This Week's News and Views

February 05, 2016Duncan McCullough

This Week at CEI


CEI Launches Its Early Learning Toolkit


CEI’s continuing efforts to translate rich data into actionable tools for education practitioners took a major step this week with the release of our Early Learning Toolkit. The Toolkit curates some of the world’s most promising and innovative strategies to improve learning. We've designed the site to arms its users with downloadable tools, implementation tips, case-studies, videos, and more so that they can learn about these new approaches, but are also given the resources they need to actually implement them in the field. The result is a tool that represents the next stage of digital collaboration among disparate stakeholders around the world. We hope you’ll explore the Toolkit for yourself, and will share your thoughts on the platform with us as well!


Global Thought Leaders React to the Early Learning Toolkit’s Release


The reaction of practitioners, from teachers in Uganda to program managers in Nicaragua and multilateral institution officials around the world, has been a thrilling affirmation of our Toolkit’s impact. Nicholas Burnett added his thoughts to the conversation this week, reflecting on the historical context of efforts to address education quality in developing countries, and how the Early Learning Toolkit takes a much needed step in providing concrete resources for those working every day to improve learning.


Upcoming Education Events


Webinar: Output-Based Aid in Education

New Time: Wednesday, 10 February

9:30 to 10:30 am EST


Even webinars couldn’t escape the disruption of Washington DC’s recent snowstorm. Luckily this relevant discussion has been rescheduled for next week. Global Partnership on Output-Based Aid (GPOBA), in partnership with Results for Development Institute (R4D), completed an Education Scoping Study that analyzed the use of results-based financing (RBF), and output-based aid (OBA) in particular, to provide access to quality education in developing countries. Through an in-depth analysis of 24 OBA education projects, the study identifies common characteristics and highlights factors that have facilitated the uptake of OBA approaches in education. Please join the webinar where we will discuss the overall application of RBF, and the value of OBA in providing access to quality education.


Private Sector Approaches to Improving Youth Workforce Systems

Tuesday, 9 February

12:00 -1:30 PM – Washington, DC


Despite persistently high youth-unemployment rates across many developing economies, employers consistently identify a lack of qualified applicants as an impediment to growth. The Society for International Development hosts a discussion on private sector approaches to improving youth workforce systems. A panel of speakers from the Niger Delta Partnership Initiative, the Walmart Foundation and the McKinsey Social Initiative will present. Following the panel remarks, small groups will break out for in-depth Q&A about each of the approaches. Click here to RSVP.


Le Monde Afrique Conference – Women: The Future of Africa

Tuesday, 23 February - Paris, France


Le Monde Afrique, in partnership with the World Bank is cosponsoring a full day conference and photojournalism exhibit on women’s empowerment as the future of Africa. The event strives to raise public awareness on gender inequality and draw attention to successful initiatives that have been proven to work to close gender gaps. If you aren’t in Paris you can still follow the event live on twitter with the hashtag #LMAParis2016, and a recording of the proceedings will be made available after the conference.



First Early Childhood Education Action CongressJune 6-7, 2016 – Paris, France

Registration Deadline: 30 April, 2016


This event, hosted by the Secretary General of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), will bring together 450 leaders from many countries to discuss how to build the political and public support needed to ensure that all children of the world get a good start in life.  Participants will discuss how to attract new advocates for early childhood, what messages are most effective in building support, and what programs can be scaled up to reach large populations of children.  The meeting location is the OECD headquarters at the historic Chateau de la Muette.   For more information and registration, click here.


Funding Opportunities


Humanitarian Education Accelerator

Application Deadline: 15 February


DFID, UNICEF, and UNHCR have partnered to form the first Humanitarian Education Accelerator aims to aid understanding in transforming good pilot projects into scalable educational initiatives. Selected programs will receive tailored trainings, up to £300,000 in financial support, and will be featured within a series of public events, the Humanitarian Education Accelerator web platform and other meta-evaluations. Projects that have already demonstrated impact within a pilot study are strongly encouraged to apply.


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.


Global Education News


UNICEF Is Investing $9 Million In Open Source Tech Solutions For Children


Krithika Varagur reports at the Huffington Post on UNICEF’s Innovation Fund, an initiative that will invest $9 million in “early-stage startups that focus on empowering young people with technology and providing real-time data about underserved populations.” Varagur’s article includes examples of innovations already funded, including the CEI-profiled eLearning Sudan project, additional details about the application process, and the fund’s role within the broader context of an increased role for impact investing for education interventions.


Resilience, refugees, and education for change


This latest article from CEI Advisory Council member Harry Patrinos examines the critical need for international investment in education support for the still-growing number of Syrian refugees across the Middle East and Europe. Recent experiences from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency providing basic education to Palestinian refugees, Patrinos writes, can inform current discussions on addressing the Syrian refugee crisis. Responding to this crisis will not be easy, but Patrinos believes there are lessons from past efforts that can be applied.



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: Unicef Ethiopia, 2014, OSE

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