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Dr. Rao's work has been underpinned by the notion that local contexts matter and that better data inform better decisions. It has addressed the empirical lacuna of lack of robust data on early childhood development and preschool quality throughout Asia.

Lifetime total of over 300 research outputs

Authored/co-authored 3 books and 14 major research reports; co-edited 2 books;


Authored/co-authored 27 book chapters and over 100 international peer refereed journal articles; and co-authored policy briefs.

Published in the top journals

Books have been published by Routledge, Springer and UNESCO in the fields of child development and education

Presented keynote papers

Across Asia, Europe, Middle East, North America and South America

Published numerous articles

Considered the best journals in the field.

Received several external research grants as Principal Investigator (PI) 

Since 1999 including from the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Government’s Quality Education Fund, the Hong Kong Educational Bureau, UNICEF headquarters and country offices, UNESCO, Department for International Development, UK, and Optimus Foundation.  Since September 2012 I have secured research grants as PI or Co-PI totalling over HK$ 200 million. 

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