Nangyalai Attal Selected for the Echidna Global Scholars Program

The Echidna Global Scholars Program is a visiting fellowship hosted by the Center for Universal Education (CUE) at the Brookings Institution. The award is highly competitive with only 3 or 4 awarded to applicants from a world-wide competition per year. Echidna Scholars spend four to six months at Brookings pursuing research on global education issues, with a specific focus on improving learning opportunities and outcomes for girls in the developing world.


During his time a Brookings, he has carried out research on increasing girls access to formal agricultural education in Afghanistan. His research revealed that although girls learn agricultrual skills informally from family and friends, they compose only 12% of all students in agricultural technical and vocational education and training. Nangyalai shares his findings on how to help girls develop their skills and use them effectively for national growth and self-reliance.



Nangyalai Attal is a Ph.D. student in International Education at UMass Amherst. He will spend July to December 2021 at the Brookings Institute where his research will focus on policy interventions designed to increase girls’ participation in formal agricultural education in Afghanistan.


Nangyalai has recently been serving as a senior policy specialist at the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TVET-A) of Afghanistan. He is also the founder of the nonprofit organization Hode—meaning “a resilient decision,”— that is dedicated to promoting girls’ education in rural areas.  He has received several previous awards for his work including a Hopes and Challenges Award in 2016 from former Afghan President Hamid Karzai for his commitment to the education of his fellow Afghans. That same year, the Asia Foundation selected Nangyalai for the highly competitive Development Fellows Program.[7-21]