Case Study: Education in Support of Social Transformation—The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program

  • Barry Burciul
  • Kim Kerr


The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program is the largest private scholarship program ever implemented for African youth. The Program seeks to develop a cohort of next-generation leaders, who will support social transformation and economic growth. This case study reviews the Program’s approach, early results, and learning. It demonstrates how a donor and its partners are engaging in real-time with issues discussed in this book, for instance, the role of scholarships for international education in the context of an Africa-focused initiative. It analyzes the delivery of recruitment and leadership training in the context of the program’s overarching theory of change. At the “meta-level”, the case explores the monitoring, evaluation, and learning framework and how results are woven back into the Program’s operations.


  1. Marsh, R., Baxter, A., Di Genova, L., Jamison, A., and Madden, M. (2016), Career Choices, Return Paths and Social Contributions: The African Alumni Project, Abridged Report, Toronto: The Mastercard Foundation.Google Scholar
  2. The Mastercard Foundation. (2014), Women’s Transformative Leadership in Africa. [Online] Available at’s-transformative-leadership-in-africa/ (Accessed 9 Dec 2016).
  3. The Mastercard Foundation. (2016), Education in Support of Social Transformation: Learning from the First Five Years of The Mastercard Foundation’s Scholars Program. [Online] Available at: (Accessed 9 Dec 2016).
  4. UNESCO. (2016), Global Education Monitoring Report 2016. Education for People and Planet: Creating Sustainable Futures for All, Paris: UNESCO.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Burciul
    • 1
  • Kim Kerr
    • 2
  1. 1.The Mastercard FoundationTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Education and LearningThe Mastercard FoundationTorontoCanada

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