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MasterCard Foundation, The;
Mastercard Foundation, together with a group of strategic partners, has initiated a research project to look at the role of secondary education in preparing African youth for the future of work, with emphasis on ensuring youth acquire the skills, knowledge, and competencies necessary to succeed in a dynamic and globalized labour market.
Significant challenges remain in access, quality, and relevance of secondary education in Africa. Given the transformative potential of the growing youth population, the shifts in African labour markets, and the evolving technology and its impact on nature of work — fundamental changes in secondary education are needed to equip young people to be successful in work and in life. Only a small fraction of students in Africa complete university level studies, and with secondary school becoming more accessible, it will increasingly become the main bridge to work for most youth.
Rethinking and reforming secondary education, including what young people learn andhow they learn it, is necessary to make education relevant for youth employment orentrepreneurship in a dynamic and globalized labour market.
West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI);
Social accountability is an approach towards building accountability that relies on civic engagement in which citizens participate directly or indirectly in demanding accountability from service providers and public officials. It usually combines information on rights and service delivery with collective action for change. It has become a tool for direct engagement with service providers to ensure that citizens get adequate services or adequate explanation when those services are not available. When social accountability mechanisms are weak, the context becomes more challenging for communities or individual citizens to play a powerful role. Also, social accountability is fundamentally and ultimately a question of power as it requires both social and political pressure to ensure that duty bearers are kept on their toes. This piece will therefore explore the tools and approaches that some African social movements used to effectively drive the social accountability agenda. The tools we are exploring here are respectively social media and creative arts, while the approaches will be based on their ways of mobilising and organising. We conclude by making some recommendations for donors, government, citizens and other stakeholders.
Open Society Foundations;
The Mapping Digital Media project examines the global opportunities and risks created by the transition from traditional to digital media. Covering 60 countries, the project examines how these changes affect the core democratic service that any media system should provide: news about political, economic, and social affairs.
In Colombia, analog free-to-air television is still by far the most influential source of news. Digitization seems to be increasing both the quantity and range of news and the total public consumption of media as many traditional outlets now have online versions, while some new online only outlets have been born in recent years and gained recognition as news providers. Internet use is increasing very fast in urban areas and higher socioeconomic groups.
Public media have been strengthened in recent years and public service provision is considered an important issue in Colombia. The transition to digital terrestrial television (DTT) is seen as both a challenge and an opportunity to public media. Digital activism too has grown in Colombia, and active internet users have proved the power of social networking, which has become very popular. Political debates and hostage rescue operations have, among others, triggered big digital mobilizations, especially on Facebook and Twitter.
The policy and regulatory framework for digital media is still being defined as the media regulatory framework itself is functional, but there are several procedural flaws in the implementation.
Open Society Foundations;
The Roma Early Childhood Inclusion (RECI) studies and reports aim to build a comprehensive and detailed picture of the extent of early childhood provision and services, available to Romani families. The studies have been carried out in five countries—Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania and Serbia—and endeavour to identify the major obstacles that Romani families face in accessing high-quality, socially inclusive, early childhood care and education. More generally, the studies and reports deliver data and information about communities that are often ignored or misrepresented by official statistics, government policies, ministerial strategies and plans for spending.
As previous studies carried out by Open Society Foundations have shown—No Data—No Progress, 2010—the lack of reliable data hampers any attempt to measure the impact of government or international NGO intervention. Planning services and allocating resources to Romani communities are the consequence of "guesswork" rather than knowledge and careful study. The Roma Early Childhood Inclusion reports present a distillation of the most recent and reliable data to be had, in these circumstances, drawn from the actual communities themselves, through interviews and focus groups. Government strategies, policies and action plans are all assessed in this context; what has been the effect of the initiatives aimed at improving the economic and social position for Romani families, in these countries?
This Overview Report draws upon data from the five country studies, carried out by Romani and non-Romani researchers working together, to present what are the themes and topics of most relevance to families and young children in settlements and neighbourhoods across central, eastern and south-eastern Europe. A profound lack of equality of access and services, beset by numerous obstacles, characterizes the overall picture, for Roma. The numbers of Romani children that have access to good quality, early childhood education and care provision or who can participate in community and home-based learning programmes, remains minimal in comparison with the surrounding, majority populations.
The desperate need for Romani children to be able to access, at least for two years, high-quality, socially inclusive, early childhood education and care services and benefit from effective home visiting and community-based early childhood development (ECD) programmes, is a particular theme throughout the report. This is a minimum requirement that the partner organizations (UNICEF, Open Society Foundation's Early Childhood Program and Roma Education Fund) advocate for at national and international levels, if progress is to be made in improving education outcomes for Romani children.
The scale of the changes that need to be undertaken in order to provide equal opportunity for Romani children and families requires that national governments and international institutions (such as the Council of Europe, the European Commission and the European Union's Parliament) act, following the recommendations that these reports deliver.
Pew Charitable Trust;
This report from the Pew Charitable Trusts highlights practices for state programs aimed at expanding broadband access to un- and underserved areas.
Based on interviews with more than three hundred representatives of state broadband programs, Internet service providers, local governments, and broadband coalitions, the report identified five promising and mutually reinforcing practices: stakeholder outreach and engagement at both the state and local levels; a policy framework with well-defined goals that connects broadband to other policy priorities; planning and capacity building in support of broadband infrastructure projects; funding and operations through grant programs, with an emphasis on accountability and data collection; and program evaluation and evolution to ensure that lessons learned inform the next iteration of goals and activities. The study explores how nine states — California, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin — have adapted and implemented different combinations of those practices to close gaps in broadband access.
Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.;
Throughout its engagements in India, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has focusedon building in-country capacity that supports long-lasting change and betters the health and well-beingof those in the country. As the Foundation's Population and Reproductive Health (PRH) engagementscame to a close in 2019, it considered how to leave the field and stakeholders in India poised to take onthe ongoing task of improving maternal health—a key to achieving social, financial, and physical wellbeing. Recognizing quality as the linchpin for making more progress on maternal health, the MacArthurFoundation focused its final PRH grants on improving maternal health quality of care (MHQoC) in India.This final round of funding in India supported long-standing work designed to transition the country tothe next phase and launch promising innovations. Using information collected from the final phase ofthe MHQoC strategy (April 2018 through July 2019), this report represents the culminating review of thestrategy, assesses its contributions to the quality of maternal health care, and considers the implicationsfor the future of the field. Results are presented by each of MHQoC strategy's three core substrategies:supply, demand, and advocacy.
HERE to HERE;
Over the past 15 years, New York City has made strong progress in improving education outcomes for students,particularly related to high school graduation and college enrollment. But we still see drastic disparities for youngpeople in the areas of college completion and employment across lines of race, ethnicity, and household income.These inequities have sharpened during recent periods of overall economic growth, highlighting how increasinginequality, gentrification, and community segregation remain persistent challenges to inclusivity and sharedprosperity. This report will discuss how an expansion and enhancement of work-based learning can combatthese trends.
Rockefeller Archive Center;
In the context of the "Decade of Development," and as part of the non-military strategies of containment of communism, different public and private US. institutions turned their attention to projects of technical assistance in Asia, Africa, and Latin America that sought to modernize the legal systems of the countries of the Third World. In the Inter-American context, several initiatives were promoted under the label "Law and Development" (LD). Financed mostly by the Ford Foundation and USAID, they were conceived and implemented in the 1960s and the 1970s by those institutions, in cooperation with US law schools (Harvard, Stanford, Wisconsin, and Yale, among others) and local universities in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Peru. The common purpose of these programs was the transformation of the national legal systems following the US model. The effort centered on removing obstacles to development attributed to obsolete legal structures and a conception of the role of the law and lawyers incompatible with the challenges of modernization.
Ascendium Education Group (formerly known as Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates) has invested heavily to advance postsecondary success for low-income students, students of color, and first-generation students. Since 2012, Ascendium has awarded over $10.2 million in Dash Emergency Grants to 63 two- and four-year institutions. Through Dash, colleges administer emergency aid (EA) grants to meet students' unanticipated expenses so that more of these students stay on track for completion. These small grants, often $500 or less, can make the difference in whether a student is able to remain in school. Ascendium contracted with Equal Measure in late 2017 to create a set of tools to help the field codify the process of awarding emergency aid. Emergency Aid for Higher Education: A Toolkit and Resource Guide for DecisionMakers is the result of more than 10 months of research, interviews, focus groups, and webinars with Dash Emergency Grant recipients that elucidated current best practices, and gaps, in administering EA programs.
Rockefeller Archive Center;
After the Cuban Revolution in 1959, the center of gravity of U.S. foreign policy turned vigorously toward Latin America. Technical cooperation and foreign aid initiatives designed for the region regained some of the momentum they had enjoyed during the early years of Truman's Point IV Program. The trend, moreover, was duly accommodated by U.S. philanthropic foundations. The Ford Foundation (FF), which had been very timid in engaging Latin America till that time, decided to launch a massive assistance program aimed at the region, beginning in the early 1960s. If the International Cooperation Administration (ICA) and the newly created USAID did not hesitate to work directly with the governmental apparatus they found in place within the several Latin American countries, the FF preferred instead to assist non-governmental institutions that could provide the human and intellectual capital necessary to overcome the challenges of underdevelopment. Institution-building in the fields of higher education and academic research thus became one of the touchstones of the Ford Foundation's program for Latin America.
Impact Investing in Asia: Overcoming Barriers to Scale
While the Asian social investment ecosystem is maturing, growth is uneven and impact investment remains less developed here compared to the rest of the world. As a result, the impact investing industry in Asia remains less understood compared to its counterparts elsewhere.
Against this backdrop, AVPN and GIIN have collaborated with Oliver Wyman and Marsh & McLennan Insights to explore the current characteristics of impact investing in the region, with special focus on China, India, Indonesia, Japan, and the Philippines. This report captures the experiences and insights of stakeholders from the AVPN network who serve different roles within the broad impact investment ecosystem in Asia.
Impact Investing in Asia: Overcoming Barriers to Scale serves as a resource for impact investors and other key stakeholders in Asia to better understand the growing industry within a regional context while providing key recommendations to develop the ecosystem further.
For more information about AVPN: https://avpn.asia/about-us/
Stanford Center for Education Policy Analysis;
The My Brother's Keeper (MBK) Challenge developed by President Obama supports communities that promote civic initiatives designed to improve the educational and economic opportunities specifically for young men of color. In Oakland, California, the MBK educational initiative features the African American Male Achievement (AAMA) program. The AAMA focuses on regularly scheduled classes exclusively for Black, male students and taught by Black, male teachers who focus on social-emotional training, African-American history, culturally relevant pedagogy, and academic supports. In this study, we present quasi-experimental evidence on the dropout effects of the AAMA by leveraging its staggered scale-up across high schools in the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD). We find that AAMA availability led to a significant reduction in the number of Black males who dropped out as well as smaller reductions among Black females, particularly in 9th grade.