A USAID, IREX. TASCHA and Couse Talk Partnership

This public-private partnership aims to harness the power of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to help young adults across the developing world grow successful careers, potentially leading to stronger economies.

The Advancing MOOCs for Development Initiatives

Online courses have the potential to expand quality education and career training worldwide. Yet few people in developing countries access Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), despite the fact that MOOCs are open to the public and often free. Recognizing this unmet potential, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and CourseTalk, the largest source of MOOC reviews, have partnered to determine how online education can best help young adults across the developing world grow successful careers. The initiative will be driven by research on MOOC usage in Colombia, the Philippines and South Africa conducted by the Technology & Social Change Group (TASCHA) at the University of Washington's Information School with support from IREX, a nonprofit development organization.

Research on MOOCs has been sparse, and the first year of the project will seek to alleviate this data gap. TASCHA will use surveys, interviews and an analysis of more than 70,000 course reviews posted on CourseTalk by students around the world to study awareness and usage of MOOCs among 18 to 35 year olds in Colombia, the Philippines and South Africa. TASCHA's findings will be used to develop a framework for training young workforces through MOOCs. They will also form the basis of a campaign designed to increase MOOC enrollment and completion rates in the three partner countries. The eventual goal is to replicate the research in other developing countries around the world.

USAID and CourseTalk have committed cash resources of $1.05 million, plus an additional $500,000 of in-kind services and support.


  • United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

    Funding Agencies
    United States | Staff size: Unknown

    USAID is the lead U.S. Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential.

    U.S. foreign assistance has...

  • CourseTalk

    Staff size: 6-25

    Launched in 2012, CourseTalk is the leading search and discovery platform for learners worldwide to explore the broadest array of online courses. Our catalog spans across K-12, postsecondary,...

  • Technology & Social Change Group (TASCHA)

    United States | Staff size: 6-25

    The Technology & Social Change Group (TASCHA) at the University of Washington Information School explores the design, use, and effects of information and communication technologies in...

  • International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX)

    Advocacy NGO, Implementing NGO
    United States | Staff size: 251-500

    IREX is a global development and education organization. IREX strives for a more just, prosperous, and inclusive world—where individuals reach their full potential, governments serve their...

More Resources

Key Information

LocationPhilippines, Colombia, Latin America and Caribbean, East Asia and Pacific, South Africa, Southern Africa
  • Start Date 2015
  • End Date 2017
  • ValueUSD 1.55 Million