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

September 04, 2015Duncan McCullough

This Week at CEI:

Rukmini Banerji, Director of the ASER Centre in New Delhi and member of CEI’s Advisory Council, examines the relationship between assessments and action when it comes to improving education. Citizen-led assessments in particular have been a highly influential, “genuine model of South-South learning and cooperation” but have they successfully improved children’s educational outcomes?

The concept of Africa for many foreigners is undergoing a remarkable transformation. No longer can the continent be reduced to simply a collection of conflicts and aid-projects. Instead, those who are paying attention are quickly realizing that the spirit of entrepreneurship is rising across many of the region’s economies. Late last week, I examined 5 innovative programs preparing Africa’s next generation of entrepreneurs with the skills they need to succeed in this new stage of African development.

Another CEI Advisory Council Member, Gabriel Zinny, recently explored how improved growth and democracy in Latin America may depend on primary education. Countries and communities across Latin America are exploring a variety of reforms aimed at improving this critical early step in education, and Zinny evaluates their effectiveness, as well as how these reforms may develop moving forward.

Events & Opportunities

Back to School Event with ‘Early Childhood Matters’

Thursday, September 10, 12pm – 1:30pm
As children around the world return to school, Results for Development (R4D), the Bernard van Leer Foundation (BvLF) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) will be hosting an event to reflect on the state of the early childhood field. The panel event will spotlight BvLF’s journal - Early Childhood Matters: A Good Start: Advances in Early Childhood Development, with contributions from experts on brain science, nutrition, home visiting, parent support, pre-primary, fatherhood, emergency contexts, children with disabilities, measurement and leadership. To RSVP, click here.

Financing education for the developing world through 2030 and beyond

Tuesday, September 8, 2:00pm – 3:30pm
This event builds off of Brookings’ recent report exploring the financing possibilities for basic education targets of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Norwegian Ambassador to the United States Kåre R. Aas will provide keynote remarks, followed by a presentation from Liesbet Steer, fellow at the Center for Universal Education and lead author of the Financing Education report.

Indigenous Women's Fund: Second Call for Proposals

September 9th, 2015 – Deadline
We’ve publicized this call before, but with the deadline approaching soon make sure you explore this important resource before it is too late. The Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) offers funding for projects that aim to promote the well being of indigenous peoples based on the principle of free, prior and informed consent. The three priority thematic areas this year are; Education-Economic Empowerment, Access to Political Power, and Institutional Strengthening.

Call for Applications for Library Innovation Award 2015 for Developing Countries

October 12, 2015 – Deadline
The Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL) organization is offering a US$1,500 prize for innovative services that use information and communication technology (ICT) to contribute to literacy in their community. For more information on the application process, click here.

USAID Middle East Partnership Initiative Local Grants Annual Program

October 16, 2015 – Deadline
USAID has an open grant to support organizations and individuals promoting positive change, advocacy, and civic activism; strengthening civil society; supporting citizen’s efforts to achieve economic, social, and political empowerment; expanding opportunities for women and youth; and more. If you or someone you know is working in the Middle East in any of these areas, be sure to review this excellent opportunity.

Education News from Around the World

'Education for All' Means Prioritizing the Children Furthest Left Behind
Josephine Bourne, UNICEF Chief of Education, Programme Division took to the Huffington Post this week to share her belief that the key to achieving the upcoming SDG’s for Education “is to focus on equity and learning’. To accomplish this focus will require political will and innovative financing, among other factors, which she explores in this fascinating post.

Putting the 10 common claims about Impact Bonds to the test
Brookings’ Education + Development blog examines one of the “Payment by Results” financing mechanisms garnering increasing amounts of attention recently: Impact Bonds. The article finds 5 positive effects this type of financing is having on service provision, but also lists 5 areas where common claims are not demonstrating the impact that some have predicted. As Impact Bonds become more widely used, more information about their effectiveness will become available. For now though, this piece by Sophie Gardiner and Emily Gustafsson-Wright provides an excellent early assessment.

Calling Time on the MDGs
Maggie Black reflects on the Millennium Development Goals this week, as the world prepares for the formal adoption of the next global framework, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Maggie writes pointedly about the MDGs’ shortcomings. “If you are drowning off the coast of Libya or watching a bulldozer flattening your home in slum-dog Mumbai, your child’s vaccination against measles or bed-net against malaria is irrelevant”. She raises these important questions to emphasize the need for small-scale, diverse, and participatory approaches to be included as the SDGs progress from rosy-plans to the challenges of real-world implementation.

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: Pebbles Project

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