Research shows that poverty affects cognitive development of children more than factors such as parents’ education or parents’ cognitive abilities. Poor and low SES children perform significantly worse than their middle-class peers on many indicators of academic success such as: test scores, grade retention, course failures, high school graduation rate, high school dropout rate and completed years of schooling.

The ARISE – Action for Reducing Inequalities in Education – project is a platform created by a pool of NEPC members NGOs and research institutes from Western Balkans and Turkey (IPA countries) that will support schools, grassroots organisations and policy makers in developing actions and policies aimed at mitigating the effect of low socio-economic status on students’ achievement, reducing inequalities in education.

25 schools will receive support to implement a 2-year school development programme, based on whole school approach and mentoring, to reduce disparities of poverty. Consortium members will support schools to develop sustainable practices in that direction, including school staff training, school projects, school policies, community involvement.

The project foresees the following results:

  • social mechanisms and institutional effects related to inequality identified at national and regional level
  • increased awareness among policy makers and educational stakeholders on the effect of SES on schooling and well-being of children
  • local grassroots organisations empowered for advocacy and project design
  • impact of poverty on school achievement and overall well-being of low SES students in 25 schools alleviated


The project started in March 2020 and it will last for 4 years.



Kosova Education Center (project leader) – Kosovo

Network of Education Policy Centers – Croatia

Sabancı University Egitim Reformu Girisimi – Turkey

Children Are the Future – Albania

Centre for Education Policy – Serbia

proMENTE  social research – Bosnia and Herzegovina

Centre for Educational Initiatives Step by Step – Bosnia and Herzegovina

Foundation for Education and Cultural Initiatives “Step by Step” – North Macedonia


The project is funded by the EuropeAid program of the European Union.

  • Implementation period
    01/03/2020 - Ongoing
  • Personnel
    Petrit Tahiri
  • Donors and Partners

    European Union

  • Research