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Community Contribution

USAID/DFID ACCELERE! Working Together for Educational Success in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Aissatou Balde, Pascal Tshimanga

The education system in the Democratic Republic of Congo is under-resourced and access to education remains low. USAID and the U.K. Department for International Development (DFID) launched the $180 million ACCELERE! program to improve the reading and learning outcomes of primary school children in 25 educational sub-provinces.

CLA Approach

  • Theory of Change: Working together, USAID and DFID articulated a robust theory of change, agreed on a results framework, and developed a joint program with four mechanisms to achieve the ACCELERE! objective and results.
  • External Collaboration: USAID and DFID put a great deal of thought into how to jointly manage the program. In the design, we developed operational principles for program management and established a steering committee with representation from the government, implementing partners, and both donors’ education offices.
  • Pause & Reflect: Our annual performance review workshop will be a key forum to discuss progress and possible course corrections.

Lessons Learned

  • Educating each other on rules and regulations to address incompatibilities is important, because USAID and DFID have different bureaucratic processes.
  • Speaking with one voice when discussing the program and reinforcing each other’s key messages is important, because both donors will maintain individual relationships with the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo.


  • Although it is still early, ACCELERE! will have robust programmatic monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) processes, not only through the specific MEL activity, but also through each partner’s systems. We developed a system that will score progress against our logical framework during each annual review.
  • We are using a journal and a set of reflection questions to track how the donor partnership is working.

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