Center for Education Innovations: This Week's News and Views

October 23, 2015Duncan McCullough

This Week at CEI

4 CEI profiled programs have been selected as 2015 WISE Award Winners. Bridge International Academies, Educate!, Nafham, and The Talking Book Program were chosen “from a pool of 15 Finalists for their creative approach to learning and positive impact on society.” Be sure to check our blog next week for a post highlighting these winning programs' work, and future plans.

Dr. Sara Watson, the Director of Ready Nation, wrote a blog post on CEI about the private sector’s growing role in early childhood development. Her organization promotes effective investments in children and youth, and recently delivered an open letter to the United Nations, signed by 120 business leaders from five continents, that highlighted the many benefits of including early childhood education in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Earlier this month the world celebrated the International Day of the Girl Child, with this year’s theme celebrating The Power of the Adolescent Girl. Christine Wallace drew attention to the day by authoring a blog exploring six education barriers faced by adolescent girls, and the work that the Girls’ Education Challenge is taking to address them.

Events & Opportunities

EduApp4Syria Competition Dialogue Conference
Oslo – October 26
Washington DC – October 29

The first step in an All Children Reading grant competition to develop a mobile learning and wellbeing tool to increase literacy and psychosocial wellbeing for Syrian children from 4 to 10 years old begins next week with conference events in Oslo and Washington DC. For event details to both of these locations, click here.

2015 mEducation Alliance Symposium
Washington DC – October 28-30
The fifth annual meeting for the Mobiles for Education Alliance takes place later this month, and will focus on the role of technologies in education in supporting the post-2015 SDG goals. The symposium will be open to the public on Oct. 28 for the event: The Networking, Pitch, Exhibit Fair, and S.T.E.M. for Early Grade Reading Workshop from 10:00am to 5:30pm.

Google Ad Grants Program
Google is providing eligible non-profits with thousands of dollars worth of in-kind advertising donations that can help your organization attract more donors, volunteers, and visitors. The program comes with technical support and guidance from Google’s top staff, and can help innovative programs reach an entirely new level of impact. To check if you are eligible click here.

Perspectives on UNESCO's Origins, Achievements, Problems and Promise:
Book Launch and Panel Discussion

Washington DC – Monday, November 2, 5:30 – 6:30pm
George Washington University and UNESCO are hosting the launch of Dr. Raymond Wanner's new publication offering a provocative study of the development and history of UNESCO, an overview of its multifaceted program areas, and a critical discussion of the implications of non-payment of U.S. government assessments and U.S. intellectual disengagement. The event will include an in depth introduction of the author of the bookas well as responses from a distinguished panel, which includes Results for Development Managing Director for Education, Nicholas Burnett.

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.

Call for Proposals for Africa Centers of Excellence
Open Call
World Bank Group (WBG) and Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) are jointly launching a Call for Proposals for Africa Centers of Excellence. The key regional development priorities identified for this Project are in four cluster areas: (i) Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM); (ii) Agriculture; (iii) Health; and (iv) Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) and Quality of Education, and Applied Statistics. (ACEs) for Eastern and Southern Africa. For a list of supporting countries, as well as additional information on how to submit, click here.

Education News from Around the World

Impact investing continues to gain traction in developing economies, and Naki B. Mendoza’s recent article in the Devex Impact blog examines how innovative financing mechanisms are making their way to social enterprises. The piece looks at development impact bonds, social success notes, green and pandemic bonds in order to see how commercial capital is being channeled towards the new sustainability targets for 2030.

Aaron Benavot and Nicole Bella, the Director and Senior Statistician and Policy Analyst at the EFA Global Monitoring Report, respectively, wrote last week about the “limited understanding of the meaning of gender equality, and a dearth of data to measure it” that exists today. They outline work by institutions like the UK aid agency DFID and others’ efforts to not only better understand gender disparity issues, but what concrete steps are necessary for the international community to take in order to develop the tools and knowledge necessary to achieve true gender equality.

This week, World Bank Education Manager and CEI advisory council member, Harry Patrinos spoke at The Economist’s Higher Education Forum in New York, and wrote about his experience in the World Bank blog. Patrinos looks at how the provision of higher education can be expanded, and builds a strong case that such an expansion would create significant investment benefits across sectors and throughout the developing world. 

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

Photo Credit: Voice 4 Girls

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