Russia Education Aid for Development Program (READ) is the Russia’s largest initiative in the field of international development aid for education accepted in the framework of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and continued in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It’s a joint effort of the Government of the Russian Federation and the World Bank to assist countries in their efforts to improve the quality of education and measure educational outcomes as well as to develop institutional, expert and analytical potential. READ Program was launched in 2008. Its second stage started in 2015. Currently eight countries participate in the READ Program: Armenia, Cambodia, India, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Tajikistan and Vietnam.


READ has three key components: World Bank Trust Fund (READ Trust Fund), Reimbursable Advisory Services (READ RAS), the Center for International Cooperation in Education Development (CICED). All three components of the Program work in close cooperation providing the synergy necessary for such a highly structured international project.


READ Trust Fund helps the participating countries in building the capacity of institutions responsible for measuring student achievement or using these measurements to improve the effectiveness of teaching and learning. READ funds are used to finance analytical work and technical assistance for participating countries.


READ Reimbursable Advisory Services (READ RAS) is aimed at building the capacity of Russian experts and organizations in the field of international development aid for education and education quality assessment. READ RAS provides opportunities for specialists to undergo training and build up their own potential, generates opportunities for knowledge exchange in various areas of educational assessment.


Established in 2008, Center for International Cooperation in Education Development (CICED) is the component of the READ Program, which is responsible for building up Russian expertise and developing quality assessment tools in the Russian Federation.

Andrey Bokarev

Director, Department of the International Financial Relations, Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation

“In recent years, in a number of multilateral formats, and in the donor community in general, Russia’s experience and programs in the field of IDA have been repeatedly recognized as an example of best practice, that is followed by other donors, both new and traditional.”

Prof. Andrey Volkov

CICED Scientific Supervisor, member of the READ Council, professor of Moscow Business School “Skolkovo”

“In a way READ was ahead of its time in 2008 when it was decided to focus specifically on quality of education, especially on it’s assessment, now we see how pertinent the issue of education quality is in a discussion of Sustainable Development Goals. The understanding that “nations prosper when children learn” and not just attend school is now generally accepted. We are happy to see that READ countries are entering this new global era with the capacity in education quality assessment already enhanced via the READ program.”


Selection of countries for participation in READ was carried out on a competitive basis. The evaluation of proposals was conducted by an expert commission, which included representatives of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, the World Bank and leading Russian experts. As a result of the evaluation, out of 17 applications received, eight applications were selected: Armenia, Cambodia, India, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Tajikistan and Vietnam.