Do social enterprise accelerators really work? And if so, how?
By Duncan McCullough and John Campbell Jr.
The most successful development interventions are not acts of charity, but acts of investment that help local change agents drive progress in their countries.
This is what social enterprise acceleration is all about—it seeks to promote positive impact by identifying and supporting promising young business ventures that aspire not only to make a profit, but a positive impact on people’s lives. As mission-oriented accelerators proliferate around the globe, there is more evidence than ever to answer key questions like, do accelerators actually accelerate? Read more…
How can we better translate data into action?
By Gina Lagomarsino and Nathaniel Heller
Data is often held up as development’s next silver bullet, providing the insights and evidence necessary to finally crack the nut of development’s toughest challenges. But lost in the many conversations and conferences surrounding the data revolution has been the crucial role of what we call “data sherpas”. Read more…
A low-cost network approach to improving teacher motivation
By Sharath Jeevan
A few months ago I experienced what you might call a lightbulb moment – seeing my then five-year-old son read his first ever book from cover to cover, after months of struggling with reading. I don’t think I’ll ever forget seeing the look on his face – the belief he’d gained that he could master anything if he really put his mind to it. Read more…
Youth for Africa and SDGs Rural Electrification Challenge
Deadline: June 5, 2017
Youth for Africa and SDGs (YAS!) is an online portal for African entrepreneurship developed by the United Nations Development Program. Their latest challenge seeks businesses that are working for rural electrification through innovative energy efficient technique like solar, multi-microgrids, or other off-grid technology. Selected organizations will receive funding and mentorship support for one year. Create an account so you can apply, here.
USA Dept. of State: Entrepreneurship in the MENA Region Grant
Deadline: June 6, 2017
The US Department of State invites applicants to submit proposals that will foster and support entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa. The aim of this opportunity is to assist new entrepreneurs seeking to expand and grow their businesses and activities. Proposals must demonstrate knowledge of the target country’s economy and entrepreneurial ecosystem, and propose project activities such as entrepreneurial consulting, linking entrepreneurs to capital, connecting entrepreneurs with mentors, and establishing entrepreneurship partnerships with U.S. and other international businesses, among others.
Toyota Foundation: Practitioners' Exchange on Common Issues in Asia Grant
Deadline: June 20, 2017
The Toyota foundation seeks to support projects prepared to promote mutual understanding and knowledge-sharing among people on the ground in East and Southeast Asia who are finding solutions to shared issues. This year’s thematic areas include Multigenerational and Multicultural Inclusion in Communities, and Creating New Culture (new forms of performing arts that combine traditional cultural expressions such as dance, drama, and music from various regions). Open Field applications that fall outside or straddle the scope of the thematic areas listed are also welcome. Selected one-year projects will be funded at USD 44,500, and two-year projects will be funded at USD $89,000.
Brookings Event: The future of school-based social and emotional learning programs
May 31, 2017, 9:00-11:00 AM ET – Washington, DC & Online
Social and emotional learning (SEL) skills—the thinking, behavioral, and regulatory skills needed to interact effectively with others—are strongly associated with success in school and life. Because these skills are not only measurable, but also malleable, there is growing interest in research that demonstrates the effectiveness of school-based SEL programs, and in policies aimed at increasing their prevalence. Click here to attend in person, and here to attend via webcast.
Positive Youth Development in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: What Do We Know and How Can We Measure It?
June 1, 2017, 2:00-5:00 PM ET (Reception, 5:00-7:00) – Washington, DC
YouthPower Learning will answer questions such as: What are promising and effective strategies that help improve positive outcomes for youth? How can Positive Youth Development (PYD) measurement strengthen youth-focused programming? How does PYD impact cross-sectoral outcomes in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs)? What appropriate indicators and tools are available for measuring PYD outcomes and impacts?
World Bank Workshop: Manage Successful Impact Evaluations
June 5-9, 2017 – Washington, DC & Online
The World Bank offers a course designed to improve the skills and knowledge of staff and short-term consultants responsible for managing impact evaluations in the field. The course will cover impact evaluation tools and concepts, but the primary focus is on how to successfully manage impact evaluations in the field. Participants will learn to plan for and supervise high-quality household surveys, to utilize new technologies for electronic surveys and geo-data, to produce descriptive analysis for policy makers, to successfully measure cost-effectiveness, and more. All morning sessions will be live-streamed, and remote participation is encouraged.
Global Education News
Want a Better, Safer World? Build a Finance Facility for Education
By Justin W. van Fleet & Liesbet Steer
In transitioning to lower-middle-income status, countries can find themselves in a position similar to that of many middle-class American families struggling to finance their children’s college: They’re too poor to pay for education and too rich to qualify for financial aid. Countries such as Ghana, Vietnam, and Guatemala may soon be in a similar situation.
What can these countries do to make education for all children a reality? One of the keys to expanding access to a quality education is financial innovation. A group of leaders from the private sector, government, and civil society, collectively known as the Education Commission, offers a solution: the International Finance Facility for Education, a specialized mechanism that would make donor dollars work harder—and go farther—for global education. Read more…
How to lobby for development: Tips from a politician
By Molly Anders
One of the toughest parts of being a politician is saying no to worthy international development lobbyists and advocates, Jeremy Lefroy, a member of the British parliament, told Devex. But even when budgets are stretched, Lefroy — who is a long-standing member of the parliamentary International Development Committee and co-founder of the not-for-profit Equity for Africa — said that organizations could get better results from the politicians and governments they lobby if they crafted their advocacy strategy differently. Read more…
In a year-long study—one of the strongest yet to look at the value of mentorship—Dasgupta showed that female engineering undergraduates who are paired with a female mentor felt more motivated, more self-assured, and less anxious than those who had either no mentor or a male one. They were less likely to drop out of their courses, and keener to look for engineering jobs after they graduated. “Often, science is messy and things don’t turn out neatly,” Dasgupta says. But in this study, “it was very gratifying how clean the results were.” Read more…
Photo Credits (Top to bottom): Sarah Farhat / World Bank ; World Economic Forum ; STIR Education ; Youth for Africa and SDGs ; Grants.gov ; Toyota Foundation ; Brookings ; YouthPower Learning ; The World Bank ; A World at School/Nick Cavanagh ; Jeremy Lefroy ; Jose Manuel Ribeiro / Reuters.