Original research

Ebola Emergency: Restoring Education, Creating Safe Schools and Prevent a Long-Term Crisis

The impact of Ebola stretches far beyond those who have contracted the disease. Nearly 5 million children are out of school due to Ebola-related school closures in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – many indefinitely. As in many emergencies, education has been one of the first casualties of the Ebola emergency.

In response, The Global Business Coalition for Education, in partnership with A World at School, released, Ebola Emergency: Restoring Education, Creating Safe Schools and Preventing Long-term Crisis, a report that offers an overview of the consequences of school shutdowns and recommendations for immediate action.

The State of the World’s Children 2015: Reimagine the future

The report highlights the work of creative problem solvers around the world, allowing them to talk about the future in their own voice. Much of the content in the report was curated from UNICEF’s series of ‘Activate Talks,’ which have brought together innovators from around the world to highlight specific challenges and concrete actions to realize children’s rights.

The Impact of Pretend Play on Children's Development: A Review of the Evidence

Pretend play has been claimed to be crucial to children’s healthy development. Here we examine evidence for this position versus 2 alternatives: Pretend play is 1 of many routes to positive developments (equifinality), and pretend play is an epiphenomenon of other factors that drive development. Evidence from several domains is considered. For language, narrative, and emotion regulation, the research conducted to date is consistent with all 3 positions but insufficient to draw conclusions.

A Measurement Framework for Early Childhood: Birth to 8 Years of Age

In recent years, mounting evidence on the importance of early childhood development has led to growing attention to children's experiences from birth to 8 years of age. In addition to spurring the development of new models to directly support young children and their caregivers, there has also been an increased emphasis on national policies and practices integral to protecting young children's rights. Yet despite increased attention, millions of young children are still not experiencing the conditions necessary to support their development.

Putting Science into Practice for Early Child Development

As UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake and World Health Organization Director-General Dr Margaret Chan state in this issue “The debate between nature and nurture as determinants of early child development is over. Today we understand that the two are inextricably linked.”  Their article lays out the effects of toxic stress and the particularly pernicious role it can play for millions of the world’s most vulnerable children.

Scaling-up early childhood development in South Africa: a special issue of DGMT Hands-on Learning

Recently produced a special issue of Hands-on Learning publication which explores approaches, opportunities, lessons and possible resources that could inform the scaling-up of ECD provisioning in South Africa, with an emphasis on social franchising as a particularly viable solution. The issue includes the following articles and resources:

Private Schools for the Poor

Understanding the contribution that low-cost private schools are making to the education of the poor in many parts of the developing world. In addition, documenting key challenges these schools face and explore how they can overcome them by identifying which types of support are required and who can provide the assistance.

 

The role of research in teacher training and development: Case studies from Nigeria

The report begins with the current state and challenges of teacher development training in Nigeria and examines the differences between teacher training in the public and private sectors. It continues by highlighting innovative policies, programs, and actors currently emerging in the field of teacher training and development.

Vocationalization of secondary education in India

This report is an attempt to understand the work being undertaken by vocational education and training organizations in India set against the backdrop of the nationwide scale up of the NSQF. Currently, the work being undertaken by independent organizations is extremely fragmented with minimal levels of collaboration and cross-learnings. This report is an attempt to share the nature of the work being undertaken by some of the different organizations working in this area as well as their learnings.

Non-Traditional Financing for Education

Non-traditional financing is nascent and accounts for only a small percentage of current education spending. In terms of what is working, evidence is limited. Some non-traditional financing instruments with a longer history in education, for example cash transfers, vouchers and PPPs have shown signs of success in certain contexts, but there are still many gaps in evidence, especially in Africa. Some have only recently been implemented in education, for example social impact investing and PbR.

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