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

May 16, 2014Kristen Grauer

This Week at CEI

Two leading funding platforms, Toniic and GlobalGiving, have partnered with our parent organization, the Results for Development Institute (R4D), to increase investment and donations to innovative health and education organizations in emerging economies. Toniic and GlobalGiving are joining a network of fourteen organization working with R4D on resolving some of the world's toughest development challenges.

CEI's Managing Director, Nicholas Burnett, gave a keynote speech at the Quality Learning Foundation's National Conference in Thailand last week. His presentation focused on how innovative financing and spending can be used to get out-of-school children back in the classroom. He drew on evidence from a report written by Senior Program Associate Milan Thomas on the estimated cost of out-of-school children. To learn more about how ways to bridge the youth employability gap in the developing world, check out a recent blog post from Senior Program Officer Shubha Jayaram.

Upcoming Events



  • May 26 | ISIF Asia Awards - Nominations for the 2014 ISIF Asia Awards are now being accepted! Nominate an ICT project that is improving social and economic development in the Asia Pacific region. There are four funding categories, including Learning and Localization. 
  • May 31 | Innovation for Inclusive Development (IID) Fellows Program - This competition hosted by UNIID-SEA and the Asian University Network (AUN) is seeking applicants from ASEAN countries for its Fellows Program. Winners will be awarded small grants to aid in the development of teaching and learning packages.
  • June 23 | The School Enterprise Challenge - The School Enterprise Challenge, hosted by Teach a Man to Fish, is a unique international business competition for school students, aiming to identify and reward the social entrepreneurs of tomorrow. Register today!
  • June 25 | Re-imagine Learning Challenge - The Lego Foundation, in partnership with Ashoka and Changemakers, calls for innovative education programs that encourage more playful, enthusiastic learning and develop creativity, imaginative problem-solving, teamwork, empathy, and inspiration skills. #Play2Learn
  • July 18 | Enabling Writers - All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development is now accepting nominations for its $100,000 prize competition which incentivizes the development of software that helps writers draft texts to improve reading skills of children in developing countries.
  • August 31 | Varkey GEMS Foundation Global Teacher Prize - Applications for world’s first one million dollar teacher prize are now open. Nominate an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession.
  • Open Ended | Early Childhood Intervention Survey - The International Society on Early Intervention (ISEI) invites you to participate in a brief survey about the status of early childhood intervention in your country. The questionnaire should take only 20 minutes.
  • Open Ended | Atlas Corps Fellowship - This 12-18 month professional fellowship is offered three times a year for nonprofit leaders from around the world. Develop leadership skills from the Atlas Corps Nonprofit Management Series in either the U.S. or Latin America.


Education News

Education in the Central African Republic Is "On Its Knees" – With only months left in the school year, nearly two thirds of the schools in the Central African Republic (CAR) remain closed due to conflict and violence. Evidence from a recent survey implemented by UNICEF and its partners reveals that the majority of the nation's schools lack funding for teachers, reading materials for students, and the infrastructure to support a safe learning environment. Families also fear send their children to school because one third of the 355 schools surveyed have been attacked in recent months. According to Souleymane Diabaté, UNICEF Representative in CAR, "the education system is literally on its knees." Threatened by increasingly sectarian violence, human rights abuses, and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people, the children of CAR need $10 million in funding to get back into the classroom.

Policymakers in Asia Must Do More to Protect and Educate their Workforce - New evidence from the World Bank on labor in East Asia and the Pacific suggests that the region's economic growth is currently threatened by a lack of support for working populations at a time when aging populations are putting a greater strain on resources. A combination of inadequate education and work opportunities has led to high unemployment, especially in Indonesia and the Philippines. In order to bridge this gap, policymakers need to invest more in key areas such as early-grade schooling and skills training for the workforce. 


Point of Departure

In light of the recent abduction of over 200 Nigerian girls from their boarding school dormitory, the international community is reaffirming its commitment to protecting girls in Nigeria and across the globe from attacks on their education. A new report from the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack reveals that while many families want to send their daughters to school, they no longer feel safe doing so - this is especially prevalent in countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Mali, and Syria where similar patterns of violence, poverty, and cultural oppression exist. However, increased awareness and international support is helping these girls to fight back.
WEIGH IN – How can the international community better support children, especially girls, in fragile and conflict-affected states? What role can innovation play in achieving this support?
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