Tuesday, March 9, 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. EST

Distance Continuous Professional Development: What Have We Learned from Education Program Pivots?


Join the Basic Education Coalition (BEC) and Chemonics for a pause and reflect session on Tuesday, March 9. Panelists from five USAID-supported early grade learning programs will discuss their experiences designing, implementing, and evaluating distance continuous professional development initiatives in Senegal, Malawi, Nigeria, and the Philippines. The event will include opportunities for small group discussion and sharing — including a breakout group in French — featuring panelists from the following programs and organizations:

  • Advancing Basic Education in the Philippines (ABC+), RTI International
  • MERIT: Malawi Early Grade Reading Improvement Activity, RTI International
  • Nigeria Northern Education Initiative Plus (NEI Plus), Creative Associates International
  • Senegal Lecture Pour Tous, Chemonics
  • Senegal Passerelles, FHI 360

Learn more about our work in Education and Youth

Featured Panelists

Ina Aquino 
Chief of Party, ABC+: Advancing Basic Education in the Philippines Project 
Ms. Ina Aquino has more than 14 years’ experience leading, implementing, and managing basic education programs in complex and conflict-affected environments. She currently serves as chief of party for USAID’s ABC+: Advancing Basic Education in the Philippines project, implemented by RTI International. Prior to RTI, Ms. Aquino spent seven years on the USAID Education Quality and Access for Learning and Livelihood Skills (EQuALLS) program, leading teacher professional development in reading, math, English, and science instruction. For the Norwegian Refugee Council, she managed a program in South Sudan focused on improving access and quality of education. She has also led a team of 70 staff to support accessible education facilities and quality resources for elementary students and out-of-school youth in Muslim Mindanao. 

Dr. Bidemi Carrol 
Senior Research Education Analyst, RTI International 

Dr. Bidemi Carrol is senior research education analyst in RTI International’s International Education Division. She is an international education specialist with more than 15 years of experience in education policy and programs in sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Carrol has demonstrated expertise in education policy research, monitoring and evaluation, education systems strengthening, and management of complex education programs. She provides technical assistance and policy support to education programs and governments in sub-Saharan Africa, most recently in Malawi, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. Dr. Carrol holds a master’s degree in economics and a Ph.D. in international comparative education from Stanford University.

Dr. Mark Hamilton
Senior Reading Specialist, Northern Education Initiative Plus

Dr. Mark Hamilton has 20 years of experience in international education development, including both policy and practice areas. His expertise includes curriculum development, policy analysis, reading and mathematics teaching methodologies, nonformal education, STEM education, and teacher professional development. Dr. Hamilton has a Ph.D. in education with a specialization in international development studies from Michigan State University. He is currently senior reading specialist with Creative Associates International for the USAID-funded Northern Education Initiative Plus activity. He is based in Abuja, Nigeria. View more materials on Northern Education Initiative Plus here.

Nathalie Louge
Education Technical Advisor, FHI 360

Ms. Nathalie Louge is an education technical advisor at FHI 360. Her experience ranges from instructional design of teaching and learning materials to the development of in-person and distance training and coaching programs in several countries. She is currently assisting the USAID Passerelles Senegal project with development and piloting of an online course for coaches on socio-emotional learning. Ms. Louge holds a literacy certification from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree in international education from the University of Sussex.

Dr. Vincent M. Mugisha
Chief of Party, Lecture Pour Tous Project

Dr. Vincent M. Mugisha is chief of party for the USAID/Lecture Pour Tous project, which provides technical assistance to the Senegalese Ministry of National Education in implementing large-scale early grade reading reforms. His experience includes programming in teacher development, pedagogical leadership and instructional supervision, early grade reading, and girls’ education. Dr. Mugisha has also led education projects that focused on teacher professional development in Equatorial Guinea, Haiti, Benin, and Ethiopia. He holds a Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy studies from the University of Vermont. Learn more about the Lecture Pour Tous program’s continuous professional development efforts here.

Armida Elaine Umali-Trinos
Instructional Delivery and Materials Advisor, ABC+: Advancing Basic Education in the Philippines Project

Ms. Armida Elaine Umali-Trinos is an educator and development practitioner with more than 12 years’ experience with early childhood education, curriculum design and pedagogy, learning and development, and participatory research. Putting theory into practice, Ms. Umali-Trinos has provided technical assistance to key initiatives for early childhood care and development, teacher professional development, and school-based management projects for several non-governmental organizations. As part of the ABC+ Project, she leads the design and development of flexible learning options for teacher professional development, working in close collaboration with the Philippine Department of Education. She also leads the core components of instructional delivery and materials development for the project. She holds a master’s degree in educational management from the University of Melbourne.


Carole G. Basile 
Dean, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University 

Carole G. Basile is the dean of the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University (ASU).  As dean at ASU, her work has centered on redesigning the education workforce and changing practices in teacher and leadership preparation. She is currently working with education organizations nationally and internationally to design systems and enable organizational change in these areas. She is recognized for her work in math and science education, teacher education, community engagement, and environmental education. She actively partners with many urban school districts, nonprofit community and social service entities, and organizations focused on business, workforce, and economic development.  

Paige Morency-Notario 
Director of Outreach and Communications, Basic Education Coalition 

Paige Morency-Notario is a passionate development professional who brings a wealth of teaching, inclusion, education technical support, project management, communications, outreach, and monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) experience. She holds master’s degrees in education and special education. She is currently the director of outreach and communications for the Basic Education Coalition (BEC). Ms. Morency-Notario previously provided technical assistance to reading projects in FHI 360’s Francophone portfolio and worked with both the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Team and the Education and Youth Practice at Chemonics. 

Alison Pflepsen 
Education Advisor, Chemonics 

Alison Pflepsen has more than 15 years of experience designing, managing, and providing technical leadership to support improved education outcomes in low-income country contexts. As an education advisor, Ms. Pflepsen supports Chemonics’ early grade learning programs through the application of evidence-based best practices. Prior to joining Chemonics, Ms. Pflepsen was the reading program specialist for the USAID-supported Global Reading Network. From 2010 to 2016, Ms. Pflepsen worked at RTI International supporting early grade reading programs. Ms. Pflepsen has an M.S. in development management, with a focus on international education. She has extensive experience working and living in sub-Saharan Africa and speaks French, Pulaar, and Spanish. 

Diane Proudfoot 
Instructional Designer 

Diane Proudfoot is an instructional designer who has provided technical support in international education for more than 20 years.  Ms. Proudfoot specializes in training design, professional development, coaching, and formative assessment. As an instructional materials designer, she has supported the delivery of programs for literacy, numeracy, early childhood development, and entrepreneurship using strategies for print, audio, face-to-face, computer, and video instruction. Domestically, she works for non-profits involved in rights education, health, and urban planning. Ms. Proudfoot holds a B.A. in English from the University of Ottawa and an M.A. in educational technology from Concordia University in Montréal, Canada.  She works in both English and French. 

Audrey Spencer 
Global Practice Lead, Education and Youth, Chemonics 

Audrey Spencer has 13 years experience as an international education professional specializing in programming and training for literacy, teacher training, STEM, and healthy youth practices that are grounded in inclusive and gender-equitable foundations. Ms. Spencer is the Education and Youth global practice lead at Chemonics and has provided technical assistance and thought leadership on development projects in Central Asia, Africa, the Americas, and the Pacific regions. She has experience forging successful partnerships with ministries of education, research and training entities, civil society and grassroots stakeholders to design, implement, and grow projects that consistently meet or exceed targets and prove to be sustainable. Ms. Spencer holds an M.A. in education, specializing in curriculum and instruction, and a B.S. in elementary education.

Mary Sugrue 
Senior Technical Advisor, Education Development Center 

Mary Sugrue is a senior technical advisor at Education Development Center with more than 20 years of experience in language, literacy, and numeracy instruction at primary and secondary levels. She provides technical expertise in early grade reading instruction, mathematics instruction, accelerated learning, inclusive education pedagogy, and teacher professional development. Ms. Sugrue currently supports program quality and learning on the Accelerated Quality Education for Liberian Children (AQE Liberia) project, Read II Ethiopia, and the Northern Education Initiative Plus in Nigeria. She has co-authored technical guidance and training products for the Global Reading Network and the Basic Education Coalition.