In a context in which many of the key development players are international agencies, it is especially important to promote programming which incorporates community needs. Policies and programs that are meant to help education systems need to be contextualized in order to maximize their effectiveness. By looking at what people really need for their own community context, programs intending to bring educational opportunities, be it formal or non-formal, can be much more beneficial to the communities they are trying to serve by evaluating their needs from the grassroots level.


SMThiamMr. Serigne Mbaye Thiam, Minister of Education of Senegal






haiyan_huaHaiyan Hua has 20 years of work experience in international education at Harvard University. He worked as international education specialist at Harvard Institute for International Development (HIID) until 2000. Since then he has been senior associate for international education and lecturer for international education policy program at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Hua recently joined World Education, Inc. an international NGO headquartered in Boston as senior education advisor. For many years, Hua has been working as education policy advisor to more than 20 ministries of education and governments in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and Central and Eastern Europe. His professional expertise has been in educational policy research and planning; monitoring and evaluation; education management information systems; and large quantitative research design, analysis, and management. He served as the research director of the Girls’ and Women’s Education Policy Research Activities Project, a five-year longitudinal study sponsored by USAID and carried out in Nepal, Bolivia, and Honduras that examined the impact of basic education programs on women’s social and economic well-being. More recently, Hua served as principal investigator of education policy development capacity projects in Latvia and Lithuania (World Bank projects). In 2008, as lead consultant, he has helped Ministries of Education in Lebanon and Egypt develop a new system capacity of monitoring and evaluating education system performance and national quality improvement initiatives (World Bank projects). He completed a national student absenteeism study in Armenia for UNICEF (2008). He is now director of one of the largest Monitoring and Evaluation capacity building projects (USAID/Jordan 2010-2014). For the past 18 years, he has been teaching policy development framework for international education at international executive education seminars at HGSE, which draw educators, policymakers, analysts, and donor representatives from around the world.


Richard RoweDr. Richard Rowe is the Chairman and CEO of the Open Learning Exchange, Inc. (OLE), a social benefit organization (501c3) working with nation-based organizations in the developing world that are committed to ensuring a quality basic learning environment for all of their children.  OLE provides an innovative activity-based learning system that includes the use of classroom coaches with open learning resources and scalable low-cost technologies that work off the Internet and can be powered locally.  Dr. Rowe received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in clinical psychology and served as Associate Dean of HGSE, as Director of Harvard’s interfaculty Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology and Public Practice and Chair of the Center for Studies in Education and Development. Dr. Rowe was Director of the Test Development and Research Office of the West African Examinations Council and has served as a member of the Massachusetts State Board of Education, Chair of the Massachusetts Statewide Advisory Committee for the Office for Children, and as Chair of the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education.


wendy_robisonWendy Robison is an advanced doctoral student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Wendy’s work focuses on issues of educational access, quality, leadership development and systemic reform in the U.S., Afghanistan and Kenya. For three years, she helped manage a U.S. government-funded primary education program in Afghanistan. Her dissertation is a case study of a leadership development initiative targeting head teachers, teachers and parents in community-based schools in an informal settlement bordering Nairobi. Wendy graduated with a B.A. in Foreign Affairs and Religious Studies with a concentration in the Middle East and Islam from the University of Virginia. She holds an Ed.M from the International Education Policy program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.