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Rachel Outhred

Rachel Outhred is the Education Theme Leader at Itad and has over 14 years of experience as a consultant in international development, undertaken after teaching in primary and secondary schools in Africa and Australia.

Rachel has a particular interest in the interface between evidence and policy and has conducted education evaluations in over eighteen countries. Rachel works across quantitative and qualitative methodologies to answer evaluation questions.

Before joining Itad, Rachel was Education Metrics Manager at Oxford Policy Management (OPM). In that position, she led OPM’s work in measuring teacher competencies, learner knowledge and skills and child-centred teaching. Rachel’s previous work focused on the impact of policies and programmes seeking to address disadvantage. Her PhD thesis explored the extent to which international development programmes make a difference to the life chances of women and children.

Rachel is widely published in both academic books and journals and in mainstream media.

Nationality: Australian
Languages: English(Fluent, mother tongue) and Kiswahili (Basic speaking and writing)
Country Experience:

Australia, Bangladesh, England, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Nepal, Nigeria, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Vanuatu and Zimbabwe

Qualifications:

2016 - 2017
Master of Applied Linguistics (Testing) (Candidate)
The University of Melbourne
2005 - 2010
PhD, Public Policy and Management
Flinders University
2004 - 2005
Master of International Development
Flinders University
2002
Graduate Diploma in Education
The University of Adelaide
2001
Advanced Diploma in Training and Assessment Systems
Workright Australia
1997 - 2000
Bachelor of Arts
Wesley Institute

Employment:

2017 - ongoing
Education Theme Lead and Principal Consultant
Itad Ltd.

2014 - 2017
Education Metrics Manager and Senior Consultant
Oxford Policy Management

2011 - 2014
Senior Research Fellow
The Australian Council for Educational Research

2009 - 2011
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
University of South Australia’s Centre for Equity in Education

2008 - 2011
Deployable Civilian Expert
Stabilisation Unit, (Ministry of Defence, Department of International Development and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

2006 - 2008
Curriculum Development and Learning Resources Officer
Roehampton University’s Crucible Centre for Excellence in Human Rights, Social Justice and Citizenship Education

2004 - 2006
Educational Services Consultant
Workright Global

1999 - 2004
Teacher
Various Primary and Secondary Schools in East Africa and Australia

Project Experience:

