U.S. Government Strategy

USAID invests in education because it is a fundamental driver of development, it promotes U.S. and international security and helps accelerate economic growth at home and abroad.

A woman helps young children color in Nepal

Our Focus

USAID invests in education because it is a fundamental driver of development, it promotes U.S. and international security and helps accelerate economic growth at home and abroad. Efforts to expand access to quality education and measurably improve learning outcomes and employment are strategic and effective investments that align with the pillars and objectives of existing strategies including the National Security Strategy (NSS) and the Department of State and USAID Joint Strategic Plan for FY 2018-2022. Education benefits sustainable investments across all sectors. To help place partner countries on a path to self-reliance, they need skilled populations capable of leading and managing their own development.

From 2011 to 2017, USAID education programs directly benefited more than 83.4 million children and youth in nearly 50 countries. During that time, USAID education assistance resulted in:

  • 69.8 million children reached with reading programs that employ international best practices in instruction and evaluation;
  • New or improved education for 22.6 million children and youth living in crisis- and conflict-affected environments, including access to education for 4.1 million who were previously out-of-school; and
  • New or better employment for 736,000 individuals.

USAID is now building on its extensive experience in international education to lead the development and execution of the U.S. Government Strategy for International Basic Education.

The READ Act

Introduced in the 115th Congress by Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), the Reinforcing Education Accountability in Development (READ) Act became law on September 8, 2017. The bill aims to provide access to education for some 263 million children and adolescents who are currently not in school, or who do not have access to education because of conflict or political instability.

The READ Act strengthens oversight and coordination of U.S. Government resources and activities promoting international basic education. As required by the READ Act, USAID developed a new, comprehensive U.S. Strategy for International Basic Education in consultation with nine other U.S. Government agencies and in close consultation with external stakeholders.

Key Documents

U.S. Government Strategy for International Basic Education
U.S. Government Strategy for International Basic Education: USAID Annex
USAID Education Policy 2018

Education Measurement

USAID will continue to refine the indicator lists below and do so in conjunction with other U.S. Government departments and agencies: