Is Education’s Aid Architecture Broken?

In a recently released essay in the International Journal of Educational Development, R4D Senior Fellow Nick Burnett makes the case for reform in the architecture of international education aid. Inspired by this paper and recent efforts to fill critical knowledge, financing and leadership gaps, speakers critically examined the current state of the education architecture and explore ways in which it can be improved in order to support quality education for all.

Video of the discussion is available here.


  • Jo Bourne, Chief Technical Officer, Global Partnership for Education
  • Nick Burnett, R4D Senior Fellow
  • Julie Cram, USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment
  • Robert Jenkins, UNICEF Education Chief
  • Gina Lagomarsino, R4D President and CEO
  • Dzingai Mutumbuka, Former Minister of Education for Zimbabwe
  • Jaime Saavedra, Global Director for Education, World Bank

The following questions were explored:

  • To what extent is the current aid architecture fit for purpose?
  • Which reforms to the current aid architecture are most critical? What are the barriers to enacting such reforms and how can they be overcome?
  • Which actors are best placed to lead reform efforts?
  • Are there lessons that might be learned from the organization of the aid architecture in other sectors?

Global & Regional Initiatives

R4D is a globally recognized leader for designing initiatives that connect implementers, experts and funders across countries to build knowledge and get that knowledge into practice.