System Coherence for Learning: What We Have Learned From 8 Years of Research on Improving Systems of Education


On 28 February from 15:00-16:30 GMT, RISE held a webinar highlighting key papers and research findings from RISE's eight years of research, discussing how this work has expanded our understanding of education systems and contributed to a “wave” of efforts in the field of education toward ensuring a quality education for today’s children.

Watch the webinar recording



  • Charlotte Watts, Chief Scientific Adviser and Director for Research and Evidence in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)


  • Lant Pritchett, RISE Research Director at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford

About the event

The Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE) Programme launched more than eight years ago with a mandate to investigate how education systems in low- and middle-income countries can overcome the learning crisis. Bringing together seven country research teams, two political economy teams, a research directorate and synthesis team, and a vibrant community of practice, the programme has produced new, rigorous scholarship that bridges research and policy. This webinar will highlight key papers and research findings that contributed to our understanding of education systems and how to improve their coherence for learning. 

While it is impossible to summarise the over 400 outputs from the programme, Dr. Lant Pritchett, RISE Research Director, will present on what he considers some of the most pathbreaking findings to emerge from the programme. Dr. Charlotte Watts, FCDO Chief Scientific Advisor & Director for Research and Evidence, will chair the webinar. The webinar will highlight how RISE has been part of a growing “wave” in the field of education dedicated to ensuring a quality education and better future for today’s children.

Webinar slide deck

Highlighted research

Le Nestour, A., Moscoviz, L., and Sandefur, J. 2022. The long-term decline of education quality in the developing world. Center for Global Development Working Paper.

Pritchett, L. and Viarengo, M. 2021. Learning Outcomes in Developing Countries: Four Hard Lessons from PISA-D. RISE Working Paper Series. 21/069.

Beatty, A., Berkhout, E., Bima, L., Pradhan, M., and Suryadarma, D. 2021. Schooling progress, learning reversal: Indonesia’s learning profiles between 2000 and 2014, International Journal of Educational Development, Volume 85, 2021, 102436, ISSN 0738-0593.

Muralidharan, K. and Singh, A. 2020. Improving Public Sector Management at Scale? Experimental Evidence on School Governance in India. RISE Working Paper Series. 20/056.

Aiyar, Y., Davis, V., Govindan, G. and Kapoor, T. 2021. Rewriting the Grammar of the Education System: Delhi’s Education Reform (A Tale of Creative Resistance and Creative Disruption). Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE).

Andrabi, T., Das, J., Khwaja, A. I., Özyurt, S. and Singh, N. 2018. Upping the Ante: The Equilibrium Effects of Unconditional Grants to Private Schools. RISE Working Paper Series. 18/023.

Atuhurra, J. and Kaffenberger, M. 2020. System (In)Coherence: Quantifying the Alignment of Primary Education Curriculum Standards, Examinations, and Instruction in Two East African Countries. RISE Working Paper Series. 20/057.

Muralidharan, K. and Singh, A. [Forthcoming]. Improving schooling productivity through computer-aided instruction: Experimental evidence from Rajasthan

Duong, B.H., Dao, V. and DeJaeghere, J. 2022. Complexities in Teaching Competencies: A Longitudinal Analysis of Vietnamese Teachers’ Sensemaking and Practices. RISE Working Paper Series. 22/119.

Bruns, B. 2019.

Bano, M. 2022. International Push for SBMCs and the Problem of Isomorphic Mimicry: Evidence from Nigeria. RISE Working Paper Series. 22/102.

Siddiqi, S. 2022. Contested Identities; Competing Accountabilities: The Making of a ‘Good’ Public Schoolteacher in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Research on Improving Systems of Education. PE02.

Watkins, S. and Ashforth, A. 2019. An Analysis of the Political Economy of Schooling in Rural Malawi: Interactions among Parents, Teachers, Students, Chiefs and Primary Education Advisors. 19/031.

Bano, M. 2022. Curricula that Respond to Local Needs: Analysing Community Support for Islamic and Quranic Schools in Northern Nigeria. RISE Working Paper Series. 22/103.


Read the event blog, System Coherence for Learning: RISE Webinar Explores What We Have Learned From 8 Years of Research on Improving Systems of Education, for more information on how the papers listed above contributed to ten new learnings on education systems.