The Raising Learning Outcomes in Education Systems Research Programme (RLO) was launched in 2014 to commission world-class and cutting-edge social science research that addresses key questions on learning outcomes within education systems in developing countries. Part of a broader strategic partnership between the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO, formerly DFID) and ESRC, up to £20 million will be awarded through three research calls, focused on effective teaching, challenging contexts and accountability, respectively.

The Programme aims to build the evidence on critical policy areas which currently constrain education systems in developing countries. To do this, the Programme will fund a Portfolio of research to increase understanding of how complex relationships between elements of the education system, the context in which they are embedded, and the dynamics operating within that system impact on efforts to raise learning outcomes for all.

The Impact Initiative

In addition to building high quality evidence, the programme also aimed to ensure that the research is used and has an impact on policy in developing countries. The Impact Initiative was contracted in spring 2015 through to May 2021 to support the uptake and impact of research funded under the Joint Fund and the ESRC-FCDO Raising Learning Outcomes Programme.

In addition, a Programme Research Lead was appointed in January 2017 to deliver three aims: to support and provide evidence of the programmes scientific, conceptual and methodological contributions; to maximise best practice between grants across calls and around cross-cutting themes; and to implement and strengthen cohort-building opportunities and activities. The PRL came to an end in March 2019.

Useful links

https://www.theimpactinitiative.net/

https://www.ids.ac.uk/opinions/in-covid-times-what-can-we-learn-from-the-impact-initiative/

https://www.theimpactinitiative.net/blog/case-maximising-research-impact-time-brutal-cuts

https://www.theimpactinitiative.net/resources/maximising-impact-global-development-research