Organization Name: Usawa Agenda

Focus Area: Growing Learners
Region: Africa
Sector: Non-Profit
Investment Year: 2021
Status: Alumni
Usawa Agenda (“Usawa”) aspires for a Kenya where all children have equitable access to quality learning opportunities. Previously existing as Uwezo, this vision has anchored the organization since its inception 11 years ago. The name ‘Usawa’ is Swahili for ‘equity’ with an underlying belief in access and quality education for all. Since 2009, the team has regularly conducted Uwezo Assessments to evaluate learning outcomes among primary school age children in Kenya. The surveys, which are representative at both national and district levels, are the largest, most comprehensive, independent surveys of households and children ever implemented in Kenya.

Why We Invested

In March 2020, a government mandate to close schools nationwide impacted 18 million children countrywide; however, the cost was not born evenly with devastating consequences for learners who are marginalized. Understanding the impact of the pandemic is a critical component in helping schools prepare for their reopening and how to best support learners and their families. With Imaginable Futures’ support, Usawa Agenda is conducting a national learning survey that analyzes the impact of school closures on learning outcomes among school-aged children.

We founded Usawa Agenda to respond to the worsening state of learning poverty in Kenya. We understood how poverty of any kind dehumanizes and makes people invisible. We had to highlight the plight of the afflicted, force a discourse about their state among the key actors, and shape policy and investment decisions towards promoting equitable access to quality education.
Emmanuel Manyasa, Executive Director of Usawa Agenda