Center for Education Innovations: News & Views

October 09, 2015Duncan McCullough

This Week at CEI

Arjun Upadhyay and Nicholas Burnett explained this week that when it comes to considering financing options for education interventions, it’s time to think outside the box. The authors examine the innovative ‘Buy-Down’ model, whereby a third party agrees to pay the interest or principal of a loan, thereby releasing the borrower from all or some of their future repayment obligations. Innovations like buy downs will be critical to bridging the current financing gap within international education, Upadhyay and Burnett make a strong case for them with useful and current examples.

There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and each one brings its own set of challenges and constraints. However, the SDGs also present opportunities for cross-sector benefits that can deliver more bang for the buck. Take for example the fruitful connection between education and agriculture. Using CEI’s searchable database of innovative education programs, we profiled several programs that use a variety of agriculture projects to help aid students’ development.

One aspect of my work that I thoroughly enjoy is highlighting the work of committed educators around the world. This week brought the commemoration of World Teacher’s Day, and I took the opportunity to share 3 inspiring stories of teachers from CEI-profiled programs that are moving our world forward one student at a time.

Events and Opportunities

International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) Bursary Program
Are you working in the field of impact evaluation? Are you a national and resident of a low or middle-income country? If so, 3ie may have funding to help you build your evaluation capacity through attending conferences and events around the world. For a more detailed explanation of funding and eligibility, click here.

USAID Development Innovations Venture (DIV)
USAID’s DIV program, inspired by the venture capital model, invests comparatively small amounts in relatively unproven concepts, and continues to support those that prove they work. DIV evaluates applicant solutions based on three main criteria: the cost effectiveness of the idea relative to traditional alternatives; the project’s plan for collecting rigorous evidence of success; and the solution’s proposed pathways to scale if it is proven effective. For additional info on how to apply, click here.

Open Society Foundations Burma Project
OSF’s Burma Project remains an important opportunity for organizations working in the country to “address and prevent human rights abuses; promote independent media and access to information; encourage peace and reconciliation; empower women, youth, and ethnic minorities; and encourage an end to discrimination.” For more information on guidelines and applying, click here.

World Bank and International Monetary Fund Annual Meetings 2015
Oct 9 – Oct 11: Lima, Peru
Today marks the beginning of the World Bank’s Annual Meetings, where global leaders are convening to discuss what's needed to end extreme poverty, boost shared prosperity, and address climate change among other issues. You can watch a live-feed of the meetings here.

Brookings Event: Addressing crisis, supporting recovery: The Central African Republic at a Crossroads
Oct 13, 3:00 – 4:30pm: Washington DC
Brookings hosts an event next week examine the immediate efforts to stabilize the Central African Republic (CAR), and long-term strategies for the country’s economic recovery. With upcoming elections recently postponed due to security concerns, the situation is even more challenging. However, many development professionals are not shying away from this challenge, and the event is an excellent opportunity to hear from them directly.

Education News from Around the World:

Jordan Shapiro interviews Julia Gillard this week for a piece in Forbes magazine about education’s key role in all of the global development goals. The interview is Shaprio’s attempt “to understand why we give so much attention to some humanitarian crises, while neglecting global education.” Gillard’s responses are insightful, passionate, hopeful, and well worth a read.

Brookings’ education blog, Education + Development, examines the role of impact bonds on the next five years of global development. Impact bonds and other strategies to channel private money towards public goods are a hot topic of conversation in the international development community but this post looks critically at how well these bonds are translating to change and impact on the ground.

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who was shot by extremists angered by her belief that all girls should go to school, has accomplished a great deal in the few years since that attack. And now there is one new accomplishment she can add to this continually expanding list: Meeting and impressing the wealthiest man in the world, Bill Gates. Mr. Gates met with Malala recently to discuss her new documentary, He Named Me Malala, and writes a blog post this week about the film, education, girls, and the global community in general. To find a local showing of Malala’s new movie, click here.

Photo Credit: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferre

Duncan McCullough is a Communications Associate at the Center for Education Innovations, proud Masters graduate of George Mason University, and former White House Staffer.

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