Last week, the U.K.’s prime minister, Boris Johnson, and Kenya’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta, visited primary schools in each of their countries. They did this to raise awareness about the importance of funding education ahead of July 28-29, when their countries will co-host a summit to mark the replenishment of the Global Partnership for Education—a multilateral fund that equips education systems across the world with the resources they need to improve. These coordinated visits, and Kenya’s role as a co-host of the summit, signal how much Kenya is leading in transforming its education system.

We are particularly impressed by how Kenya’s government intentionally learned from evidence to ensure that stronger schools reach girls. Over the past decade, it led a powerful series of reforms through two initiatives: PRIMR and Tusome. With the recent publication of the Smart Buys report by the Global Education Evidence Advisory Panel, we are seeing an increasing emphasis on the potential to evaluate and choose education interventions that create the greatest learning gains per unit of cost. Kenya’s Tusome initiative is an example of a “good buy”—an intervention that has strong evidence, is cost-effective, and works at scale. In the lead-up to the GPE Summit in July, we urge anyone interested in girls’ education to learn from Tusome in Kenya, as it offers a useful roadmap for other countries trying to shift their education systems.

In comparison to most other countries in Africa, Kenya has long stood out for the way it has prioritized education reforms. Whether sending young activists to the U.S. to access universities so they could guide the country post-independence (through the African airlifts in 1959), being one of the first African countries to implement free primary education (in 1974), or serving as the birthplace of some of the most ground-breaking school models in the world (Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO’s) community-based schools for girls and Bridge International Academies, both launched in 2009), Kenya has long led the way and shown what it means to value education.

Read the full article about designing girls’ education policies by Helen Grant and Emiliana Vegas at Brookings.