Learning Matters: Why We Need A Learning Revolution

"Explore some cutting-edge best practices adopted by countries to improve their learning outcomes".

While many countries have made tremendous progress in getting children into the classroom — much more remains to be done to ensure that students are effectively learning and being equipped with the necessary skills for the jobs of the future.

In her opening remarks, Vice Pres... view more


Part 1: Vice President for Human Development Annette Dixon lays out the challenge; 60% of primary school children in developing countries fail to achieve minimum proficiency in reading, writing, and basic math


Part 2: We need to get better at sharing what works. Secondly, the workforce challenge and how we conceptulize the teaching workforce for the future is one of the big demands of developing country partners. A focus on teacher preparedness and teacher quality is most crucial. 


Part 3: How do we address barriers to learning and skills development among teenagers? And what proves effective in practice?


Part 4: If we are serious about sparking a learning revolution, it's not only crucial to learn about young people but also with them. Hear young people's perspectives on better ways to learn for a truly vibrant future.  


Part 5: How do we find a coordinated joint approach in this Learning Revolution? How can we prepare young people for the jobs of tomorrow? Especially since it is so hard predict the jobs of tomorrow. 


Part 6: What can governments impact transformation in education and learning and do it in an affordable and effective way? The role of teachers the going to get more central to education. 

About the Presenters

Annette Dixon

Vice President, Human Development, The World Bank

Annette Dixon is the Vice President for Human Development at the World Bank Group, overseeing the Global Practices for education, health, nutrition, and population and social protection and jobs. She was previously the World Bank's Vice President for the South Asia Region. In managing the World Bank’s engagement in South Asia to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity, Annette leads relations with eight countries including India, the institution’s biggest client. She oversees lending operations and Trust-Funded projects worth more than $10 billion a year. Before joining the region, Annette was Director, Strategic Planning in the Budget, Performance Review and Strategic Planning Vice Presidency. Her career at the World Bank has included senior positions that have given her broad and deep experience with sectors, countries and management issues within the World Bank Group.

Penny Mordaunt

Secretary of State for International Development, United Kingdom

Ms. Penny Mordaunt was appointed Secretary of State for International Development on 9 November 2017. She was appointed Minister for Women and Equalities on 30 April 2018. She was Minister of State for Department for Work and Pensions from 15 July 2016 to 9 November 2017. She was elected Conservative MP for Portsmouth North in 2010. Penny worked for Conservative Central Office, becoming Head of Broadcasting under William Hague. In 2000 she served as Head of Foreign Press for George W. Bush’s presidential election campaign. In Parliament, Penny served on the European Scrutiny Committee, Defence Select Committee, and as chairman of the APPGs for Life Science and for Ageing and Older People. In autumn 2013 she was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Defence, Rt Hon. Philip Hammond MP. She served as Minister of State for the Armed Forces from May 2015 until July 2016. Penny worked as an aid worker in post-revolutionary Romania before and during university.

Allen Blue

Co-Founder, LinkedIn

Allen is one of the Co-founders of LinkedIn and Vice President of Product Management. Currently he manages the Content and Communities division, covering LinkedIn's Groups, News, Influencer, Stream and Communication products. Before joining LinkedIn, Allen designed exploratory products and marketing programs at PayPal. And he was an early employee, Director of Product Design, at, a first-generation social site. Before entering technology, Allen lectured on Theatrical Design at Stanford University.

Melinda Crane

Chief Political Correspondent, Deutsche Welle

Melinda Crane has given speeches and moderated events and discussions for a wide range of international organizations and firms. She is a frequent guest and commentator on German television and radio and regularly analyzes U.S. policy for the news broadcaster n-tv. An experienced TV anchor, she is chief political correspondent at DW TV and also hosts the DW talk show “Quadriga”. In 2014 she was awarded the Steuben-Schurz Media Award for her service to transatlantic understanding. Crane studied history and political science at Brown University and law at Harvard. She wrote her dissertation on the political economy of development assistance at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. As International Affairs Consultant to the discussion show “Sabine Christiansen” she produced interviews with Kofi Annan, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and George Bush, among others. Her journalistic experience includes work for the New York Times Magazine, The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, The Boston Globe, the Christian Science Monitor and German newspapers and magazines.

