USAID to Assess International Education Strategy Goals with Optimal’s Support

College Park, MD – October 3, 2012 -The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) the Secondary Analysis and Results Tracking (SART) five-year contract to assist USAID’s Bureau for Economic Growth, Education, and the Environment’s Office of Education (E3/ED). Optimal will be responsible for tracking two of the three goals in developing countries:

  • Goal 1: improved reading skills for 100 million children in primary grades by 2015.
  • Goal 3: increased equitable access to education in crisis and conflict environments for 15 million learners.

Under this contract, Optimal will provide support for the development of two databases to be used in analyzing, tracking, and reporting towards the attainment of the Agency’s Education Strategy goals.

To accomplish these objectives, Optimal will use its education assessment experience combined with its analytics tools to systematically collect secondary data, develop rigorous systems for conducting data analysis, and report results of these findings to the Agency. This global data analysis initiative will be a significant step towards enhancing the effectiveness of the Agency’s goal of promoting access to quality education in developing countries.

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United States Agency for International Development

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is an agency of the U.S. Federal Government that supports long-term and equitable economic growth and advances U.S. foreign policy objectives by supporting economic growth, agriculture, and trade; global health and democracy; conflict prevention; and humanitarian assistance. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., USAID is comprised of seven bureaus with field offices and missions that provide assistance in four regions of the world: Africa, Asia and the Near East; Latin America and the Caribbean, and Europe and Eurasia. USAID’s strength lies in its ability to work in close partnerships with private voluntary organizations, indigenous organizations, universities, American business, international agencies, other governments, and other U.S. Government agencies.

USAID Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and the Environment

The Bureau for Economic Growth, Education, and Environment (E3) provides technical leadership, research, and field support for worldwide activities in the areas of Economic Growth and Trade, Infrastructure and Engineering, Education, Environment and Global Climate Change, Water, and Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment. E3 represents the Agency on relevant technical matters in the Inter-agency and with Congress, outside partners, other donors and multilateral institutions. The Bureau also supports research and rigorous impact evaluations to advance Agency strategies and programs in E3 sectors and determine the most effective approaches. E3 encourages innovation and is working on two Grand Challenges for development, in education and energy, as well as other methods to identify new ideas and bring them to scale.

The Education Office works to provide quality educational services, primarily at the basic and tertiary levels, and access to education in conflict and crisis settings.

Optimal Solutions Group, LLC
Founded in 2000, Optimal Solutions Group, LLC is a nonpartisan public policy research and technical assistance firm that stands out through its quantitative expertise and innovative approaches to provide rigorous, data-driven research and technical assistance to government agencies, corporations, nonprofit organizations, and philanthropic foundations. Located at the University of Maryland’s M Square Research Park in College Park, Optimal is a leader in driving real-time public policy research. Optimal has 60+ employees including multidisciplinary researchers with backgrounds in business, communication, economics, education, health policy, psychology, public policy, sociology, statistics, and urban planning. Optimal has four research centers: Health, Education, Housing, and Workforce Development and Social Policy.