This Funders Collaborative to Educate Marginalized Children in Poor Countries is Still Going Strong

In 2012, the MacArthur Foundation, Dubai Cares, Echidna Giving, the Intel Foundation, The MasterCard Foundation and an anonymous donor formed the Partnership to Strengthen Innovation and Practice in Secondary Education (PSIPSE). From 2012 to 2014, PSIPSE dedicated $34 million to nearly 60 education projects in eight countries around the world. The partnership recently announced $10.3 million in new grants.

PSIPSE supports organizations that improve the quality of secondary education for marginalized and underserved children in developing counties. Over the past few years, the partnership has focused on improving quality and access to education, improving teacher effectiveness, and increasing student retention in both formal and informal secondary school settings. Here’s a look at a few of its most recently funded projects:

  • Avanti Fellows received a $520,000 grant for its model development work for after-school science and math programs in Chennai, India.
  • Michigan State University received a $200,000 grant for its study on data gaps in evidence regarding improved secondary education access and retention in India, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.
  • Teach for All received a $910,000 grant to expand its model in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Firelight Foundation received a $2 million grant to improve secondary education transition and retention rates in Malawi.
  • Educate! received a $1.1 million grant in support of its work developing transferable skills and entrepreneurship training for secondary students.

Moving forward, PSIPSE will continue to support innovative secondary education projects that show promise and will also renew funding for those projects that display scaling potential. But now that it’s a few years in, the partnership is pivoting its funding framework just a bit. Beginning this year, PSIPSE will initiate a new monitoring, evaluation and learning framework to determine both the focus and the geographic regions of interest in the future.

Related: These Philanthropic Orgs Are Pledging for Secondary Education in Developing Countries

Although the partnership focuses on serving secondary school children overall, it notes that secondary education is limited for girls living in developing countries, which is a specific area of grantmaking focus at the MacArthur Foundation. Through its Girls’ Secondary Education in Developing Countries program, the MacArthur Foundation funds innovative learning models that are aimed at helping girls develop the skills necessary to get a job in today’s market. Grantmaking out of the program has been a bit up and down over the past couple of years, jumping from around $750,000 in 2014 up to nearly $5 million in 2015 so far.

Editor's Note: The MacArthur Foundation is currently winding down its Girls’ Secondary Education in Developing Countries grantmaking program. The Foundation has not yet indicated an official end date, only that it plans to bring the program to a close “over the next few years.” We’ll keep you posted as new information comes in.