LEAD Mongolia In-Country Program Fellow Munkhzul Tsend on election day.

By Meghan Burland, Chief of Party, Leaders Advancing Democracy (LEAD) Mongolia

Mongolia’s June 9 presidential elections marked the country’s third round of voting in 13 months. While voter turnout was historically low, likely due to an increase in COVID-19 cases in the days preceding the election, 59 percent of eligible voters came out to elect former Prime Minister U. Khurelsukh from the Mongolian People’s Party to a six-year term as president.

As with the previous parliamentary and local elections, alumni from the USAID-funded Leaders Advancing Democracy (LEAD) program used their training to support the election process by serving as civil…


QITABI 2 staff in Lebanon using USAID’s Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting Maturity Tool during an adaptive management workshop.

This story was originally published on USAID’s Learning Lab blog. It has been republished here with permission.

By Wafa Kotob, Chief of Party for World Learning in Lebanon, and Rajani Shrestha, Project Director, QITABI

In fall 2019, social, political, and economic instability in Lebanon began creating serious challenges for our team working on the USAID-funded Quality Instruction Towards Access and Basic Education Improvement (QITABI) 2 program. …


Ongoing teacher training is a key component of any educational improvement initiative. In Lebanon, the Ministry of Education and the Center for Educational Research and Development (CERD) are responsible for training the country’s public school teachers. Each year, CERD offers training to more than 25,000 public school teachers in its 33 centers across Lebanon, from urban centers to rural areas.

In 2020, all education and training had to transition online as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of the urgent and sudden shift to distance learning, one of the highest emerging priorities at the Ministry of Education and…


LEAD Mongolia Fellow Soronzonbold Alexandr

By Meghan Burland, Chief of Party, Leaders Advancing Democracy (LEAD) Mongolia

In many places, local elected officials are often the people taking care of a citizen’s daily needs — from determining local community development projects to maintaining roads and infrastructure. Additionally, national-level politicians usually get their start at the state or local levels, learning the ropes of government and how to ensure their policy goals and ideas are prioritized. Although local elections often do not receive the same level of attention as national elections, they are equally as important in determining the trajectory of a city, district, or state.

On…


Dave Paquin (center) with colleagues at Sultan Qaboos University in Oman.

By Stephanie Genkin

Dave Paquin has taught hundreds of online and critical thinking courses at universities and educational institutions in the United States. So, when Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), Oman’s only public university, requested a Fulbright Specialist to train its faculty, he jumped at the opportunity to gain valuable professional experience abroad.

It was a perfect fit. Over the last 20 years, Paquin has honed his expertise in critical thinking development, online learning, and workforce training, first as a technician and instructor for the U.S. …


The STEM learning group poses at Launch Egypt’s center in Cairo, Egypt.

By World Learning

While Egypt’s Social Solidarity Ministry estimates that nearly one in every 160 children in the country shows signs of autism, autistic children and young people remain marginalized within Egypt’s education system. Autistic young people are often excluded from traditional schools and may not receive basic education, let alone more advanced subject-matter training or opportunities for workforce preparation.

To bridge this gap, in the fall of 2020 STEM Hub Egypt partnered with Launch Egypt to offer online STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) training specifically for autistic young adults. The STEM Hub Egypt is a learning center that…


International Women’s Day is an annual celebration of the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. It also serves as a day to raise awareness of the need to continue advocating for women’s equality.

Today, we’re highlighting a few of the incredible women who have taken part in our programs and used what they learned to give back to their communities and the world.

Djamila Azzouz


Dhaka, Bangladesh

People who are marginalized and excluded from political and economic power are more likely to be negatively impacted by development projects and significantly less likely to receive benefits from development, humanitarian assistance, or advocacy. Interventions that address marginalization due to age, disability, gender, race, and other factors, can therefore be important catalysts for more sustainable, equitable societies.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is driving transformative social change by prioritizing disability-inclusive education and incorporating Universal Design for Learning (UDL) into its education programming, especially for literacy education. …


Krysta practices writing using the supplies in the educational box she received from QTIABI 2.

Zahle, Lebanon, is home to more than 7,000 students in public primary schools, including eight-year-old Krysta Al Arjaa, who attends the New Zahle School and is the youngest of four children.

Across the world, the COVID-19 pandemic forced schools, universities and many other sectors to move classes and operations online. In Lebanon, already contending with an economic crisis, the situation was no different. The country endured several lockdowns to contain the virus’ spread, which impacted livelihoods, businesses and education. …


A smiling man and college-aged woman stand shoulder to shoulder in a classroom.
A smiling man and college-aged woman stand shoulder to shoulder in a classroom.
Dr. Maurice Mongkuo (left) stands with one of his students while serving as a Fulbright Specialist at Altai State University.

Siberia was not where Maurice Mongkuo had initially imagined he would be going when he applied to the Fulbright Specialist Program.

When he was matched to a project to provide lectures and workshops at Altai State University (ASU), a public institution in Western Siberia, Mongkuo acknowledges he did not know much about the region, except for the long and complex political relationship between Washington and Moscow.

“I had no idea what to expect,” says Dr. Mongkuo, a Professor of Public Administration at Fayetteville State University (FSU), a historically black university in North Carolina. …

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