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Policy Complexity and the Case for Openness in Education Systems

Despite the best policy efforts, education systems have often been characterized by closed knowledge systems, narrow conceptions of success and achievement, and a failure to fully empower teachers as facilitators of learning. Our recently published paper argues that, although these issues may have multiple causes, a critical problem is that many education systems are inhibited by complex policy environments that inadvertently encumber meaningful learning and generate educational closure.
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African Librarians Support the UNESCO OER Recommendation

In August 2023, the African Library and Information Associations and Institutions and Neil Butcher & Associates (NBA) co-published an Overview for African Librarians on the UNESCO OER Recommendation and Open Knowledge. A William and Flora Hewlett Foundation grant to NBA funded the research and writing entailed in producing the Overview.
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NBA is committed to improving equitable access, quality, and effectiveness of education in developing countries to create supportive, empowered education systems in which people at all levels see themselves as agents of their own change.

Our services

NBA's services are evidence-based, pragmatic, and cost-effective to enable developing world governments, institutions, and other clients to deliver quality education that is affordable and accessible to learners.

In striving to fulfil our vision, we provide the following core services:

  • Strategic planning and policy advice to inter-governmental organizations, governments, institutions, and development partners in the areas of education and training


  • Development of implementation strategies for educational projects and initiatives of all scales, as well as supporting/managing their implementation where required
  • Development, adaptation, and compilation of teaching and learning materials for curricula, programmes, courses, including print, video, audio, and online multimedia
  • Development of online educational portals using either open-source or proprietary ICT solutions, specializing particularly in content development, management services, and e-learning delivery
  • Qualitative and quantitative research in the education sector, including support in the design and implementation of monitoring and evaluation strategies for educational initiatives of all kinds
  • Specialized advisory and project management services focused on harnessing the concept of Open Education Resources (OER)
  • Developing the capacity of educators to harness technology effectively to design and implement effective educational courses and programmes
  • Design and implementation of effective communications strategies for organizations and initiatives in education and training