Benjamin Piper is the Senior Director for Africa Education at RTI International. Based in Nairobi, Kenya, Dr. Piper provides technical support to programs across the world. He is the Principal Investigator of the Learning @ Scale research program (2019–2022), funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through the Center for Global Development, that investigates 14 highly effective learning improvement interventions in low- and middle-income countries. Dr. Piper is also the Principal Investigator of the Play Accelerator research program (2019–2025), funded by Lego Foundation, which evaluates the impact of five large-scale interventions increasing play-based activities in low- and middle-income countries. He is the Principal Investigator of the Science of Teaching grant (2020-2023) from the Gates Foundation which is developing materials to support the design and implementation of effective foundational literacy and numeracy interventions.
Dr. Piper supervises Kenya’s national literacy program, Tusome (“Let’s Read”) Early Grade Reading Activity (2014–2021), funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). He led the expansion of Tusome to the Kakuma refugee camp (2017–2018), funded by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); and supervised Kenya’s Tayari Early Childhood Development and Education Programme (2014–2019), sponsored by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation. Dr. Piper previously led Tusome, the Primary Math and Reading (PRIMR) Initiative, the National Tablet Programme, and the PRIMR Rural Expansion Programme in Kenya. These programs tested low-cost and scalable approaches to improving literacy and numeracy.
He has experience in quantitative methods for causal inference, longitudinal analysis, and mixed-methods research. Dr. Piper is interested in instructional improvement, policy reform, evaluation, and early childhood development. He has experience in program management, instructional leadership, pedagogical improvement, policy analysis and assessment and has worked with the World Bank, the U.K. Department for International Development, UNICEF, and Save the Children.