Center for Education Innovations: News & Views

Duncan McCullough

This Week at CEI

Reporting from South Africa, where a full third of the population now owns their own smartphone, Camilla Swart reflects on the best ways to leverage the rapidly spreading technology to facilitate education that is tracked, adaptive, and personalized.

Shubha Jayaram shares her research findings from employers, employees, and other meta-analyses, finding that employers increasingly demand life skills such as communication, teamwork, and leadership. For educators to increase their impact they must orient themselves towards these new demands, and the article previews future research our team will pursue examining models of secondary education in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Gabriel Zinny tackles this classroom to workforce challenge as well this week, writing about efforts to better prepare students for one of the most important transitions of their lives. Whether through reforms led by private businesses, government programs, or hybrids of both, Zinny explains that developing students’ ability to adapt will be crucial to their success in the rapidly modernizing workforce.

For more insights from CEI’s blog this week and beyond, click here.

Events and Opportunities

Process and Formative Evaluation of Select Government Programmes and Policies in Uganda
August 24th, 2015 – Deadline
3ie presents a grant window for research teams to evaluate Ugandan government programs and propose rigorous and policy-relevant impact evaluation designs based on their findings. Themes open for submissions include Youth Livelihoods, Family Planning, Public Service Delivery and Local Governance, and Universal Primary Education. For more details about the application process, click here.

Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE)
August 30th, 2015 – Deadline
The RISE program has extended its open calls for expression of interest forms to August 30th.  The program is looking for research that can drive solid, evidence-based practical answers to difficult questions about how to reform existing education systems in Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Vietnam. For more information about the research scope and application process, click here.

Indigenous Women's Fund: Second Call for Proposals
September 9th, 2015 – Deadline
This third annual call from 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.

Capacity Development Fund for Education in Rwanda
The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) hosts an open call for proposals to develop the capacity of the Rwandan Ministry of Education to successfully implement the Education Sector Strategic Plan and achieve a quality education service.

USAID Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Program for Education in Pakistan
This program remains open for programs contributing to improving Early Grade Reading Outcomes, and Increased Access to Basic Education for students in Pakistan. Applications are taken on a rolling basis, but we urge you to apply as soon as possible. For other questions about the opportunity, see the FAQ page here.

Education News Around the World

Using Evidence to Rebuild Lives
Kanika Jha and Tara Kaul wrote this week on 3ie’s blog about the immense challenges facing the collection of “reliable and robust evidence from impact evaluations of humanitarian assistance.” Delivering aid quickly to those who need it most is important, but in the long run this hurried approach may be constraining longer-term effectiveness. In fact, problems in data-collection may even be harming certain aid recipients, the article claims.

3 Ways Software is Empowering Teachers
Bill Gates took to his own personal blog, Gates Notes, this week to detail how educators are increasingly leveraging computer software technology to increase their impact on improving students’ lives. New digital platforms, online aggregators for resources such as textbooks, and software to aid tasks like essay-writing are all included in his excited analysis. He recognizes that it will still take time for more teachers to become comfortable with these new tools, but their effects are already making an impact for education around the world.

SDG Negotiations Round 3: Indicators
Casey Dunning and the Center for Global Development blog highlight the somewhat overlooked 3rd round of negotiations for the Sustainable Development Goals. This round will determine the indicators that will determine how the SDGs are defined and measured. Over 1,000 indicators have already been proposed, so the work to select those that are most feasible, suitable, and relevant will not be easy. Nevertheless, or perhaps because of the daunting nature of this task, Dunning urges the international development community to provide its input in order to maximize the positive impact of the SDGs moving forward.

Duncan McCullough is a Communications Associate at the Center for Education Innovations, proud graduate of George Mason University, and former White House Staffer.

Photo Credit: UN Photo, Catianne Tijerina

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