New funding for Edinburgh based charity unlocks the next generation’s potential in Uganda

New funding for Edinburgh based charity unlocks the next generation’s potential in Uganda

Alliance member, Link Community Development, has been awarded almost $1 million from a major US foundation to help strengthen the Ugandan education system, empower local communities and ensure more children in deprived, rural areas get the education they deserve.

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With support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Edinburgh based charity will bring to bear their 30 years’ experience working in sub-Saharan Africa by helping local people to understand their rights and role within schools and encourage them to explore solutions to common barriers with local authorities and the Ministry of Education, enabling them to deliver quality teaching in every classroom.

Fiona Greig, chief executive of Link Community Development, said: "We’re thrilled to take this next step in our long-term support of schools in Uganda. By working at the different levels of the education system and strengthening existing systems, we know our impact is sustainable and truly comes by, for, and with local people.

As part of the project, Link has teamed up with the University of Glasgow’s Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change. They will research the most successful examples of Link’s education development work, bringing a new understanding of exactly what makes the biggest difference to children’s learning and to ensure every penny has as much impact as possible.

Dr Kristinn Hermannsson, lecturer in educational economics, at  Glasgow Univeristy said: “This project provides a unique opportunity to better understand how education policy and practice can support sustainable social and economic development in low-income countries as well as gathering evidence that can support the delivery of Link’s programmes in Uganda and further afield in Africa.  From the point of view of a multidisciplinary research centre focussing on equity and educational change, Link is the ideal partner, combining a deep-seated interest in learning and improvement and a track record of collaborating with education authorities in low-income countries.” 

The $950,000 grant kicks off the second phase of work. Phase one focused on producing the first ever comprehensive study scoping the combined impact of government and NGO work against the institutional barriers and problems to quality education in Uganda, which found that poor collaboration between NGOs, difficulties accessing reliable data about school performance, and inadequate support from district government meant schools were struggling to ensure children were able to learn even the basics. Phase Two will directly address some of these key issues.

The work of these Scottish organisations is a testament to the expertise and remarkable, global impact a country of just 5 million people can have, helping thousands to get the education they deserve half a world away.