Mary Kamel Kawar

Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Jordan

Minister Kawar has more than 25 years’ developmental and operational experience at global, regional and country level including in Asia, Africa and the Arab region. She has worked across a wide range of economic and social policy issues such as livelihoods, vocational education, training, gender, youth, child labor, migration, refugees and social protection. She has developed and led strategies, policies and programs in various countries. She coordinated large teams undertaking complex multi-sectoral evidence-based policy-relevant reports and activities (including on the MDGs and SDGs) involving effective resource mobilization and implementation of programs with UN agencies, international financial institutions (IFIs) as well as with multilateral and bilateral donors.

Julia Gillard

Board Chair, Global Partnership for Education

Julia Gillard is the chair of the Board of Directors of the Global Partnership for Education. She came to the Global Partnership after a distinguished career of public service in Australia. She served as Prime Minister of Australia between 2010 and 2013 and successfully managed Australia’s economy during the global economic crises. Education is Ms Gillard’s passion. She reformed Australia’s education at every level from early childhood to higher education with a special focus on disadvantaged children. She delivered new standards to improve the quality of childcare and access to early childhood education for every Australian child and developed a needs-based funding system for every school and ensured that funding was tied to a quality improvement agenda of better teaching, individual learning plans and parental engagement. She also established Australia’s first national curriculum and ensured significant investment in school buildings. Before becoming Prime Minister, Ms. Gillard was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and Social Inclusion.

Henrietta Fore

Executive Director, UNICEF

Henrietta H. Fore became UNICEF’s seventh Executive Director on 1 January 2018. She has worked to champion economic development, education, health, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in a public service, private sector and non-profit leadership career that spans more than four decades. From 2007 to 2009, Ms. Fore served as the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Director of United States Foreign Assistance. The first woman to serve in these roles, she was responsible for managing $39.5 billion of U.S. foreign assistance annually, including support to peoples and countries recovering from disaster and building their futures economically, politically and socially. Earlier in her career at USAID, Ms. Fore was appointed Assistant Administrator for Asia and Assistant Administrator for Private Enterprise (1989-1993). She served on the Boards of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Millennium Challenge Corporation. In 2009, she received the Distinguished Service Award, the highest award the Secretary of State can bestow.

Sigrid Kaag

Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Netherlands

Sigrid Kaag worked for Shell International in London between 1988 and 1990 and at the UN Political Affairs Section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1990 to 1993. She subsequently held a series of international positions. From 1994 to 1997 she was the Programme Manager and Head of Donor Relations at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Jerusalem. She then worked at the International Organization for Migration in Geneva from 1998 to 2004. In 2004 and 2005 Mrs. Kaag was senior UN adviser in Khartoum and Nairobi. She continued her career at UNICEF, where she held various positions between 2005 and 2010, including Deputy Director of the Programme Division and Chief of Staff in New York, and Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa in Amman. Mrs. Kaag then served as Assistant Secretary-General for the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in New York. From October 2013 to September 2014 Mrs. Kaag, as UN Under-Secretary-General, led the mission to eliminate chemical weapons in Syria. After this mission was completed, in 2015, she became Under-Secretary-General in Lebanon with responsibility for all UN activities in the country, specifically the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701. In 2015 she received an honorary doctorate from the University of Exeter. She was awarded the Carnegie Wateler Peace Prize in 2016 in recognition of her efforts and the results of her work in the Middle East. On 26 October 2017, Sigrid Kaag was appointed Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation in the third Rutte government.

Jacob Jusu Saffa

Minister of Finance, Sierra Leone

Jacob Jusu Saffa is Minister of Finance of Sierra Leone as of April 12, 2018. He was a member of a Transition Team set up by President Bio to conduct a stock taking exercise of the state of affairs of Government Ministries, Department and Agencies. He was the Team Lead for the Finance and Economic Development Pillar under the Transition Team. Mr. Saffa started his career as a Development Planning Officer at the Ministry of Development and Economic Planning. He also has experience in training and facilitating, community mobilization and working in conflict and post-conflict environments. Mr. Saffa is familiar with donor procedures and operations including that of the UN system, World Bank and the AFDB. Between 2002 and 2005 (post-war reconstruction and reintegration era), he served as HD Specialist in the WB Sierra Leone Country Office. Between 1994–2002, he was a part-time lecturer at the Department of Economics, Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone. In 2005, Mr. Jacob Jusu Saffa became the National Secretary General of the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP), a position he held until 2011. During the 2018 general elections, Mr. Saffa was the Chairman for the SLPP Election Management Team. He holds a Bachelor of Science (honours) degree in Economics from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone and a Master of Arts degree in Economic Development and Planning from the United Nations Institute for Economic Development and Planning in Dakar, Senegal.