2017 - 2020
Evaluation of the Global Partnership for Education – 2017-2020 Country Evaluations
(Global Partnership for Education Secretariat ) - Senior Technical Advisor and Itad Team Leader
Responsible for overall technical direction of eight progressive country evaluations and contributions to synthesising summative and progressive country evaluations, including: (i) liaising with the client as part of the senior evaluation technical group, (ii) ensuring work plans are delivered on time and to budget, (iii) leading two country evaluations, (iii) report writing, (iv) reporting to the Board of the GPE on progress and findings (with the Team Leader), (v) providing recommendations for improvement.
2017
MUVA Female Empowerment Programme
(DFID Mozambique) - Measurement Lead
Responsible for the overall technical direction of measurement issues including: (i) developing and implementing tools to measure and monitor improvements in critical thinking and teamwork and communication over the life of the programme.
2016 - 2017
Scoping Study of Research into Education Data Needs
(DFID) - Team Leader
Responsible for overall technical direction, including: (i) leading the team in developing projections of education data needs over the coming decade, (ii) liaising with the client and ensuring work plans are delivered on time and to budget, (iii) providing technical support to junior researchers, (iv) analysing research gaps in education data for the future (v) report writing, (vi) providing recommendations for DFID education data investments.
2017
Analysis of Rwanda’s National Learning Outcomes
(DFID) - Team leader
Responsible for overall technical direction, including: (i) liaising with the client and the Rwanda Examinations Board, ensuring work plans are delivered on time and to budget, (ii) correlation and association analysis of education data, (iii) report writing, (iv) establishing learning benchmarks with Rwanda Examinations Board, (v) interpreting psychometric data to determine the quality of the data and the learning assessments, (vi) providing recommendations for improvement for future rounds of national assessments.
2016 - 2017
Systematic Review of the Assessment of Literacy and Language in the Early Years
(DFID) - Technical Lead
Responsible for (i) working in collaboration with the research group to develop the inception report, (ii) ensuring work plans are delivered on time and to budget, (iii) quality assurance of all technical outputs, (iv) developing policy briefs based on findings.
2016 - 2017
Sierra Leone’s Secondary Improvement Programme
(DFID Sierra Leone) - Metrics Lead for Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning component
Responsible for overall technical direction, including: (i) liaising with government officials to gain agreement on the metrics to be used to monitor progress in education quality in Sierra Leone, (ii) developing monitoring and measurement options to inform client decisions, (iii) working with the survey team to develop and implement data collection protocols and monitor enumerator performance in the field.
2016 - 2017
Development of the UNESCO Institute of Statistics Handbook on Measuring Learning Inequality
(UNESCO IS) - Co-Author
Responsible for (i) defining ‘learning’ within the context of the Handbook, (ii) overseeing the review of literature undertaken by junior researchers, (iii) collating and analysing the features of learning measurement tools currently used in development (iv) co-authoring Chapter Three.
2016 - 2017
Comparative Review of Learning Outcomes in Public and Private Schools in Lagos
(DFID Nigeria) - Team Leader
Responsible for overall technical direction, including: (i) liaising with the client, ensuring work plans are delivered on time and to budget, (ii) correlation and association analysis of education data, (iii) report writing, (iv) establishing learning benchmarks, (v) interpreting psychometric data to determine the quality of the data and the learning assessments, (vi) developing recommendations and policy advice.
2016 - 2017
Development of Logframe Indicators for DFIDs Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE) programme
(DFID ) - Team Leader
Responsible for (i) liaising with the client and ensuring work plans are delivered on time and to budget, (ii) reviewing the secondary data likely to be available globally within the programme timelines, (iii) proposing the best education indicators for monitoring the programme, (iv) computing baseline indictors, (v) report writing.
2016
Development of an Evaluation Framework for the Connecting Classrooms programme in Africa
(British Council) - Team Leader
Responsible for overall technical direction, including: (i) liaising with the client, ensuring work plans are delivered on time and to budget, (ii) designing the evaluation of the programme in sub-Saharan Africa.
2015 - 2017
Impact Evaluation of the Education Fund for Sind
(DFID Pakistan) - Learning Metrics Lead
Responsible for overall technical direction, including: (i) liaising with the client on learning assessment development, (ii) interpreting psychometric data on learning assessments, (iii) report writing, (iv) establishing learning benchmarks (v) providing educational and policy advice based on the results.
2015 - 2017
A Scoping Study of Indicators for learning Outcomes Indicators in DFID Education Focus Countries
(DFID Global) - Team Leader
Responsible for overall technical direction, including: (i) liaising with the client and ensuring work plans are delivered on time and to budget, (ii) analysis of two DFID-proposed education indictor methodologies and development of a third methodology, (iii) undertaking a pilot study as a proof-of-concept for a new methodology to improve comparability of learning data across DFID education focus countries, (iv) analysing quantitative data and reviewing psychometric data (vi) report writing.
2015 - 2016
Development of a Roadmap for Assessment Reform in Uganda
(DFID Uganda) - Deputy Team Leader
Responsible for overall technical direction under the supervision of the Team Leader, including: (i) liaising with the client, ensuring work plans are delivered on time and to budget, (ii) designing the qualitative review of classroom assessment practices in Uganda, (iii) developing qualitative tools, (iv) supervision of the qualitative data collection processes, (v) supervision of the psychometric analysis, (vi) analysing qualitative data and report writing, (vii) analysis of Uganda’s current assessment system, (viii) working in collaboration with the Team Leader to develop a Roadmap for assessment reform in Uganda.
2014 - 2017
Education Data, Research and Evaluation in Nigeria (EDOREN)
(DFID Nigeria) - Education Metrics Lead
Responsible for (i) overall quantitative direction for five programme evaluations (ii) placing the learning achievement of all evaluation learning metrics onto a common scale.
2014 - 2017
Evaluation of the Girls Education Programme (3) in Northern Nigeria
(DFID Nigeria) - Education Metrics Lead and Project Manager
Responsible for overall technical direction, including: (i) liaising with the client and ensuring work plans are delivered on time and to budget, (ii) designing the evaluation, (iii) developing quantitative and qualitative methodologies (iv) undertaking correlation and association analysis of education data, (v) report writing, (vi) establishing learning benchmarks with government counterparts, (vii) interpreting psychometric data to determine the quality of the data and the learning assessments.
2014
Lesotho Early Learning Assessment and Capacity Building for the Examinations Council of Lesotho (ECoL)
(World Bank, Lesotho) - Capacity Building Expert
Responsible for (i) liaising with the client and ensuring work plans are delivered on time and to budget, (ii) documenting ECoL’s current and expanding institutional aims, (iii) identifying the gaps in organisational capacities within the organisation, (iv) developing a five year plan to meet the organisation’s expanding mandate.
2014
Delivering on the Promise: Leveraging Natural Resource Revenue to Improve Human Development
(Gates Foundation and African Development Bank) - Co-Author
Responsible for (i) defining human development for the purposes of the paper (ii) identifying the education financing gaps in five African nations (iii) analysing education sub-sector needs and gaps across five African nations (iv) developing case studies from each country on risks and (v) developing a framework for matching the characteristics of natural resource revenue and educational resource gaps.
2012 - 2014
DFAT’s Australian Education Resource Facility
(DFAT) - Head of Learning and Development
Responsible for the overall technical direction of DFAT Learning and Development plan, including (i) liaising with the client and ensuring work plans are delivered on time and to budget, (ii) identifying gaps in Education Advisor knowledge (iii) developing L&D products (iv) technical oversight of L&D products developed by sub-contractors.
2012
Development of UNICEF’s Global Approach to Social Norms and Student Equity
(UNICEF New York) - Project Director
Responsible for the overall technical direction of the project, including (i) liaising with the client and ensuring work plans are delivered on time and to budget, (ii) undertaking quantitative analysis of life chances across UNICEF regions, (iii) leading in the collection of qualitative data across three country case-studies, including interviewing senior government officials and donor representatives, (iv) developing a framework for conceptualising the role of social norms in education equity, (v) developing a global programme strategy for addressing the role of social norms in UNICEF education programmes, (vi) report writing.
2011 - 2014
Evaluation of the Education Transition/Development Fund and development of the Zimbabwe Early Learning Assessment
(UNICEF Zimbabwe) - Project Director
Responsible for the overall technical direction of the project, including (i) liaising with the client and ensuring work plans are delivered on time and to budget, (ii) designing the Early Learning Assessment framework and ensuring data could be used to monitor the effects of the Education Development Fund in Zimbabwe (iii) undertaking quantitative correlation, regression and association analysis to determine predictors of learning outcomes, (iv) developing a four year plan to build the capacity of the Examination Council of Zimbabwe, (v) designing and leading workshops with the Examinations Council on SPSS and psychometric analysis.
2011 - 2012
Formative Evaluation of the Department of Basic Education’s (DBE) Workbook Initiative
(UNICEF South Africa) - Project Director
Responsible for the overall technical direction of the project, including (i) liaising with the client and ensuring work plans are delivered on time and to budget, (ii) designing the evaluation (iii) undertaking quantitative correlation, regression and association analysis to determine predictors of workbook and textbook use in South Africa, (iv) report writing.
2011
Evaluation of Closing the Gap
(Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), Australia) - Project Director
Responsible for the overall technical direction of the project, including (i) liaising with the client and ensuring work plans are delivered on time and to budget, (ii) designing the evaluation (iii) undertaking quantitative correlation, regression and association analysis to determine predictors of learning outcomes, (iv) overseeing all qualitative aspects of the evaluations, (v) report writing.

