the EdTech Hub
Tim Unwin served as Secretary General of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) from 2011-2015 and is Emeritus Professor of Geography and Chairholder of the UNESCO Chair in ICT4D at Royal Holloway, University of London. From 2001-2004 he led the UK Prime Minister’s Imfundo: Partnership for IT in Education initiative based within the Department for International Development, and from 2007-2011 he was Director and then Senior Advisor to the World Economic Forum’s Partnerships for Education initiative with UNESCO. Over the last 15 years his research has concentrated on information and communication technologies for development (ICT4D), focusing especially on the use of ICTs to support some of the poorest and most marginalised people and communities. He has written two major books on ICT4D: his first collaborative book, entitled simply ICT4D, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2009; and his second, entitled Reclaiming ICT4D was published by Oxford University Press in 2017. Follow Tim on Twitter @TimUnwin.

Molly Jamieson Eberhardt, Engagement Director for the EdTech Hub
As a program director at Results for Development, Ms. Eberhardt leads the adaptive learning and evaluation work within the global education practice. This includes working with partners to embed rigorous monitoring and evaluation methods into program design and implementation to inform real-time, data-driven decision-making. She co-leads the Rapid Feedback Monitoring, Research, Evaluation and Learning (Rapid Feedback MERL) initiative—a partnership with USAID’s Global Development Lab to support USAID Missions and implementing partners through innovative approaches to MERL that support context-specific, evidence-based decision-making. She completed a review of low-cost private schools in Ghana and an evaluation of citizen-led learning assessments carried out in seven countries. Before joining R4D, Ms. Eberhardt worked at the Rockefeller Foundation, was a Teach For America corps member and spent three years teaching secondary mathematics in Philadelphia and at KIPP Public Charter Schools in Washington, DC. Follow Molly on Twitter @heymollyj.

more information: