How we work

Transforming education across sub-Saharan Africa and beyond

Link’s work improves education for children and communities in some of the poorest rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa, helping thousands of people escape the cycle of poverty.

We focus on enhancing teaching and learning in schools, as well as building up life skills and promoting inclusion for the most marginalised. Our vision is one where all children have access to good quality education, giving them hope and a strong foundation to build a brighter future.

We take both a top-down and bottom-up approach to transform education, supporting broad system and school-wide improvements while recognising the need for more tailored, localised support to overcome specific challenges.

Improving education is a process that constantly evolves – not a one-off project that can be delivered within a short timeframe. It requires change within the education system, within schools and within communities to make education beneficial for all children.

Here’s how we make that happen.

School Performance Review

Link’s school performance review process enables evidence-based school improvement and is a core element of our approach.

Access to accurate data empowers communities, schools and local government to improve the quality of education and the way schools function. However, reliable information is not always available and management skills to make the required changes are often lacking.

We use the school performance review to support districts in collecting, analysing, sharing and using information to improve the education schools deliver. It helps schools focus their resources and make targeted changes as well as celebrating their achievements. Management teams and the wider school community can analyse their strengths and weaknesses and set goals for their school improvement plan.

Link’s data collection system enables the ministry to make meaningful decisions to improve learning outcomes… We collect data, analyse and produce reports to show what’s happening at school level and see how they need to improve.

Ministry Director, Malawi

How we make a difference

Our approach recognises that many related changes are required to help all children learn and to have a sustainable, long-term impact where we work.

We use this as a starting point for planning, adapting to the needs of each project as required. Link staff will typically reflect on our approach to review evidence of what is working and what is not as projects are designed, implemented, and completed.

Strengthening leadership and governance

School management and leadership based on accurate data results in better planning and supervision, leading to improved learning. Our school review process collects data that is also used to influence inspection frameworks and set standards to improve education nationally.

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Enhancing teaching quality

Our holistic, child-centred method works from the heart of communities to build teaching capacity, encourage sustainable material development and provide mentoring and support to improve teaching quality across the board.

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Improving learning environments

An environment that is safe and conducive to learning encourages children to attend school and improves their educational attainment. This includes ensuring that physical learning spaces are safe, secure and fit for purpose, as well as making sure that schools are free from the threat of violence, abuse or exploitation.

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Supporting community action

We endeavour to raise community awareness of the standard of education children are entitled to whilst building opportunities for holding schools and governments accountable for achieving that standard.

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Challenging inequity

To enable all children, especially the most vulnerable, to attend and succeed in school we focus on creating child-friendly learning environments and improving teaching methods, coupled with enabling a supportive community. We work to improve education systems for everyone at the same time, making sure the most marginalised children receive the extra support they need.

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