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Global Education Evidence Advisory Panel

The new Global Education Evidence Advisory Panel (GEEAP), co-hosted by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development OfficeUNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti, and the World Bank fills a need in the education sector. Advisory panels are common in the health field, for example. Because this new international panel consists of leading researchers and practitioners who have contributed to and applied the burgeoning evidence base in education, its recommendations will both have a sound evidentiary basis and be credible to the intended audience.  This Panel will thus be well positioned to influence policymaking in the way that other bodies do.

Panelists have been selected for their expertise in generating and using good evidence in education. The panel’s size is set at between 10 and 15 members, large enough to allow a wealth of diverse experiences but small enough for vigorous discussion.  Membership is drawn from among economists, educationalists, psychologists, and policymakers.  The panelists already participate in many other networks and panels, including domestic advisory panels and topic-based panels.  The GEEAP aims to knit together that expertise into a global group that can provide guidance on education broadly for low- and middle-income countries.  

A full list of panel members can be found further below.

The Panel is releasing its first recommendations on the Smart Buys in education for low- and middle-income countries.

To inform countries’ decisions about where to allocate their budget and reform efforts, the report groups education programmes into the following tiers of cost-effectiveness:

  •  “Great buys” and “good buys”—programmes that are highly cost-effective, with a strong evidence base
  •  “Promising but low-evidence”—those that are highly cost-effective according to some small rigorous studies, but where the evidence base is more limited
  • “Bad buys”—cases where strong, repeated evidence shows that these programmes have not worked in the past in many situations or are not cost-effective

Panel Members

Professor Kwame Akyeampong



  • Professor of International Education and Development, The Open University 
  • Expert in education systems in Africa, including on political economy of reform, teacher training and complementary basic education.

Professor Tahir Andrabi


  • Inaugural Dean, LUMS School of Education, and Professor of Economics, Pomona College
  • Researcher on education and advisor to Government in Pakistan. Co-founder of the Center for Economic Research in Pakistan (CERP).

Professor Abhijit Banerjee 







  • Professor of Economics, MIT
  • Nobel prize-winning economist celebrated for experimental approach to alleviating global poverty. 

Dr Rukmini Banerji


  • CEO, Pratham Education Foundation 
  • Innovator in new pedagogical approaches and assessment, leader of large movement to transform education in India and beyond  

Professor Susan Dynarski


  • Professor of Public Policy, Education and Economics, University of Michigan (Joining Harvard in 2021)
  • Researcher at the forefront of understanding and reducing inequalities in education, including for college access, financial aid design, labour market outcomes, and high school reforms

Rachel Glennerster


  • Chief Economist, Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO)
  • Expert on assessing cost-effectiveness of alternative interventions to reduce poverty, including in education. Researcher and policy advisor

Emeritus Professor Sally Grantham-McGregor


  • Emeritus Professor of Child Health and Nutrition, UCL GOS Institute of Global Health
  • Pioneer in the rigorous study of Early Childhood Development in developing countries with a focus on parental engagement. Recently made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE)

Professor Karthik Muralidharan


  • Professor of Economics, University of California San Diego
  • Global co-chair of education at JPAL. Lead Principal Investigator in India for Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE) program   

Dr. Benjamin Piper


  • Senior Director, Africa Education, RTI International
  • Education expert who has done transformative work on the Tusome national scale literacy program in Kenya (link) and the PRIMR Initiative, which tested low-cost and scalable approaches to improving reading and mathematics outcomes in Kenya

Dr. Sara Ruto


  • Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Education, Kenya
  • Experienced researcher; served as Chief Executive Officer of the People’s Action for Learning (PAL) network; previously was the Chairperson of the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development.

Jaime Saavedra


  • Former Minister of Education of Peru, currently head of the Education global practice at the World Bank;  
  • Researcher and policymaker with extensive expertise on education, inequality  and poverty reduction.

Sylvia Schmelkes


  • Provost of Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City
  • Sociologist and education researcher who headed Mexico’s National Institute for the Evaluation of Education; has expertise in intercultural bilingual education, values, and adult learning

Professor Hirokazu Yoshikawa 


  • Professor of Globalization and Education, NYU Steinhardt
  • Community and developmental psychologist; has done extensive research across the U.S., LICs and MICs, with a particular focus on early childhood and inequality