Link Community Development

Improving the quality of education in Africa

Link Community Development International

About Link Community Development

Link Community Development (Link) is a family of organisations that envisions a world where every child has access to a quality education. Supported by our International office in Edinburgh, Scotland, Link works with our partner organisations in Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi and Uganda, supporting nearly 2 million children in over 3,000 schools during 25 successful years. Working directly with schools, communities and government, Link provides support and training for more effective teaching, improved school management, increased community engagement and better learner outcomes.

Where do we work?

Link was initially founded as a student-led movement at the University of Cambridge, known then as Link Africa. Nearly 30 years later, Link Africa has evolved into Link Community Development, a vibrant a family of five locally registered organisations working with government and communities. Link works in Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi and Uganda. These are supported by the Link Community Development International office based in Edinburgh, Scotland. You can find out more about our history by clicking here.

The challenge

40% of the world’s children are unable to read or write and have no numeracy skills. Poor standards in schools amount to £78 billion of public funds per year wasted as children leave school without crucial literacy and numeracy skills. The majority of these children live in sub-Saharan African countries.

Most children in Africa are enrolled in a primary school, but the conditions do not help them learn. Across sub-Saharan Africa schools in rural areas continuously struggle to provide quality education for their pupils, with the main causes of this including high pupil-teacher ratios, poor infrastructure and weak school management systems.

How Link Makes a Difference

The benefits of the provision of a quality basic education goes well beyond children being able read, write and count. With these skills, children are able to fulfil their potential, contribute to the wellbeing of their families and communities, and are more likely to escape the cycle of poverty.

From our 25 years of experience, we know that to make sustainable improvement to the quality of education, change must involve communities, teachers, schools and local and central governing bodies. Link’s model is holistic, we engage with teachers, school managers, government education offices and local communities as we know this is fundamental to improving the quality of education children are receiving. We work through existing structures and directly support the priorities of national governments in eradicating barriers to quality education.

An integral element of Link’s work is our School Performance Review (SPR) process that introduces evidence-based data collection in the areas of learning outcomes, school management, teaching, learning and community participation. SPR measures individual school performance against common indicators of success. Using the collected data, Link then supports local education officials to identify strengths and weaknesses of schools and prioritise targets for improvement through co-facilitated School Performance Appraisal Meetings (SPAM).

We provide support and training for more effective teaching and learning, improved school management and leadership, and increased community engagement. Collaborating at all levels of the education system, Link develops and tests our interventions to contribute to long-term systemic change and improved learning. The implementation of National Education Standards in all of Malawi’s primary and secondary schools in May 2015 is a direct result of Link’s School Performance Review and is a testament to our work. This achievement has the potential improve the education of up to 5 million children across Malawi.

To find out more about our projects and the countries we work in, please click here. You can also find out more about our work by reading our most recent review.