Publications:

  • Poor quality learning assessments are crumbling under the weight of the decisions they inform. (2017)
    Global Education Report Blog
    Outhred, R.

  • Decision-Making Towards a Fully Realised Equity Agenda in Sustainable Development: The Case of Sustainable Development Education and the Education-Related Sustainable Development Goal (2017)
    Book chapter in McIntyre-Mills et al (Eds) Balancing Individualism and Collectivism
    Outhred, R.

  • The Fundamentals of Achieving Gender Equality (2016)
    Economist Insights
    Outhred, R and Garbarino, S.

  • Measuring Learning: Why we need to work with what we’ve got (2015)
    Economist insights. The Economist Intelligence Unit.
    Outhred, R.

  • Are all tests created equal? Method, measures and proprietary in the assessment of learning outcomes (2015)
    UKFIET Conference paper presentation in the OPM and DFID symposium on Learning in the Early Years for Sustainable Futures: Resources, methodologies and standards.
    Outhred, R.

  • Benchmarking concepts in the early grade learning and their application. (2015)
    UKFIET Conference paper presentation in the OPM and DFID symposium on Learning in the Early Years for Sustainable Futures: Resources, methodologies and standards.
    Outhred, R and Karki, S.

  • How to make the Sustainable Development Goal for Education work. (2015)
    Economist insights. The Economist Intelligence Unit.
    Outhred, R.

  • Quality as an Equity Imperative. (2014)
    Book Chapter in Equity in Education: Fairness and Inclusion. Ed. Zhang, H.
    Outhred, R, Nuga, C. Stubberfield, C, Beavis, A, Wilkinson, J and Murphy, M.

  • The Future of Measuring Equity and Quality in Education - Rethinking the spatial, conceptual and methodological boundaries. (2013)
    Panel Presentation ACFID Development Futures Conference.
    Outhred, R.

  • Moving the Needle on Learning: Case studies in establishing performance standards in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Zimbabwe. (2013)
    Presentation with RTI International, Sponsored by USAID. 57th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society. New Orleans, USA.
    Outhred, R and Grove, A.

  • Reconceptualising Inclusion in Higher Education (2012)
    International Journal of Inclusive Education, Routledge. Volume 16, Issue 9.
    Outhred, R., Editor-In-Chief

  • International Developments. (2013)
    Africa: Regional Focus. ACER Press.
    Outhred, R.

  • Measuring Inclusion. (2012)
    Paper presented as part of a symposium ‘Building Partnerships for Better Aid Effectiveness, Improved Results and Inclusiveness’. Save the Children, Australian National University and AusAID.
    Outhred, R.

  • Mobilising in pursuit of HE: Toward a deparochialised imagination of student equity. (2010)
    Paper presented as part of symposium 'Re-imaginging student equity in Australian higher education in expansionary terms,' at the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) conference.
    Outhred, R., & Sellar, S.

  • Crucible Centre for Human Rights Education: The Successes and Challenges of Introducing Problem Based Learning and Resourced Based Learning to the Curriculum. (2008)
    Presented at Oxford Brooks University’s Learning: What for? Conference
    Outhred, R.