The READ 2 RAS program has made progress in a number of important areas since its launch in November 2016. Key achievements have included the setting up of a Doctoral Degree Program in Educational Measurement and Evaluation, a Master of Arts Degree Program in Education Quality, and a Small Grants Program. The READ 2 RAS program has also facilitated learning and knowledge exchange through support for the Eurasian Association for Educational Assessment (EAOKO) and the Center for International Cooperation in Education Development (CICED). Most recently, the Program supported the “Monitoring, Ratings, and Rankings as Education Quality Management Tools” conference that brought together over 250 policymakers, government authorities, recognized scientists, and experts from Europe and Central Asia (ECA). The conference provided an opportunity for participants to discuss and share country experiences and best practices in the field of education quality assurance. Importantly, the conference highlighted the growing demand for knowledge-sharing events in the field of education quality assurance and student assessment in ECA countries. In addressing this demand, the READ 2 Program has benefitted from the leadership, guidance, and collaboration of Russia’s Ministry of Finance and the World Bank.

The second annual meeting of the READ 2 RAS Expert Council took place on sidelines of the “Monitoring, Ratings, and Rankings as Education Quality Management Tools” conference. During the meeting, the READ 2 RAS and CICED teams had the opportunity to share with Council members the progress achieved under the Program to date, as well as future activities planned through 2019 when the READ 2 RAS program is expected to close. The teams also benefitted from feedback from the Council on key documents and future initiatives, including the need to take stock of the capacity of Russian experts in the area of education quality to facilitate continued support to other ECA countries.