Accelerating evidence-based policy in education

Introducing strategic guidelines and visual design for’s Synthesis Portal, a platform sourcing global information for policy makers to be better informed on decisions relating to Accelerated Learning Programs (AEP).

Work > Evidence Synthesis Portal Evidence Synthesis Portal



Digital transformation, Change management, Strategic planning


Data, Innovation


While the education sector has had significant investments in education policy and data, the knowledge and evidence infrastructure that supports informed decision making is lacking, especially when compared to other sectors, such as healthcare. Since it was founded in 2019, believes it is not a lack of new evidence, but the inability to use what we know, that lies at the heart of the global education crisis.


Understand the nuance

between healthcare and education and apply lessons learned from other initiatives.

Design an organizational

product strategy and future state, adapting innovative approaches from other industries and organizations.

Design workflows and products

to create systematic reviews at scale.

Test the approach

through a prototype and pilot on the topic of Accelerated Education Programmes.

How can we design an innovative approach to systematic reviews in education to improve evidence-based policymaking decisions?

What was the big project question?

Høst Projects
Høst Projects
Høst Projects

How did we work through the challenge?

Key principles

Upon reviewing sector landscapes and conducting interviews with leaders from comparator organisations, we determined that our overall approach to building a new, comprehensive and first-in-the-market solution should be grounded on three key organisational principles: simplicity, flexibility and a commitment to doing good work. For to achieve the success it so desired it must be guided by these three principles:

  1. Keep it simple and focus on efficiency and doing fewer things well with the available resources.
  2. Embrace diverse thinking and new practices by embedding a design thinking approach into all aspects of the project strategy, management and implementation.
  3. Prioritise impact and practicality over perfection to be more agile in implementing systems that can get more evidence to more people quickly.

Inception Report: Developing the solution’s concept

With conclusions and ideas stemming from the research phase, we developed an inception report that served as a bridge between the initial concept of the opportunity and the operational and strategic guidance for the future Blueprint and pilot of the Synthesis platform. It was an internal document that posed ideas that were provocative, encouraged broader thinking and provided a starting point for future discussion. Upon input, feedback and acceptance from the team, this Inception Report guided all efforts used to develop the Blueprint and prototype of the solution.

Blueprint Report: Defining the strategy for implementation

Building upon the Inception Report, we began a collaborative process with to define the strategic, operational, and stakeholder engagement guidance for the build and roll-out of the Synthesis process and the supporting structures required for its success. We conducted weekly design thinking workshops and sessions to design a process for the implementation of an integrated solution that efficiently took advantage of’s current resources and defined steps and a plan to scale the initiative in the future to ensure supported decision makers in a timely, useful manner.

Prototype: Launching and Testing the Solution

Run in conjunction with the Blueprint Report, worked on the first Synthesis prototype focussing on accelerated education. This topic was chosen in part due to the need to advance our collective understanding of accelerated learning to support the global response to losses in education due to the COVID-19 pandemic. went through all the steps of the process laid out in the Blueprint Report in order to engage stakeholders and launch the first Synthesis products for the benefit of education policymakers who are looking to make more impactful decisions when responding to accelerated learning challenges.

The visual design of the Synthesis Portal prototype was adapted from’s brand guidelines, with some tweaks and additions to create a comprehensive UI framework. We chose familiar user interface elements (checkboxes, dropdowns, breadcrumbs, tabs, etc.) Colour and type hierarchy are used to direct users attention, and create an intuitive path through the prototype.

What were the outcomes?

We supported the team in launching the first iteration of their Synthesis Portal and products solution focused on accelerated learning. Upon feedback and revisions, we also laid out the future strategic and operational implementation path for the initiative, resulting in the first ever solution in the education sector to offer reliable evidence in an accessible, timely and useful way to decision makers.

To see the first launch of the evidence synthesis products released in 2022, please visit:

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