The U.S. Agency for International Development has awarded the University of Notre Dame’s Pulte Institute for Global Development $40 million in grant funding. The university says the funding will lead to a five-year program that aims to strengthen education systems in developing countries.
The program is called HELIX SHARE, and the university says it intends to bring local scholars and higher education institutions together to address challenges and opportunities in low- and middle-income countries. The university’s team will work with partners across Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia to implement the program.
“This program embraces Notre Dame’s vision of development as accompaniment, where a deep appreciation of local capacity and ownership is viewed as the cornerstone of effective development practice,” said Ray Offenheiser, director of the Pulte Institute. “By gathering, translating and using research more effectively, we hope to meaningfully impact global education policy and practice.”
Notre Dame says the funding, which was awarded together with the Institute for Educational Initiatives and its Global Center for the Development of the Whole Child, is one of the largest federal grants the university has ever received.
Notre Dame says the program’s first year will address learning agenda questions around education in crises and conflict and foundational learning skills, as well as youth and workforce development and higher education. Additionally, the program will offer a series of capacity-building projects such as trainings, workshops, mentorship and close accompaniment. The university says it is an effort to ensure that individuals and institutions are equipped to work together to advance education interests.
“Everything about the award is exciting, not least the success in building a remarkable global coalition of experts in overcoming the significant obstacles to delivering quality education to underprivileged populations,” said Scott Appleby, dean of the Keough School at the University of Notre Dame. “The bottom line, however, is the opportunity a generation of children, youth and young adults in low- and middle-income countries will now have to gain knowledge and develop skills enabling them to contribute to the private-sector workforce, civil society and government. This program is what we mean by development that is responsive to the demands of human dignity.”
The Pulte Institute, which is part of the Keough School of Global Affairs, is leading management and administration of the program. Notre Dame says program team is being led by Tom Purekal, director of the Pulte Institute’s Innovation and Practice division, alongside a full-time team of four.
Notre Dame says HELIX SHARE is expected to launch in September.