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Training in education planning and management, teacher education and management, cross-sectoral planning (inclusive education and early childhood development), research in teacher education and quality issues in education

Jim Ackers is Team Leader, Education Training and Educational Programmes. He oversees, leads and co-ordinates the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of IIEP’s training programmes.   

With his team, Jim maintains strategic direction for the Institute’s training function, as well as priorities for the continued development and delivery of IIEP’s training, based on consultation with IIEP partners (Member States, development partners, external institutes, etc.). 

Prior to joining IIEP in January 2017 Jim worked for UNICEF for 13 years as: Regional Education Adviser, East Asia and the Pacific (2014-2017), Regional Education Adviser for Eastern and Southern Africa (2010-2014), Chief of Education, Tanzania (2007-2010) and Chief of Education, Nigeria (2003-2007). Prior to joining UNICEF Jim was Course Director, Education Planning in Developing Countries at the University of London Institute of Education. He also served as Director of the Centre for international Studies in Education, Newcastle University in the 1990s where he established Newcastle University’s first overseas taught Masters programme in Abu Dhabi. He worked for 11 years as an education adviser for the UK Government in Senegal and Kenya between 1987 and 1993. He has taught in primary and secondary schools, as well as in adult education and at university.


PhD, Education Policy, University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK, Masters in Applied Linguistics and TESOL University of Leicester, UK, Post Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of London Institute of Education, UK, BSc Economics from the London School of Economics. UK.



  • Evaluating UK courses: the perspective of the overseas student, Chapter in Overseas Students in Higher Education (ed. MacNamara, D. & Harris, R.), Routledge, 1997

Articles in peer-reviewed journals and in encyclopedia 

  • Developing a systemic approach to teacher education in sub-Saharan Africa: emerging lessons from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, (Co-author with Frank Hardman, Niki Abrishamian, Margo O’Sullivan), COMPARE, 2011.
  • Classroom Interaction in Kenyan Primary Schools, (Co-author with Frank Hardman), in COMPARE International Journal, 2001.
  • Identifying and addressing the reasons for declining participation rates in Kenyan Primary Schools, (Co-author with Juliana Nzomo and James Migwi), International Journal of Education and Development, 2001.
  • International Transfer of Learning - Obligations and opportunities for Universities, in Learning and Teaching in an International Context: Research, Theory and Practice,  (Co-author with M.F. Macrae and E.S. Todd), Bristol Papers in Education, 1998.

Other noteworthy documents and conference presentations

  • A critical analysis of the evolution of the Southeast Asia Primary Learning Metric (SEA-PLM), (Co-author with Asmah Ahmad and Jeaniene Spink), Paper Presented to the 13th International Conference on Education and Development, University of Oxford, September 2015.
  • Out of School Children in Eastern and Southern Africa, (Co-author with Albert Motivans), presentation to the Conference on International Education, UK Forum for International Education and Training, Oxford, September 2013.
  • A Comparative Analysis of Classroom Interaction in Sub-Saharan Africa, (Co-author with Frank Hardman), Association for the Development of Education in Africa, Triennale, 2012.
  • Systemic Approaches to Teacher Education: A Case Study of Tanzania, (Co-author with Noel Ihebuzor), Association for the Development of Education in Africa, Triennale, 2012.
  • Strategy for Accelerating Girls’ Education in Nigeria, 2003.  
  • Editor and Adviser for:  ‘A Handbook for the Inspection of Educational Institutions’, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Kenya, 2000.  
  • Co-editor, with Juliana Nzomo, of: ‘The National Primary Baseline Report’, Government of Kenya and DFID/British Council publication, 1999.
  • The Effectiveness of Inspectors and Teacher Advisory Centre tutors within the Existing Organisational Structures:  A Kenyan National Primary Baseline Special Study’, (Co-author with Jacinta Ndambuki), Government of Kenya and DFID, 1999.
  • NGOs and the State: The Case of The Gambia, in Accountability in Governmental and NGO projects and programmes, (Co-author with Samba Gagigo), British Council, 1996.