Charlie Goldsmith

Charlie Goldsmith has twenty years’ experience in high profile and large scale reform and management leadership, in both Global North and South.

He is a leading practitioner, in strategy, design and implementation, in the fields of education data and finance, cash and social protection, and public sector reform. Charlie’s focus is on fragile, conflict-affected and particularly poor contexts.

Now in his fifteenth year of working in and for South Sudan, Charlie’s achievements there have included:

  • Leading design and implementation of the real-time, fully disaggregate EMIS, of a national school capitation grants system, and of a national education cash transfers system, through which half a million girls and their families now receive support each year…
  • …and which, together with a teacher incentive system, and associated HR database, Charlie and his team designed, has driven a tripling of school enrolment in seven years, from 0.9m in 2014, when South Sudan had officially the lowest education participation in the world, to 2.7m in 2020
  • Leading design and implementation of the South Sudan Electronic Payroll System, through which 150,000 public servants’ pay, across 300 institutions, was successfully managed
  • Managing the initial construction and establishment of Juba Diocesan Model Secondary School, founded in 2006, which is now South Sudan’s leading secondary school, with almost 900 pupils, and table-topping results

Other major programmes Charlie has overseen include:

  • For Sierra Leone, a rapid revision of health staffing that supported the introduction of Free Health Care in 2010, and roll-outs of health worker ( and now teacher attendance systems (
  • National biometric registration of almost 60,000 public servants and community health workers in Lesotho – identifying major opportunities for savings on staff paid but not in evidence
  • A standardised health workforce payscale for Somalia, now in its ninth year of use
  • A series of innovative uses of Android apps to make education data and assurance flow

He and his team have recently been retained to support the Government of Malawi’s Social Cash Transfers Programme, with funding from KfW.

Charlie has published on education payroll reform. He is active in thought-leadership on education data systems, and on ways to use pupil data/EMIS as an ‘interim social registry’, most recently here:

From 2008, Charlie built a fragile states public administration team at Booz & Company, which then became Charlie Goldsmith Associates Ltd in 2011.

In 2019, Charlie Goldsmith Associates Ltd was acquired by Lutheran World Relief and IMA World Health, and became part of the Corus International family.

Charlie has worked in and for South Sudan, DR Congo, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Malawi, Lesotho. He is based in Lusaka, Zambia.

Charlie was a scholarship boy at St Paul’s, an ER Noble Scholar at Balliol College Oxford, third Craven Scholar, an Oxford University-wide Classics scholarship, and held a British Kennedy Memorial Scholarship to Harvard.  He is a Sunday School teacher at St Mary Magdalene Parish Church, Kabulonga, and sings at St Alfege, Greenwich, when in the UK.