Adapting assessment into policy and learning (ADAPT);

Adolescent 21st Century Skills Project

ADAPT is a RELI Africa collaborative project responding to an East African call for a strategic and explicit focus on contextually appropriate 21st Century Skills within education programs and school curricula underpinned by assessment data that draws on the lived experience of young people from the region.

GESCI collaborated with Makerere University and the University of Notre Dame to implement a research initiative, Adapting Assessment into Policy and Learning (ADAPT): Adolescent 21st Century Skills Project, funded by the International Development Research Cooperation (IDRC) under the Global Partnership for Education Knowledge Innovation Exchange (GPE-KIX) Programme.

 The collaborative project addresses following Challenges:

  • Limited evidence on how to best incorporate 21st Century Skills within school systems in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). A lot of evidence is generated by multilateral organizations on how to address 21st Century Skills within technical and vocational training programs in SSA but limited information about how to effectively incorporate these skills within education programs and school curricula.
  • Even if national entities in SSA wanted to focus on 21st Century Skills within education programs and school curricula, there is confusion about how to define these skills and how to measure them.
  • Studies have shown that there is inadequate capacity of teachers, civil society, and ministry officials to effectively and reliably use the available assessment data to make evidence-based decisions.
  • There is lack of coordination within and across countries and partners working on 21st Century Skills in SSA.


In its approach, the ADAPT research focused on the following key components:

  • A formative study of past utilization of Learning Assessments
  • A systems mapping each of the three countries
  • Capacity strengthening on matters assessment of life skills and valuesfor the members of the Learning community through the RELI Values and Life Skills Thematic Group.
  • Establishment of a learning community in knowledge sharing and capacity building
  • Knowledge translation and policy influence
  • Regular knowledge-sharing forums and ongoing policy engagement and advocacy.

For more information on knowledge products developed, visit: