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August 8: Goal 2 – Improved Ability of Tertiary and Workforce Development Programs to Produce a Workforce with Relevant Skills to Support Country Development Goals by 2015

8:30am – 9:00am Plenary 1: Building a Skilled Workforce: Trends and Priorities 9:00am – 10:30am Plenary 2: Minding the Gap: The Need for Skilled Workers and How Ed...

11:00am – 12:15pm Concurrent Sessions

  • Session 1: Youth Response to the Plenary: What Youth See as Opportunities and Constraints in Youth Employment
  • Session 2: Demand-led Approaches to Youth Workforce Development
  • Session 3: Comprehensive Views of Youth Employment: Understanding Supply, Demand, and Everything Between

1:15pm – 2:30pm Concurrent Sessions

  • Session 1: Bridging the EG/ED Divide: Cross-sectoral Collaboration in Youth Workforce Development
  • Session 2: Bridging Goal 1 and Goal 2 of USAID’s Education Strategy
  • Session 3: Mobiles for Youth Workforce Development (mYWFD): Getting a Handle on the Handheld Movement
  • Session 4: Employing Youth through a University-Based Career Center Model
  • Session 5: Gender and Youth Workforce Development: Creating the Link between Economics, Policy, Programs and Gender

3:00pm – 4:30pm Concurrent Sessions

  • Session 1: Evidence in Youth Workforce Development: Going “Glocal”
  • Session 2: Youth Engagement: Soliciting Youth Input to Shape Policies, Priorities and Practice
  • Session 3: Addressing Gang Violence: Cross-sectoral Approaches to Youth Workforce Development
  • Session 4: Addressing Rural Youth Livelihoods & Food Security: Cross-sectoral Approaches to Youth Workforce Development
  • Session 5: The Role of Scholarships in Advancing Workforce Development
  • Session 6: The Higher Education Partnership Toolkit: Developing Partnerships for the 21st Century

4:40pm – 5:30pm Plenary 3: Closing Keynote and Summit Wrap-Up

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8:30 a.m – 9:00 a.m. Plenary 1: Building a Skilled Workforce: Trends and Priorities Christie Vilsack, USAID Senior Advisor for International Eric Postel, USAID Assistant Administrator for the Bureau of Economic Growth, Education & Environment

Thursday morning’s plenary sessions opened with remarks from Eric Postel, followed by a panel discussion moderated by Eric Johnson. As an introduction to the day, it was acknowledged that a lot is asked of higher education systems – higher education is expected to respond to complex, hyper dynamic labor markets and drive the economy forward. A number of global developments are shaping the higher education landscape, including the explosion of online courses at reduced cost, dramatically increasing the number of learners being reached.

9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Plenary 2: Minding the Gap: The Need for Skilled Workers and How Education Institutions Can Provide Them Moderator: Eric Johnson USAID/Washington David Arkless, ArkLight Consulting and Manpower Group Mona Mourshed, McKinsey & Co Terry Hartle, American Council on Education Rafael Rangel Sostmann, Arizona State University

This session panel explored solutions for providing employers with the skilled workers they demand. Mona Mourshed, of McKinsey & Co highlighted the disconnect that often exists between education providers and employers, and David Arkless of ArkLight Consulting and Manpower Group echoed this, stressing the difficulty of forecasting labor needs which are fluid and rapidly changing. Terry Hartle from the American Council on Education agreed that successful education programs must be outcome driven and gather evidence that students are attaining specific skills as well as the capacity to adapt to changing work environments. Rafael Rangel Sostmann, of Arizona State University, shared examples of successful programs, including distance education programs utilized in Mexico for the training of teachers in hard to reach areas. Discussants highlighted the importance of rethinking the traditional education cycle because the conventional model of higher education is becoming less relevant for workforce needs. The amount of time and cost typically required to complete a higher education program does not promote access for all, and skills may be outdated by the time graduates are entering the labor market. Instead, “extreme engagement” between education providers and employers is recommended in development of shorter, skills-focused modules that can be completed in a fraction of the time for less cost. In addition, the panel explored the importance of infusing both technical skills and soft skills in education programs; and utilizing creative strategies to tap into potential of marginalized communities in order to diversify and expand the workforce.

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11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

Session 1: Youth Response to the Plenary: What Youth See as Opportunities and Constraints in Youth Employment Moderator: Luis Crouch, RTI International Chernor Bah, UN Education First Abraham Awolich, Sudd Institute Dina Buchbinder, UN Youth Association of Mexico

In this session, Luis Crouch posed the question “What resonated with you about the panel on youth unemployment?” to Chernor Bah of UN Education First, Dina Buchbinder of UN Youth Association of Mexico, and Abraham Awolich of Sudd Institute. Mr. Bah spoke of two issues that resonated with him. First, the discussants shared assumptions that youth have access to education and are preparing for post-secondary education. For Mr. Bah, such assumptions do not align with the reality of his and others’ experiences in which youth experienced the interruption of their childhood by war and do not go to primary or secondary school or university. Secondly, he noted that there seems to be binary thinking around the reason for education: education is to provide values or education is to provide skills for jobs. From his perspective, those in the developing world tend to think of education as about providing values, while those in the developed world, and the discussants on the panel, spoke about primarily about skills. Dina Buchbinder agreed with Mr. Bah, noting that while much of the discussion at the Summit had been about the lack of jobs and the kinds of skills needed, her education organization focuses on teaching children life skills. For her, among the factors that affect youth employment, education is the key one. She also put forth that it is important to teach young children that they can be change makers and entrepreneurs. Mr. Awolich noted that the focus on youth developing skills that align with the market makes sense in countries with stability and a private market; however, in countries like South Sudan, where few jobs exist and few youth attend school, a focus on basic skills and instilling civic attitudes may be a better focus. Mr. Crouch asked the panel their thoughts on youth as change agents at the policy level, and wondered if bureaucracies only pay attention to what is measureable. The participants noted obstacles to effecting policy change include an unstable policy environment, competing priorities, and the perception among certain cultures that youth lack value. However, small initiatives that allow youth to interact with the government can lead to policy change. According to Ms. Buchbinder, all that is needed is the right tools.

Session 2: Demand-led Approaches to Youth Workforce Development Moderator: Lara Goldmark, FHI 360 Eric Rusten, Creative Associates International Luann Gronhovd, USAID/Liberia Mona Tep, Cambodia Skills Development Center, Garment Industry Productivity Center

This session, moderated by Lara Goldmark (FHI-360), highlighted the experiences of three models for youth workforce development. Mona Tep (CASDEC) discussed the evolution of the Garment Industry Productivity Center (GIPC), a USAID-funded project aimed at improving the productivity and quality of the Cambodian garment sector, into the nonprofit Cambodia Skills Development Center (CASDEC). CASDEC provides training in production management and manufacturing skills in collaboration with the private sector and a local university and has increased the presence of Cambodians in middle management. Ms. Tep noted that no other industry had addressed the absence of Cambodians from middle management. Eric Rusten (Creative Associates) discussed the Afghanistan Workforce Development Program (AWDP), a four-year employment program which seeks to expand access to technical and vocational education training and business skills under challenging conditions. He noted that AWDP faced the challenge of enabling people to gain better positions under very challenging conditions (e.g., economic uncertainty, shaky foreign investment, exclusionary hiring practices, and a lack of linkages between trainers and providers). Rigorous M&E within grants, tracking palcements rather than participants, targeted funding, and the use of a job development system by grantees resulted in 31 percent of trainees being women and 3500 trainees finding jobs or obtaining salary increases. Luanne Gronhovd (USAID/Liberia) discussed USAID’s commitment to helping Liberia address development challenges through the Center for Excellence in Higher Education for Liberian Development (EHELD). The program strives to rebuild the capacity of higher education in Liberia and equip graduates with the skills they need to establish careers and meet the development needs of their country. The session closed with breakout groups conducting an exercise with the panelists in which the theory of change for each project was discussed.

Session 3: Comprehensive Views of Youth Employment: Understanding Supply, Demand, and Everything Between Moderator: Clare Ignatowski, USAID/Washington Arup Banerji, The World Bank Mattias Lundberg, The World Bank Don Sillers, USAID/Washington

The aim of this session was to provide a comprehensive view of youth employment. Presenters Arup Banerji and Mattias Lundberg of the World Bank, and Don Sillers of USAID/Washington pointed out that these broader approaches and questions often take education professionals out of their comfort zone because the solutions reach into areas that require additional expertise, such as entrepreneurship, cash transfers, etc. Arup Banerji drew on the World Bank’s World Development Report 2013: Jobs. He pointed out that the high percentage of people who work in farming and self-employment in developing countries is overlooked and that training focuses on those in salaried/wage earning employment. He noted that it is important to know the kinds of job available and further discussed the policy layers needed to address youth employment, of which training is only one building block. Don Sillers presented an (inclusive) growth diagnostics tool that USAID is using to respond to youth unemployment questions and identify appropriate solutions. Mattias Lundberg reviewed available findings and presented some interventions that had worked. For example, an evaluation of a program in Argentina which compared the impact of different interventions, including training and a wage subsidy, showed that training had little impact, but wage subsidies mattered. Research in Peru and Sierra Leone showed how important personal connections still are in these countries: a high percentage of employers surveyed had primarily recruited by asking a friend (40% in Peru and 50% in Sierra Leone). The panel suggested that educators need to be more realistic about results, more sensitive to workarounds to get better results for youth, more creative to get better interactions and more collaborative with the demand side colleagues in USAID, World Bank and other institutions.

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1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

Session 1: Bridging the EG/ED Divide: Cross-sectoral Collaboration in Youth Workforce Development Kristin O’Planik, USAID/Washington Anastasia De Santos, USAID/Washington Tom Crehan, USAID/Egypt Clare Ignatowski, USAID/Washington

Kristin O’Planik, Anastasia De Santos, and Clare Ignatowski from USAID/Washington, and Tom Crehan from USAID/Egypt led an interactive discussion based on a role play to demonstrate the issues and challenges of working cross-sectorally between economic growth and education. Session participants agreed that there are many ways that cross-sectoral groups can better work together including, 1) having a clear set of common goals; 2) basing all communications on mutual respect for the other ‘perspective;’ and 3) providing incentives that support the cross-sectoral collaboration. Other ideas for fostering positive cross sector work were also discussed such as bringing in an outside ‘neutral’ facilitator and maintaining consistent communication overtime. Session participants mentioned looking to models where this cross sector collaboration does work (e.g., community college partnerships with businesses, etc.). They also discussed specific benefits of the partnership between education and EG in terms of what kinds of information they get from each other – from EG what are the broader labor market trends and from education who are the youth populations and what are their needs.

Session 2: Bridging Goal 1 and Goal 2 of USAID’s Education Strategy Moderator: Gary Bittner, USAID/Washington Jane Namadi, USAID/South Sudan Azra Nurkic, Higher Education for Development

Funding for Goal 1 of the USAID Education Strategy under the basic education directive is highly focused, whereas Goal 2 and the higher education directive has broader application. This session employed a case study on how to access and combine basic education and higher education funds using a theory of change approach, which bridges interventions between higher and basic education, and establishing a continuum of interventions that mutually reinforce each other for enhanced results. A promising practice example of an education program was presented in which higher education institutions are strengthened and utilized in support of Goal 1.

Session 3: Mobiles for Youth Workforce Development (mYWFD): Getting a Handle on the Handheld Movement Moderator: Matt French, JBS International, Inc. Linda Raftree, Education Alliance Consultant Maggie McDonough, Souktel Ximena Benavente, ChangeCorp Cathryn Stickel, FrontlineSMS

This session highlighted how mobiles (e.g., tablets, smartphones, feature phones, p ico projectors) could be used in youth workforce development (e.g., job-matching, microwork, skills-building). Linda Raftree started off the session by discussing the findings from the forthcoming landscape review of the field, an initiative of the Mobiles for Youth Workforce Development (mYWD) Working Group. Ms. Raftree emphasized that in this nascent field, there is little evidence on the impacts or effectiveness of mYWD programs. She recommends more rigorous research, a priority focus on girls and young women, and increased knowledge sharing and collaboration. Following Ms. Raftree’s presentation, representatives from Souktel, FrontlineSMS, Open University, and ChangeCorps each gave short “lightning talks” to introduce their tool to the audience. The audience then divided into small groups to participate in hands-on demonstrations of the various tools. Although different, each tool is being used to provide workforce development assistance to young people in the global south, either by connecting them with employers, supporting their entrepreneurial pursuits, or by helping deliver critical business and life skills.

Session 4: Employing Youth through a University-Based Career Center Model Moderator: Chris Carpacci-Carneal, USAID/Washington Katy Vickland, Carana Corporation Tom Crehan, USAID/Egypt

This session helped answer the questions of how universities can better bridge skills gap and place graduates in meaningful jobs. Katy Vickland of Carana Corporation presented case studies of career development centers (CDCs) in Republic of Macedonia and El Salvador that highlighted how these institutions have evolved over time. Changes in CDC structure and function include going from a focus on reactive placement to an interactive networking model, having a campus location and an online, community-focused presence, moving from a counselor-driven to student-driven approach that starts in the first year of study, and instead of focusing on serving the needs of some students, CDCs now seek to empower all students, as well as alumni. Tom Crehan from USAID/Egypt moderated an interactive audience discussion focusing on three areas: 1) how students can be effectively connected to opportunities; 2) What the role of the CDC should be, versus the university – which gaps should the CDC fill in terms of skills provision, and how can the two entities complement each other?; 3) What should the feedback loop to universities look like?

Session 5: Gender and Youth Workforce Development: Creating the Link between Economics, Policy, Programs and Gender Moderator: Christine Beggs, USAID/Washington Caren Grown, USAID/Washington Roger Steinkamp, USAID/Kenya Kate Carpenter, International Youth Foundation

This interactive session went beyond gender integration to include a more intensive debate about the engendered nature of economies and policies and the impact on Youth Workforce Development programs. Caren Grown, an Economist and USAID’s Senior Gender Advisor, offered insights into the unique opportunity to shape economies and how donors and NGOs can link project designs with the broader system to create more gender equitable outcomes. USAID Missions provided insights into the gender dimensions of their projects and the group analyzed a recent pilot of USAID’s new Gender Integration Framework. USAID’s recently updated guidance on gender integration and its implications for project design at USAID was also discussed.

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3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

Session 1: Evidence in Youth Workforce Development: Going “Glocal” Moderator: Christine Beggs, USAID/Washington Rachel Blum, USAID/Washington Christy Olenik, JBS International, Inc.

Christy Olenik (JBS International) opened this participatory session on evidence in youth workforce development with an overview of findings from a recently completed state of the field report for USAID on youth workforce development (WFD). This systematic review of evaluations conducted on youth WFD programs was conducted to help the USAID Office of Education think through their research agenda as it pertains to youth WFD. The findings indicate that youth are benefiting, in terms of employment and earnings, particularly women, low-income youth, at risk, and out of school or minimally schooled youth. Development of relevant skills, and re-enrollment in education were also mostly positive outcomes. Rachel Blum of USAID/Washington discussed how findings from this report will support the development of guiding questions for Missions and implementing partners to integrate into youth WFD programs. A tendency is to be very consumed with what is happening locally in our programs, but it’s important to expand thinking to the global level, while acting locally (“glocally”). A set of priority questions was shared: 1) What is the most cost-effective combination of youth WFD program components for achieving positive youth outcomes? 2) Which non-cognitive (life) skills are most important predictors for positive youth labor market outcomes in an international development setting? 3) What systems-based approaches must be considered to support the sustainability and scaling of USAID youth WFD programs? Specific areas of interest within these topical areas were shared, and the authentic involvement of young people in the development of a research agenda was emphasized. It was acknowledged that context is critical, but there are some common best practices that have consistently been successful. It is important to continue to build evidence around these activities.

Session 2: Youth Engagement: Soliciting Youth Input to Shape Policies, Priorities and Practice Moderator: Ravi Karkara, UN-Habitat Dwaine Lee, USAID/Kenya Roger Steinkamp, USAID/Kenya Chernor Bah, Brookings Youth Advisory Group Jamira Burley, Brookings Youth Advisory Group Joe Fahed, Advocates for Youth

This session focused on the strategies for engaging youth in meaningful ways. Whether it is in organizational decision-making, program design and implementation, or consulting at the policy level, genuine youth engagement has benefits for the both organizations (e.g., better programming) and the youth involved (e.g. skills building). Ravi Karkara started the session by saying that the UN has made youth a priority and is involving youth in more and more ways (e.g., United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Ahmad Alhindawi as his Special Envoy on Youth). Mr. Karkara said that there has been progress, but much more work needs to be done in ensuring the rights of young people and creating intergenerational dialogues. Roger Steinkamp and Dwaine Lee discussed the USAID-funded Yes Youth Can project, which aims to create a voice in the political sphere for young Kenyans. The project, they said, has over 500,000 participants in over 20,000 registered village-level youth parliaments, or bunges. The success of the project has been achieved through a grassroots approach and the practice of holding elected leaders accountable to their constituencies. Finally, the a panel of young people, including Joe Fahed, Jamira Burley, and Chernor Bah, provided insight on their experiences in working as young people in the development sphere. Mr. Fahed expressed the need for youth to understand that policy change can be quite slow and for organizations to retain youth by providing incentives. Ms. Burley felt that young leaders must be chosen by their peers, not simply appointed. She also voiced the need to include young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in policy making. Finally, Mr. Bah noted that young people bring a lot of expertise and knowledge to the table. He said that young people must not be thought of as separate from the various development sectors, but be brought in and integrated.

Session 3: Addressing Gang Violence: Cross-sectoral Approaches to Youth Workforce Development Moderator: Karen Towers, USAID/LAC Education Team Enrique Roig, USAID/LAC Susan Cruz, University of Maryland Carmen Henriquez, USAID/El Salvador

This session focused on the large youth violence problem in the Latin American and Caribbean region, USAID’s most violent region. The problem was described as long term and pervasive, particularly among male youth aged 12-24 (although one-quarter of gang members are females). For unemployed youth drop-outs, the gang becomes the young person’s “family” and his primary identity. A risk tool is available to identify high-risk youth, who tend to be described as those not living at home, not working or going to school and seeking help from the gang rather than from an authority figure when in trouble. To address the problem, USAID’s Education and Democracy and Governance Offices are working together to combine juvenile justice reform activities with basic education and workforce development, a strategy that seems effective. One particularly useful activity is working with NGOs to establish youth centers that are one-stop shops providing a wide range of urgent services for youth, including mental health care. Another is police-oriented activities in which police work with children in schools and communities to establish trust. Many myths associated with gangs were exposed as untrue, including the belief that gang members do not want a better life in society.

Session 4: Addressing Rural Youth Livelihoods & Food Security: Cross-sectoral Approaches to Youth Workforce Development Moderator: Margie Brand, EcoVentures International Erin Hughes, Winrock International Mike Tetelmen, Education Development Center Nathalie Louge, Education Development Center

This talk show style session, moderated by Margie Brand of EcoVentures International, dealt with rural youth livelihoods and agriculture. Presenters discussed lessons learned from youth livelihood projects implemented in Africa and South Asia—Erin Hughes of Winrock International shared information on the Education for Income generation Program in Nepal while Mike Tetelman and Nathalie Lounge of the Education Development Center (EDC) referred to the Akazi Kanoze Youth Livelihoods Project in Rwanda, the Advancing Youth Livelihoods Project in Liberia, and the Mali Out-of-School Youth Project. Presenters’ remarks encompassed youth as they participate now and youth as adults later and explored access to information, market linkages between young people and linkages to businesses and income generation opportunities, and access to finance. The session also pointed out connections between Goal 1 and Goal 2 of the USAID Education Strategy. Winrock noted that they worked with the Nepalese government to identify market opportunities in agriculture, training a large number of youth in one to produce one product on small plots so that there would be an aggregate supply to sell, entrepreneurial training, training youth to fill gaps in the value chain. EDC discussed linking supply and demand information, involving youth in labor market assessments, using mobile phones to access information, working with youth in rural areas and addressing youth exodus to cities, engaging local entrepreneurs to train youth and provide an example, the desire of youth to work as individual entrepreneurs, and attempts to address youth’ need for collateral to start businesses, such as encouraging youth to participate in cooperative-based systems and MFIs to accept alternative forms of collateral. All presenters discussed the positive impact of literacy classes, which included building community cohesion and increasing respect for women and understanding of the need for education for children.

Session 5: The Role of Scholarships in Advancing Workforce Development Moderator: Eric Johnson, USAID/Washington Marc Bonnenfant, USAID/Central Asia Larry Dolan, USAID/Indonesia Irene Muriuki, USAID/Kenya Linda Lockhart, Global Give Back Circle Tom Crehan, USAID/Egypt Michael LIsman, USAID/Washington/LAC

For many years, USAID has invested millions of dollars in scholarship programs educating international students both at home and abroad. During this session, USAID representatives from Egypt, Indonesia, Central Asia, Kenya, and Washington discussed the history of scholarship usage as well as challenges and opportunities of using them in pursuit of Goal 2 of the USAID Education Strategy. Some scholarship initiatives in Indonesia date as far back as 1950 and have proven to be effective in developing future leaders who eventually return to their own countries to give back. Some of these programs, such as the PRESTASI program in Indonesia, aim to build leadership and civil responsibility skills while others such as CAR’s university programs (UCA and AUCA) work directly on developing skills needed in the workforce using labor market assessments. The different scholarship modalities the panel showcased have targeted a diverse group of participants including the more affluent (e.g., student on the University of Cairo) and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. A common denominator of these programs is that applicants undergo rigid application processes that require applicants to show commitment to their communities and a willingness to give back. Key successes have been made and lessons learned. Some of the factors instrumental is achieving success of these programs is: (1) gain the backing of the host country’s government, (2) offer flexible curriculums, (3) use labor market assessments to develop and adapt curriculum; and (4) gather baseline data on program participants to facilitate rigorous evaluations that measure the program’s effectiveness.

Session 6: The Higher Education Partnership Toolkit: Developing Partnerships for the 21st Century Moderator: Gary Bittner, USAID/Washington Julia Richards, USAID/Liberia Jean-Marie Duval, Higher Education for Development Luann Gronhovd, USAID/Liberia

USAID’s Gary Bittner moderated a session on the development of a higher education partnership toolkit. This toolkit, introduced by Jeanne-Marie Duval of Higher Education for Development, offers 10 tools with which staff at USAID missions can evaluate whether a partnership is the right modality for achieving specific goals as well as provide guidance throughout the design and management of the partnership. Julia Richards of USAID/Liberia discussed her experience with higher education partnerships and piloting the toolkit. The 10 tools are as follows: Tool 1, “Primer on U.S. higher education”; Tool 2, “Is this partnership modality right for you?”; Tool 3, “Examples of higher education partnerships”; Tool 4, “Partnership assessments and designs”; Tool 5, “Partnership procurement options”; Tool 6, “Crafting an effective RFA”; Tool 7, “Crafting an effective APS”; Tool 8, “Post-award start-up phase”; Tool 9, “Monitoring and evaluation guidance”; and Tool 10, “Financial considerations.” The toolkit will be available in 3-6 months.

Untitled 4:40 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Plenary 3: Closing Keynote and Summit Wrap-Up Christie Vilsack, USAID Senior Advisor for International Education Peter Shumlin, Governor of Vermont

August 7: Goal 3 –  Increased Equitable Access to Education in Crisis and Conflict  Environments for 15 Million Learners by 2015

Wednesday, August 7

9:00am – 9:45am Plenary 1: Expanding Access to Education: Fulfilling the Promise of... 9:45am – 10:30am Plenary 2: Where and How to Make “Room to Learn”: Examining Access ...

11:00am – 12:00pm Concurrent Sessions

  • Session 1: Designing Goal 3 Programs: Tools and Approaches
  • Session 2: What Factors Affect Access to Education in Conflict/Crisis Environments and What Can be Done About It
  • Session 3: Youth Education in Conflict and Crisis: What is the Evidence Base?
  • Session 4: Partnering for Better Education Outcomes: How to Work with the Department of Defense
  • Session 5: Educational Continuity in Contexts of Fragility: A Post-2015 Imperative

1:00pm – 2:30pm Concurrent Sessions

  • Session 1: Equity, Education Access and Conflict: What Does the Data Say?
  • Session 2: Integrating Goals 1 and 3: Designing Reading Programs in Countries Affected by Conflict and Crisis
  • Session 3: Assess, Adapt, Act, Repeat: Dynamic Planning and M&E in Crisis and Conflict Environments
  • Session 4: Education First and Room to Learn: What Are They and What Do They Mean?
  • Session 5: Recent Research on Adolescent Brain Development and Implications for Goal 3 Programming
  • Session 6: Disability and Access to Education

3:00pm – 4:15pm Concurrent Sessions

  • Session 1: Field Perspectives in Youth, Education, and Conflict: From Evidence to Practice
  • Session 2: Implications of the Evidence Base on Social Emotional Learning
  • Session 3: Supporting Teachers in Crisis and Conflict Affected Environments
  • Session 4: Educational Quality: Global Imperative in Post-Conflict Environments
  • Session 5: Integrating Goals 1 and 3: Designing Reading Programs in Countries Affected by Conflict and Crisis
  • Session 6: Equity, Education Access, and Conflict: What Does the Data Say?

4:25pm – 5:15pm Plenary 3 Working with Congress 5:15pm – 5:30pm National Ballroom Closing Keynote

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9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. Plenary 1: Expanding Access to Education: Fulfilling the Promise of MDG 2 Christie Vilsack, USAID Senior Advisor for International Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council and Assist... Carol Bellamy, Former Chair of the Board, Global Partnership for Ed... Abraham Awolich, Sudd Institute

Speakers discussed progress toward the second Millennium Development Goal, which is to achieve universal primary education. Today, education is seen as a pillar of conflict intervention and is seen as an important factor in achieving peace and prosperity. However, in programming slowed down beginning in 2008, and children in conflict and crisis environments are 3 times more likely to be out of primary school, and have the lowest literacy rates in comparison with children living in peaceful areas. There is consensus building to keep education building despite conflict, and when discussing the way forward, presenters noted the need to address the donors’ fear that funds for education will be used for conflict, and push policy makers for more funding for education programs. In delivering the message to policy makers, the global community needs to keep the message simple and effective as well as back their messages with hard numbers. They also need to appeal to the heart, retelling success stories of those educated in these environments.

9:45 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Plenary 2 - Where and How to Make “Room to Learn”: Examining Access to Education in Crisis and Conflict Environments Yolande Miller-Grandvaux, USAID/Washington

Yolande Miller-Grandvaux used data and geo-mapping to present the multiple layers and relationships that link education to conflict. She provided an overview of key issues and international cooperation and consensus building around education guidance and tools that can be used to mitigate violence. Delivering education in conflict and crisis areas is a challenge and difficult to achieve. The knowledge-base to deliver conflict–sensitive education is growing and INEE and others have developed tools to aid in the process. The geo-mapping demonstration showed the multiple layers and relationships that link education to conflict. This data was triangulated with USAID aid data to see if USAID works where it is most needed.

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11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

Session 1: Designing Goal 3 Programs: Tools and Approaches Yolande Miller-Grandvaux, USAID/Washington Aliou Tall, USAID/Democratic Republic of the Congo MaryBeth McKeever, USAID/Somalia

USAID designed a guide for assessing approaches to ensure conflict sensitivity in education programming for USAID officers to employ as they develop their future activities. The Checklist for Assessing Conflict Sensitivity in Education Programs, which leads the planner through seven domains (commitment and accountability, strategy, equitable access, curricula teaching and learning, capacity building, community engagement, and monitoring and evaluation), is aligned with INEE approaches. Aliou Tall of USAID/Democratic Republic of the Congo described three programs in which the conflict sensitivity approach has been incorporated, focusing on the successes of the Accelerated Learning Program (ALP), which condenses six years of primary education into three. ALP has enabled quick educational advancement for youth in three sites in the East. MaryBeth McKeever described working with a range of stakeholders in Somalia, focusing especially on secondary education and youth. In discussion, a participant from Mali asked how it could be ensured that education is treated as a humanitarian component, eligible for ongoing activity in spite of the requirement to terminate nonessential programing after the coup. Another questioned the best approaches to deal with reactions when former combatants or others associated with repression, receive benefits for reintegration. A third questioned how leaders, who may profit from conflict, can be encouraged to support conflict sensitivity.

Session 2: What Factors Affect Access to Education in Conflict/Crisis Environments and What Can be Done About It Moderator: Lori Heninger, INEE Jennifer Sklar, International Rescue Committee Joel Reyes, The World Bank Rachel McKinney, Save the Children Lisa Bender, UNICEF Francis Butichi, Mercy Corps

This panel, moderated by Lori Heninger (INEE), provided a snapshot of current issues with providing access to education in crisis environments. Participants included Lisa Bender (UNICEF), Francis Butichi (Mercy Corps), Joel Reyes (World Bank), Rachel McKinney (Save the Children), and Jennifer Sklar (International Rescue Committee). The panel brought to bear their broad range of organizational experiences to reflect on the ‘state of the field,’ important considerations for effective programming, and new approaches to increasing equitable access to education in conflict and crisis. Context-specific issues that have a bearing on access to education (e.g., effects of experience violence and repeated cycles of conflict) were highlighted and participants reflected on best practices and scalability, as well as youth and civic engagement. Discussants commented on the need to be flexible in developing learning environments that serve local needs, and recognized the need to build schools that parents and communities trust to develop not only their children’s academic skills, but to provide social/emotional support in a safe environment. Participants concluded by discussing which supply and demand factors can be addressed. For example, they noted that situations in which children and youth are not accessing education because the closest options are too far away or getting to school is too dangerous, are different from non-participation because education is not seen as relevant or useful).

Session 3: Youth Education in Conflict and Crisis: What is the Evidence Base? Moderator: Saji Prelis, Search for Common Ground Christy Olenik, JBS International, Inc. Valerie Haugen, VoxPacis International Development

During this session, presenters provided key findings of current research on the effectiveness of educational interventions education in conflict and crisis affected settings, and identified gaps in the literature. Christy Olenik started off the session with a discussion of the different program components often found in holistic youth programs. She revealed findings which indicate that youth need to develop a spectrum of skills in areas including health and employment, that life skills are very important to youth development, and that gaps in the literature raised such questions as which skills are needed to reach desired outcomes. Valerie Haugen described the needs of youth in conflict and crisis affected environments, and put forth that: (1) youth need a broad range of social and cognitive skills to survive in conflict and crisis affected settings, and (2) Skills youth acquire and long term outcomes are improved through multi-component programs which include psychosocial, employment, and life skills. The panelists felt that it is important to disaggregate data in order to understand sub-populations of youth (e.g., young women, youth with disabilities) and what interventions work for different types of youth. Rachel Blum of USAID/Washington suggested that program designers and implementers develop a theory of change for each project and engage youth in assessment and design processes.

Session 4: Partnering for Better Education Outcomes: How to Work with the Department of Defense Moderator: Robert Schmidt, USAID/Washington Colonel Cindy Jebb, West Point Frank DiGiovanni, Office of the Secretary of Defense Grace Lang, USAID/Morocco

During this session, Colonel Cindy Jebb of West Point, Frank Di Giovanni of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and Grace Lang of USAID/Morocco provided an overview of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) education work and highlighted ways in which USAID and DOD can work together to achieve important development objectives. Presenters discussed how military and DOD staff are prepared for the field in countries such as Afghanistan. While DOD usually aims to complete interventions in 6-9 months, USAID has a longer timeline. Presenters noted how USAID and DOD can learn about each other, work together and help each other by aligning objectives in support of shared overall goals. For example, they noted the need to clarify and agree to key terms and definitions and that local Foreign Service Nationals in USAID Missions can help fill gaps in institutional memory that arise because of the rapid turnover of military staff.

Session 5: Educational Continuity in Contexts of Fragility: A Post-2015 Imperative Rebecca Winthrop, The Brookings Institution

Rebecca Winthrop from the Center for Universal Education at The Brookings Institution discussed the findings from the report, A New Agenda for Education in Fragile States. The study provides a very broad overview of the field of education in fragile environments useful to those new to the field, and serves as a reference guide. The study provides a post-2015 agenda for maximizing education’s contribution to the development and well-being of people living in fragile environments. According to Dr. Winthrop, the field of education in fragile environments has evolved in three main phases: (1) proliferation, which contained grass roots practice and took place from World War II through the mid-1990s; (2) consolidation which included a heavy focus on children in emergencies and conflict and took place from 1996-2005; and (3) collaboration, which began in 2005. She argued that the next phase needed is integration, which would consist of building on assets and addressing gaps. This fourth phase would include scaling up vision, policy priority, financing, quality, and making smart investments. Dr. Winthrop explained that there are four rationales for investing in education in fragile environments: economic development, humanitarian response (protection of health and well-being), security (peace-building and state-building), and disaster risk reduction. These rationales serve as approaches for intervening, and Dr. Winthrop identified four assets and four gaps in the field. Assets include community engagement and high-level awareness of key issues. Gaps include a lack of coordination among the approaches, a lack of prioritization of disaster and conflict risk reduction in education policies, insufficient financing and aid modalities, and a lack of focus on quality.

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1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

Session 1: Equity, Education Access and Conflict: What Does the Data Say? Moderator: Yolande Miller-Grandvaux, USAID/Washington Gudrun Ostby, Centre for the Study of Civil War, Peace Research Institute Oslo

Gudrun Ostby from the Center for the Study of Civil War of the Peace Research Institute Oslo presented interim findings from a study that is exploring whether conflicts lead to inequalities, and if they do, which inequalities. While the study encompasses 20 countries, interim results included only Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mali, Nigeria, and Liberia. Dr. Ostby is using Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) from USAID, which has collected, analyzed, and disseminated representative data on population, health, HIV, and nutrition through more than 300 surveys in over 90 countries, and comparing it with data from the Uppsala Data Conflict Program (UCDP) database on conflicts (number of conflicts and fatalities). She explained that inequalities may arise intentionally along the ethnic or religious lines of conflict, or may arise unintentionally as a result of armed conflict taking place in peripheral areas populated by already marginalized ethnic groups. She concluded that the education systems and education policies can influence the likelihood and dynamics of conflict and that conflict may majorly affect education in post conflict societies. Data reveal significant inequalities in education years between ethnic, religious and rural-urban groups in all four countries. While the impact of armed conflict on education inequality does not appear to be strong and clear in the initial focus countries, the Liberia and DRC case studies show that individuals in areas with high levels of previous conflict/casualties have on average lower levels of education.

Session 2: Integrating Goals 1 and 3: Designing Reading Programs in Countries Affected by Conflict and Crisis Moderator: Devon McLorg, USAID/Washington Zeena Zakharia, University of Massachusetts

Zeena Zakharia presented the findings of her study on literacy programs in conflict and crisis affected settings, which focused on the intersection between Goals 1 and 3of the USAID Education Strategy. She used document review, key informant interviews, and focus groups to look at issues related to operating literacy programs in conflict/crisis environments. Dr. Zakharia defined literacy as reading, writing, and oral language proficiency. She also noted that many “literacies” exist in different contexts, such as those related to technology, religion, etc. Thus, literacy programs must be culturally and socially relevant and appropriate. She found that Language of instruction was also found to be crucial to how literacy programs operate, especially in areas that are multi-lingual. Dr. Zakharia argued that language is related to conflict, learning, and exclusion. It can favor one group over another and can lead to conflict/tension when students don’t speak the same language. She also found that the issues teachers face, including their own reaction to trauma, impact program implementation and make teaching training and support crucial. Dr. Zakharia pointed out the need to ensure that curricula are appropriate and do not exacerbate conflict as well as build on the strong components of curriculum or materials that may already exist in a country before conflict/crisis occurs. The study found that the inclusion of communities and families in the development and support of programs was key to promoting literacy, along with putting special attention to the needs of youth. Dr. Zakharia poignantly discussed the feelings of shame felt by individuals who did not possess the appropriate levels of literacy who were from cultures that valued it. Dr. Zaharia responded to audience questions, noting that conflict and crises do sometimes open opportunities for young people to go to school (e.g., refugee camps and access of young women in conservative environments) and sometimes changes dynamics within families, creating more empowered roles for marginalized family members. She also cautioned that data are open to interpretation and that data that might appear to be soundly quantitative might not be while qualitative data might provide more authentic and accurate information.

Session 3: Assess, Adapt, Act, Repeat: Dynamic Planning and M&E in Crisis and Conflict Environments Moderator: Nina Papadopoulos, USAID/Washington Eleanor Bedford, USAID/Washington

The goal of this session was to familiarize participants with the Office of Transition Initiatives’ (OTI) rolling assessments model and its possible incorporation into planning, monitoring, and evaluation.  During the introduction, Nina Papadopoulos of USAID/Washington discussed how that even though in conflict environments outcomes are hard to predict, programming staff need to act dynamically as well as design nimble and adaptable programming. However, large scale assessments do not often provide timely feedback that enables such action. Speaker Eleanor Bedford of USAID/Washington presented on OTI’s M&E models. She cautioned that they are additive and complementary to traditional M&E systems and not replacements. They help answer questions such as how to make a program more nimble or more effective. The rolling assessment focuses on getting field driven results in a dynamic continuous environment of program management and monitoring. Its approach is to continuously and dynamically access, act and adapt at the strategic, program and project using local input. Central to the model is intensive management and monitoring mitigation, which helps to mitigate conflict by always continuing to adapt to the creation of exacerbating tension. This approach also includes mapping out worst, best, and most likely scenarios and systematically and routinely assessing the validity of program assumptions. Participants discussed potential obstacles to using the rolling assessment model, including: It is contractually difficult to change programming requirements to adapt to these environments, required indicators can be difficult to work with, and fear of violence against staff.

Session 4: Education First and Room to Learn: What Are They and What Do They Mean? Katie Donohoe, USAID/Washington Justin van Fleet, Office of the UN Special Envoy for Global Education Aliou Tall, USAID/Democratic Republic of the Congo

Session speakers explored the collaboration between USAID and the Office for the UN Special Envoy for Global Education and participants were offered the chance to discuss barriers to educational access in South Sudan, Nigeria, and Democratic Republic of the Congo as well as proposed solutions. Justin van Fleet from the Office of the UN Special Envoy for Global Education described the Global Education First Initiative, which was catalyzed by the increasing amount of data showing high numbers of out of school youth and low levels of learning in many countries. The purpose of the initiative is to increase access to education, improve the quality of education programs, and ensure that children become strong global citizens. Many efforts are involved in Education First, including: (1) bringing ministers of education and finance together to help think through the issues of access, (2) using social marking and messaging to increase understanding of the importance of education, (3) engaging youth in the problem solving process, and (4) involving business leaders and faith communities in supporting the importance of education. Katie Donohoe of USAID/Washington, moderator for this session, described the Room to Learn initiative which focuses on increasing equitable access to education for children and youth in conflict and crisis-affected countries. The effort targets Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Haiti. It is designed to bring education to the forefront; put additional funds into programs where needed; and build partnerships with NGO’s, governments, and other stakeholders to improve education in these high need countries. The audience then broke up into three groups and discussed efforts to improve access to education in three countries: Sudan, Nigeria, and DRC.

Session 5: Recent Research on Adolescent Brain Development and Implications for Goal 3 Programming Moderator: Nancy Guerra, University of Delaware Charlyn Harper Browne, Center for the Study of Social Policy Jane Wood, Creative Associates International Abraham Awolich, Sudd Institute

This session encompassed an overview of the effects of early experiences on brain development and behavior as well as the changes that occur in the brain during adolescence. Research shows that exposure to traumatic events or sustained adversity can have a negative influence on brain development. However, panel members Charlyn Harper Browne of the Center for Social Policy and Jane Wood of Creative Associates discussed the enormous potential for brain development throughout adolescence, the importance of adults who work with children and youth to realize this when thinking about intervening in conflict affected contexts. Increased understanding of brain research and design interventions based on this knowledge is relevant for many constituencies served by USAID (e.g., marginalized populations, former child soldiers, displaced youth, children, and youth affected by HIV). Dr. Browne presented the YouThrive framework that describes how youth can be supported in ways to promote healthy development and well-being. Five protective factors were mentioned, including youth resilience, knowledge of adolescent development, and social connections. A supportive relationship with an adult was noted as key to resilience. This may be particularly challenging in conflict-affected areas, where frequently there is a breakdown in relationships between adults and youth. Other sources of support can be institutional or from peers, especially if many children or youth are experiencing the same trauma. Abraham Awolich shared his perspective on the factors which helped him overcome challenges in attaining an education as a displaced refugee from South Sudan. He pointed to a supportive adult and support from peers who were also experiencing the Sudanese conflict as primary buffers. Resilience was also discussed as a process of continuing to manage stress in the face of adversity.

Session 6: Disability and Access to Education Moderator: Lubov Fajfer, USAID/Washington Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo, USAID/Washington Anthony Duttine, Handicap International Andrew Cahn, Special Olympics North America Jenny Zong, Special Olympics North America Katharine Keller, Lions Clubs International

The purpose of this session was to familiarize participants with state of the art approaches that address access to education by children with disabilities (CWD) through enabling inclusion. Charlotte McClain-Nhalpo (USAID/Washington), Anthony Duttine (Handicap International), Andrea Cahn and Jenny Zong (Special Olympics North America), and Katharine Keller (Lions Club International) discussed work being done and lessons learned. Dr. McClain-Nhalpo provided background information on U.S. Government policy and an overview of the concept of inclusion. Article 24 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) (signed by the U.S. and ratified by 134 countries), stresses the need for governments to ensure people with disabilities have equal access to education. USAID was the first bilateral donor to have a policy on the universal inclusion of people with disabilities. Areas in which USAID has looked at the inclusion of people with disabilities are teacher training, remodeling schools, and accessibility. Ms. Heller discussed Lion’s Club’s partnership with USAID in Republic of Macedonia, which focuses on literacy and improving early grade reading. Mr. Duttine discussed Handicap International has taken similar work in Africa and found that evidence that when disabled people are included in education they can escape the inequalities and prejudices to their disabilities. Challenges to their work include making inclusion the norm by producing systemic change, scaling up actions, marketing, collecting data, and ensuring that the right people see the evidence supporting inclusive education. Representatives from the Special Olympics shared their strategy for inclusion, which is using sports as a platform for community development. Special Olympics trains and engages youth so that they can be empowered to become advocates for themselves and others with disabilities.

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3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

Session 1: Field Perspectives in Youth, Education, and Conflict: From Evidence to Practice Moderator: Ash Hartwell, University of Massachusetts Carmen Henriquez, USAID/El Salvador Dwaine Lee, USAID/Kenya Roger Steinkamp, USAID/Kenya Mardea Nyumah, USAID/Liberia

This panel discussion highlighted three innovative programs focusing on youth in conflict and postconflict contexts implemented in Liberia, El Salvador, and Kenya. Advancing Youth Livelihoods in Liberia empowers communities, provides livelihoods training, and has developed standards of practice (e.g., facilitator manuals, master trainers provide training on the job). Technical working groups (TWG) provide input to standards development, and multiple data sources are being utilized to provide evidence, including an out-of-school literacy assessment, Early Grade Math Assessment (EGMA), as well as workforce readiness and livelihoods surveys. When asked about the participation of marginalized groups, Ms. Nyumah noted that over 85 percent of learners participating in the Advancing Youth Project are girls. She informed the audience that an impact evaluation is planned for 2014. Carmen Henriquez of USAID/El Salvador provided an overview of the Education for Children and Youth program, which works to address the drop-off in education enrollment and attendance as children age out of primary school. Specifically the program seeks to provide opportunities for lower secondary students and out of-school youth. The program consistently works with multiple donors, including the private sector and the Ministry of Education. Ms. Henriquez informed the audience that a mid-term performance evaluation is in the works. Dwaine Lee and Roger Steinkamp of USAID/Kenya described the YesYouthCan! (YYC) initiative, which is youth-led, youth-owned, and youth-managed. “Activity 0” of this effort was a mass mobilization of youth which was immediately taken to scale. There are currently 500,000 members, all on rosters managed by young people. There are 20,000 bunges (villages) involved, with all following a standard set of guidelines including developing a constitution, electing leaders, collecting membership dues, managing funds, and creating a work plan. Although it has been challenging, YYC has engaged local partners through consistent communication. A successful YYC activity managed by young people was “My ID, my life”, which targeted the 2-3 million youth who do not have national registration cards. In a matter of months, half a million youth were registered. Mr. Lee and Mr. Steinkamp noted that while a rigorous impact evaluation of YesYouthCan! is being planned, the primary outcome of peaceful 2013 elections has been achieved.

Session 2: Implications of the Evidence Base on Social Emotional Learning Moderator: Jennifer Sklar, International Rescue Committee Meredith Gould, International Rescue Committee Catalina Torrente, New York University Ed Seidman, New York University

Presenters from New York University and the International Rescue Committee shared the results of recent research on social and emotional learning (SEL) in conflict contexts. SEL is the development of social and emotional competencies in children/youth and adults. Competencies include empathy, conflict resolution skills, anger management, respect for self and others, effectively working in teams, self control, respect for others, and effective communication and listening. Core competencies are sometimes called soft skills and are difficult to quantify and define, but it is important to develop metrics to do so. SEL is based on the understanding that the best learning emerges in the context of supportive relationships that make learning challenging, engaging and meaningful. Research on SEL indicates the importance of SEL core competencies to learning in conflict environments, where students are often unable to regularly attend school owing to displacement, violence and lack of safety, abuse and exploitation and the effects of trauma. Other variables that affect learning are parents’ and teachers’ mental health and living. The theory of change highlights all stakeholders, with teachers being the most critical in helping children recover from effects of violence. Students are learning SEL skills and behaviors from teacher modeling, which can be positive or negative. Research shows that changing the attachment between teacher and student has a great effect. Even simple, regular, consistent, predictable behaviors create comfort. It is important to increase knowledge of SEL competencies and build skills and behavior to increase the resiliency of children and youth.

Session 3: Supporting Teachers in Crisis and Conflict Affected Environments Ruth Naylor, CfBT Education Trust Ezra Simon, USAID/South Sudan

The aim of this session was to provide information on recent research on teacher salary systems in conflict-affected states. While development experts focus on what happens in the classroom, if teachers are not paid, education will come to a halt. Teacher salaries typically constitute 80 percent or more of most developing countries’ entire education budgets. The CfBT Education Trust, working with the The Brookings Institution’s Center for Universal Education, conducted an analytical review of the structural prerequisites for paying teachers in crisis and conflict-affected countries and challenge to doing so. The study conceptualized the systemic prerequisites into “cogs” and “levers.” Cogs are the interacting components that must be in place for an efficient payment system – the banking system, a financial management systems, payrolls, EMIS and/or Teacher Management Systems, and systems to audit how funds are spent. Levers are the sources of funds (donors, governments, and communities) and how these should pass through the cogs. By analyzing these prerequisites, conducting a literature review, and carrying out three case studies, the researchers identified some 17 different obstacles to effective teacher salary systems and proposed possible or proven solutions for each. These included incremental changes, “step” changes that reformed one or more of the cogs, and bypassing the existing system with a new approach. Ezra Simon of USAID/South Sudan described efforts to reform the teacher payment system through a 2008 “headcount” exercise, which resulted in the removal of numerous ghost teachers and schools and raised the question of how to deal with so-called unclassified educators who may not have credentials but who provide important services in rural areas. The discussion focused on the importance of stakeholder analysis, what to do when salaries are too low; and other issues of payment when no such financial infrastructure exists.

Session 4: Educational Quality: Global Imperative in Post-Conflict Environments Moderator: Julia Richards, USAID/Liberia Walter Phillips, FHI 360 Kurt Moses, FHI 360 Sergio Somerville, FHI 360

Julia Richards from USAID/Liberia led a panel session covering the development of systems and capacity in conflict environments based on examples and lessons learned in Liberia, as well as South Sudan, Ethiopia and Guatemala. The presenters from FHI 360 presented the unique challenges of (re)building EMIS systems and infrastructure, how data were built and shared with decision-makers and the importance of how data was presented. The presenters reminded their audience that the barriers to providing a quality education in these countries were numerous, including a lack of qualified teachers, resource constraints, and a lack of systems and processes. The extremely skewed demographic profile of schools in conflict countries sets them apart from countries not in conflict. For example, in Liberia, while seven percent of grade one students were six years old, 14 percent were 10 years old, and many were older. Similarly, in grade six, two percent were 11 years old and 47 percent were 16 years old. This data alone indicates the challenges that teachers face in developing a successful reading program in conflict environments. Capacity building is obviously a critical component in these countries. The FHI360 team shared the approach and preliminary results from a capacity building program in Liberia that has the benefit of strong political support for education from the government. An important component in this USAID-funded project its support of national, regional and local decision making through the capture and distribution of data. The project is building IT systems capacity in a cost-effective, green and sustainable way by using free resources (e.g., Google Earth), open source software, and relatively free solar technology for power. The project was able to introduce an ID card reader that allows teachers to check-in for work. It has led to better teacher attendance and allows teachers to be paid remotely so that collecting pay does not detract from their time teaching. A cost assessment showed that the physical requirement to swipe and ID on the card reader would pay off the system’s cost in about three months because teachers would need to come to school and teach in order to swipe their cards at the required times. Discussants were particularly interested in the cost of the system, challenges on how to get overcome local resistance and garner political support and possible standardization of data across countries.

Session 5: Equity, Education Access and Conflict: What Does the Data Say? Moderator: Yolande Miller-Grandvaux, USAID/Washington Gudrun Ostby, Centre for the Study of Civil War, Peace Research Institute Oslo

Gudrun Ostby from the Center for the Study of Civil War of the Peace Research Institute Oslo presented interim findings from a study that is exploring whether conflicts lead to inequalities, and if they do, which inequalities. While the study encompasses 20 countries, interim results included only Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mali, Nigeria, and Liberia. Dr. Ostby is using Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) from USAID, which has collected, analyzed, and disseminated representative data on population, health, HIV, and nutrition through more than 300 surveys in over 90 countries, and comparing it with data from the Uppsala Data Conflict Program (UCDP) database on conflicts (number of conflicts and fatalities). She explained that inequalities may arise intentionally along the ethnic or religious lines of conflict, or may arise unintentionally as a result of armed conflict taking place in peripheral areas populated by already marginalized ethnic groups. She concluded that the education systems and education policies can influence the likelihood and dynamics of conflict and that conflict may majorly affect education in post conflict societies. Data reveal significant inequalities in education years between ethnic, religious and rural-urban groups in all four countries. While the impact of armed conflict on education inequality does not appear to be strong and clear in the initial focus countries, the Liberia and DRC case studies show that individuals in areas with high levels of previous conflict/casualties have on average lower levels of education.

Session 6: Integrating Goals 1 and 3: Designing Reading Programs in Countries Affected by Conflict and Crisis Zeena Zakharia, University of Massachusetts

Zeena Zakharia presented the findings of her study on literacy programs in conflict and crisis affected settings, which focused on the intersection between Goals 1 and 3of the USAID Education Strategy. She used document review, key informant interviews, and focus groups to look at issues related to operating literacy programs in conflict/crisis environments. Dr. Zakharia defined literacy as reading, writing, and oral language proficiency. She also noted that many “literacies” exist in different contexts, such as those related to technology, religion, etc. Thus, literacy programs must be culturally and socially relevant and appropriate. She found that Language of instruction was also found to be crucial to how literacy programs operate, especially in areas that are multi-lingual. Dr. Zakharia argued that language is related to conflict, learning, and exclusion. It can favor one group over another and can lead to conflict/tension when students don’t speak the same language. She also found that the issues teachers face, including their own reaction to trauma, impact program implementation and make teaching training and support crucial. Dr. Zakharia pointed out the need to ensure that curricula are appropriate and do not exacerbate conflict as well as build on the strong components of curriculum or materials that may already exist in a country before conflict/crisis occurs. The study found that the inclusion of communities and families in the development and support of programs was key to promoting literacy, along with putting special attention to the needs of youth. Dr. Zakharia poignantly discussed the feelings of shame felt by individuals who did not possess the appropriate levels of literacy who were from cultures that valued it. Dr. Zaharia responded to audience questions, noting that conflict and crises do sometimes open opportunities for young people to go to school (e.g., refugee camps and access of young women in conservative environments) and sometimes changes dynamics within families, creating more empowered roles for marginalized family members. She also cautioned that data are open to interpretation and that data that might appear to be soundly quantitative might not be while qualitative data might provide more authentic and accurate information.

Untitled 4:25 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. Plenary 3: Working with Congress Moderator: Chuck Cooper, USAID Assistant Administrator for Legislative and Public Affairs Talia Dubovi, Office of US Representative Nita Lowey of New York Chris Homan, Office of US Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois

The goal of this session was to explore ways in which Congress works with USAID and a wide range of constituent and interest groups which can lend support to programming in basic and higher education. Speakers were Talia Dubovi, Appropriations Associate for Representative Lowey (D-NY), who covers education and international human rights, Chris Homan, National Security Advisor for Senator Durbin (D-IL), and Eric Postel, USAID’s Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment. Given the current climate in Congress, this informal conversation focused on Congress’ budgeting process, as well as looming issues related to the debt ceiling, the possibility of a governmental shutdown, and appropriation bills. Congress is currently on a 5-week recess, and there is the possibility of a government shutdown if the appropriations bill does not pass by early September. Speakers also noted that a debt-limit debate is also looming. Staffer’s remarks focused on the most effective ways to communicate project-related information with Congress and the type of information Congress is more interested in receiving. They noted that they focus on USAID’s portfolios rather than individual projects. Staffers appreciate briefings and visit projects to the extent that they are able. Because of persistent perceptions that the foreign assistance budget is a larger percentage of the overall budget than it is, congressional staff look for evidence that investments are sustainable and that other countries and private donors are contributing. When asked about progress on implementing the Education Strategy and USAID Forward, Mr. Postel noted that it is hard to determine and that there were some significant changes in programming. He indicated that the time needed to adjust to the Strategy was underestimated. Hot-button topics such as girls’ education in Afghanistan and Pakistan and setting up schools in Haiti were identified. During the Q&A period, presenters noted the kind of information desired by Congresspeople as well as the best ways to present it.

Untitled 5:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Closing Keynote Dr. Rajiv Shah, USAID Administrator

Rajiv Shah, Administrator of USAID, delivered closing remarks on Day 2 of the Education Summit. He highlighted USAID’s revamping of its education strategy and the use of evidence to inform programming. He noted that a portfolio review of Nigeria, South Sudan, and Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) were providing a clearer picture of barriers to education. In DRC, one of greatest barriers to attending school was not violence or displacement, but school fees because the government cannot afford to pay teachers. The Administrator said that USAID would be working with government to find new models to make sure that education becomes a right rather than privilege. USAID took a partnership approach, joining with the Office of the UN Special Envoy for Global Education to work in those countries. The administrator also highlighted the All Children Read Grand Challenge, which received over 450 applications, of which over half of applications came from developing countries. When discussing working with partners, he informed the audience that in the previous year, USAID moved 725 million dollars to partners knowing it is more work, but the end result will be institutions that will eventually not need U.S. assistance.

August 6: Goal 1- Improved Reading Skills for 100 Million Children in Primary Grades by 2015

Tuesday, August 6th

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Plenary 1 - Welcome and Overview of Education Priorities 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Plenary 2 – Visions for 2015 and Beyond: Perspectives on a Global Learning 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

  • Session 1: From Strategy to Implementation:  What Have We Learned Since 2011?
  • Session 2: Approaches to Community and Parent Involvement and Social Marketing to Increase the Impact of Goal 1 Projects
  • Session 3: Increasing Sustainability of Reading Programs: Designing Effective G2G Early Grade Reading programs to Increase Sustainability

1:15 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

  • Session 1: Which Book Do Children Need to Learn to Read? Developing Effective Content
  • Session 2: Scale and Sustainability of Reading Programs: Key Considerations
  • Session 3: Using Knowledge of Cultural Beliefs and Practices to Enhance Early Grade Reading Programs
  • Session 4: The All Children Reading Grand Challenge (ACR-GC)
  • Session 5: Improving Reading Outcomes: A Comparison of Instructional Approaches
  • Session 6: Program Design: Language and Reading
  • Session 7: Building Consensus on Measuring Learning: Recommendations from the Learning Metrics Task Force

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

  • Session 1: Reading in the Arabic Language: Considerations for Programs in North Africa and the Middle East
  • Session 2: Measuring Impact: The Use of Data Collection and Analysis to Track Improvements in Reading
  • Session 3: Printing and Publishing Books that Children Can Read
  • Session 4: Scale and Sustainability for Reading Programs: Cost Considerations
  • Session 5: Changing Teacher Practice: Effective Training and Coaching
  • Session 6: What Do We Need to Know about Children’s Cognitive Development to Optimize Early
  • Session 7: Technology and Reading: Learning from the Field

4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Plenary 3: Advancing Reading Through Collaboration: Building a Stro...

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9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Plenary 1 - Welcome and Overview of Education Priorities Christie Vilsack, USAID Senior Advisor for International Arne Duncan, US Secretary of Education Natasha de Marcken, Director USAID Office of Education

Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, welcomed participants with remarks on the importance of education and discussed how improving education is essential for maintaining economic competitiveness and ensuring stewardship of the planet. He noted that while it is a time of unprecedented urgency with 57 million primary age children not in school today, it is also a time of unprecedented opportunity. Secretary Duncan emphasized the importance of the appropriate use of new technologies to increase access to and quality of education. He called for a focus on quality, attainment and completion, as well as the need for a renewed focus on parents, who will always be a child’s first and most important teachers. In discussing the importance of the engagement of parents, Secretary Duncan noted that parents can have a tremendous impact on student motivation to learn, graduation rates, and college preparedness. He closed by discussing how children around the world are willing to risk their lives to get an education and concluded by saying, “If we want both justice and peace, then we must work for education.” View complete text of Secretary Duncan’s remarks.

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span style="line-height: 1.7142; font-size: 1rem;">9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Plenary 2 – Visions for 2015 and Beyond: Perspectives on a Global Learning Moderator: Christie Vilsack, USAID Senior Advisor for International Anjimile Mtila-Oponyo, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Malawi Rebecca Winthrop, The Brookings Institution (Download the Presentation – PDF) Sara Ruto, Uwezo (Download the Presentation – PDF)

This plenary session focused on the importance of Goal 1 and how it ties in to the overall education priorities of USAID. Christine Vilsack, USAID Senior Advisor for International Education, moderated a panel discussion with Anjimile Mtila-Oponyo of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology in Malawi, Rebecca Winthrop of The Brookings Institution, and Sara Ruto of Uwezo. The speakers highlighted victories that the international education community has achieved in the fields of access and learning, but stressed that this agenda remains unfinished, with millions of children in school but not learning. They remarked that learning is not happening within school walls because of weak educational systems, lack of community engagement, and poor teaching by untrained teachers. Additional obstacles to achieving quality learning are the huge educational equality issues (e.g., gender, geographic location) that continue to affect learning within countries and between countries. The presenters further discussed the need for the international education agenda to focus on measuring outcomes, rather than inputs, with better tools and standards, such as those being developed by the Learning Metrics and Tools Task Force. The speakers elaborated a point made by Secretary Duncan about effectively taking children from “cradle to career” by strengthening management and administration of education systems starting children’s education early, examining the effectiveness of investing in early childhood education, developing a “culture of reading” and a “sustained demand for quality.” Speakers also highlighted opportunities presented by technology and evidence-based approaches that involve parents and communities as ways to realize real and sustainable change.

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11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

Session 1: From Strategy to Implementation:  What Have We Learned Since 2011? Moderator: Penelope Bender, Office of Education, USAID Lisa Slifer-Mbacke, MSI Benjamin Piper, RTI International Annie Duflo, Innovations for Poverty Action

This session, moderated by Penelope Bender of USAID/Washington, covered lessons learned on improving the impact, scale, and sustainability of reading outcomes. The speakers focused on the areas of baseline assessments, instructional change, and evaluation. Lisa Slifer-Mbacke from MSI spoke of the challenges of conducting baseline reading assessments and shared lessons learned from her experience conducting an EGRA assessment in Pakistan. In particular, she discussed understanding the context, establishing the evaluators’ credibility, controlling quality, selecting local partners and staff, and interacting with local officials. Benjamin Piper of RTI International spoke of teaching and the process through which teachers change their classroom practices, students’ outcomes improve, and teachers sustain those improvements in their instruction. He noted that training programs designed to effect change among educators are missing from implementation. Dr. Piper’s model for potentially bringing about change includes using adult learning strategies, giving instructional feedback, simplifying the materials provided to teachers, allowing for peer discussion; including community demand, changing the teachers guides and textbooks used by teachers, and embedding change into a teacher’s career. Annie Duflo from Innovations for Poverty Action discussed lessons learned from conducting impact evaluations. She explained that they should be understood as a learning tool and be future oriented. Dr. Duflo pointed out that the evaluation method, tools used for measurement, and the data collection process matter. Key questions that need to be asked when interpreting results include the effect size, for whom, the effect of what, in what context, in what implementation conditions, and at what cost. Evaluation objectives should include testing a concept or a theory of change, refining the concept and its applications, and evaluating the program’s impact at scale. It is essential that an evaluator understand the theory of change and the desired goals of a project.

Session 2: Approaches to Community and Parent Involvement and Social Marketing to Increase the Impact of Goal 1 Projects Moderator: John Comings Elizabeth Spier, AIR/3ie Dina Borzekowski, Johns Hopkins University

Moderator John Cummings of USAID set the stage for a discussion of: (1) how family and community <="" the="" outside="" interventions="" literacy="" pre-primary="" and="" effective="" identifying="" of="" goal="" undertaken with="" being="" is="" that="" review="" literature="" systematic="" a="" discussed="" 3ie,="" air="" spier="" effectively. elizabeth="" cost="" marking="" social="" use="" to="" ways="" explore="" sector="" health="" experience="" on="" draw="" can="" how education="" (2)="" communities,="" parents="" involve="" education="" support="">

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This session, moderated by Suezan Lee of USAID/Washington, explored the recent experiences of three Missions with use of G2G modalities to implement reading programs. USAID education officers from Ethiopia (Befekadu Gebretsadik), Egypt (Hala El Sarafy), and Ghana (Adma Jehanfo) presented overviews of their Missions’ G2G experiences in order to illustrate the use of government systems to improve national reading efforts. Several factors served as the basis of consideration in the use of G2G programming: a strong and long-time relationship of USAID with the host government, a favorable policy environment, the recognition of the problem of children not able to read, and willingness of stakeholders to jointly address this problem. G2G activities in these countries support service delivery to improve reading through a focus on professional development of teachers, training for school principals and supervisors, development of faculty and reading departments for pre-service, student assessment, and the use of appropriate technology. Presenters touched on similar challenges to G2G implementation, including the amount of time needed to build understanding and capacity among host governments and the need to balance USAID and government goals. Solutions put forth by presenters included identifying clear milestones and means of verification and having a plan in place to improve Ministry of Education delivery systems and strengthen management, During the question and answer period, issues were raised with regard to the identification of appropriate mother-tongue language for classroom instruction and the need to consider the effects of decentralization and government capacity when deciding where to focus G2G.

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1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

Session 1: Which Book Do Children Need to Learn to Read? Developing Effective Content Moderator: Marcia Davidson, Cambridge Education Cory Heyman, Room to Read Norbert Rennert, SIL International John Hatton, SIL International Kirsten Gallison, FHI 360 Said Yasin, Education Development Center Mariella Ruiz-Rodriguez, USAID/Uganda Fabiola Lopez-Minatchy, USAID/Haiti This session, moderated by Marcia Davidson of Cambridge Education, dealt with early reading and literacy initiatives, as well as innovative solutions to reading material development when there is a lack of existing materials in languages still being spoken by many (e.g., Papua New Guinea). When developing decodable and leveled texts, multiple issues need to be considered, including but not limited to font, spacing, use of color, illustrations, and number of words per sentence. Room to Read shared these insights from experiences developing instructional materials, and conducting gap analyses in countries - based on types of materials available for different reading levels. Representatives from USAID/Haiti, USAID/Uganda, and FHI 360 discussed development and implementation of early reading and literacy initiatives on the ground, emphasizing the importance of taking country context, local culture, and language characteristics into consideration when developing reading materials. Although all of these components are important to address for effective reading material development that is appropriate for the targeted group, low-cost, low-tech, and innovative solutions were also shared, minimizing the need for outside expert contributions. Specifically, community members can be engaged to develop technically sound decodable readers (e.g., Timawarenga! project, implemented by FHI 360). Aspects such as layout, font, and illustrations can be streamlined and automated so that community members can become book and curriculum developers themselves (see bloomlibrary.org).

Session 2: Scale and Sustainability of Reading Programs: Key Considerations Moderator: Suezan Lee, USAID/Washington Kate Fehlenberg, MSI Lisa Slifer-Mbacke, MSI

Session 3: Using Knowledge of Cultural Beliefs and Practices to Enhance Early Grade Reading Programs Sara Harkness, USAID/Washington <="" parents’="" effects="" washington="" usaid="" harkness="" sara="" session,="" this="">beliefs and practices on their children and provided a framework for analyzing children’s culturally constructed learning environments as well as examples of the framework being used to promote early grade reading. Dr. Harkness formulated the developmental niche, or the theoretical framework fused to understand how culture affects child development, and identified three interrelated subsystems: (1) the settings in which a child is raised, (2) community customs and practices in childrearing, and (3) the psychology of caretakers (e.g., parental beliefs about when a child should pass through valued/prioritized stages of development). ,Parents in Nigeria expect a child to speak clearly close to age 3 while parents in Massachusetts expect a child to not use “baby talk” close to age 5. Also, kenyan mothers take much longer to “know” a child’s personality than do US women and girls in Kenya are expected to take care of siblings while girls in the Netherlands actively participate in school. Dr. Harkness She noted that common elements in successful parent, community and school programs for early grade reading are strong community support, parents’ cultural beliefs are addressed, careful ethnographic observation of the child’s developmental niche, and the use of local practices as a base for innovation.

Session 4: The All Children Reading Grand Challenge (ACR-GC) Moderators: Rina Dhalla, USAID/Washington and Rebecca Leege, World Vision

Rina Dhalla from USAID and Rebecca Leege from World Vision facilitated a session that involved the demonstration of innovative approaches to teach reading. Through the ACR-GC Model, USAID and its partners are using new tools and networks to find, select and accelerate innovative projects and ideas that have the potential to achieve large-scale development impact. In the first round, 32 winners were selected from 450 applications; 50 percent of the funding went to local organizations. Grants managers provide oversight of the $300,000 grants, which have two-year performance management plans. A new round will be announced in the fall. Four projects were presented and discussed during this session: Pratham’s learning camps and combined activities for learning in India, World Education’s Total Reading Approach for Children (TRAC) program in Cambodia, the Lubuto Library Project in Zambia, and Planet Read in India. Each of the projects presented its approach, progress, and challenges. Each is preparing for and dealing with scaling in different ways–through expanding content, adding new TV programs, entering into partnerships with states, adding new technologies (e.g. cell phones or non-proprietary laptops, new hardware/software combinations), or working with other NGOs. Technology offers unique opportunities to reach remote students, creates new ways to engage students and parents, and provides a more inclusive environment.

Session 5: Improving Reading Outcomes: A Comparison of Instructional Approaches Moderator: Betty Sturtevant, George Mason University Cecilia Ochoa, Save the Children Diane Prouty, Creative Associates International Rachel Christina, Education Development Center

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Session 6: Program Design: Language and Reading Moderator: John Comings, USAID/Washington Catherine Young, SIL International Barbara Trudell, SIL International Joy Peyton, Center for Applied Linguistics

In this session, presenters focused on research related to the use of primary languages as the language of instruction in the classroom. Catherine Young of SIL International opened the session, noting that many children do not speak the language used to teach and are unable to engage actively in the classroom. Engaging in rote learning, they more frequently perform poorly on tests and are more likely to drop out of school or be removed by disillusioned parents. International research supporting mother-tongue instruction was highlighted and recommendations for program design (e.g. development of effective instructional approaches, development of appropriate materials to support reading and skill development, equipping teachers with pedagogical strategies to teach reading and support transition to additional languages; recognizing the need for an enabling policy environment) discussed. Barbara Trudell, SIL International, further discussed how mother tongue reading programs require more than providing materials and training teachers. Elements that successfully build mother tongue-medium learning (e.g. standardization of written language; development of dictionaries and texts in local language beyond those of the classroom; support of local language advocates; awareness of discrepancies between policies at the national and local level) were outlined and challenges to building local language instruction (e.g. politics, scaling) were highlighted. Joy Peyton of Center for Applied Linguistics closed the session with a discussion of a rigorous U.S. Study on the role of native language in reading success. Reflecting on the study’s findings, Dr. Peyton discussed important elements of high quality learning (e.g. curriculum based on thematic units; a comprehensive approach to reading; students working in pairs and small groups; formal or informal support; appropriate materials for instruction, tutoring, family activities, etc.) and a positive context for instruction (e.g. whole school engagement, buy in, positive messaging, professional development, assessment done regularly, tutoring available, etc.).

Session 7: Building Consensus on Measuring Learning: Recommendations from the Learning Metrics Task Force Moderator: Allison Anderson, The Brookings Institution Luis Crouch, RTI International Dzingai Mutumbuka, Association for the Development of Education in Africa

Moderated by Allison Anderson from the Center for Universal Education at The Brookings Institution, this session featured two speakers, Luis Crouch from RTI International, and Dzingai Mutumbuka, Association for the Development of Education in Africa, who presented on the Learning Metrics Task Force (LMTF). Initiated by UNESCO and The Brookings Institution, the LMTF was convened to focus attention on the alignment of efforts to measure and improve learning outcomes. A highly consultative, consensus-building exercise, the LMTF represents one part of a process aimed at achieving Education for All’s Goal Six on education quality. Presenters laid out the areas in which the task force aims to build consensus across three phases of consultation: (1) standards–what learning is important for all children and youth, (2) measures and methods–how learning outcomes should be measured, and (3) implementation–how measurement of learning can improve education quality. Phase One resulted in a broad definition of learning that includes seven domains, subdomains and competencies (limited to early childhood through lower secondary). That served as the framework for the identification of six areas of measurement during Phase Two. They include access to and completion of learning opportunities through enrollment and completion indicators and early childhood experiences that result in readiness for primary school, through a school readiness indicator. Next steps for Phase Three were then laid out along with the challenges inherent in trying to measure common indicators globally. During the discussion period, the audience explored the need for a global measure or set of measures for global citizenship, and the applicability of such metrics to the ground level.

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3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

Session 1: Reading in the Arabic Language: Considerations for Programs in North Africa and the Middle East Moderators: Karen Tietjan, Creative Associates International & Gracy Lang, USAID/Morocco Aarnout Brombacher, RTI International Samir Habib, RTI International Fathi el-Ashry, Creative Associates International Joy du Plessis, Creative Associates International Mariam Britel Swift, USAID/Morocco Hala el-Serafy, USAID/Egypt Abdulhamid Alajami, USAID/Yemen

A panel of speakers from RTI International, Creative Associates and USAID representatives from Morocco, Egypt and Yemen discussed the particular challenges and approaches of Arabic language teaching. Panelists discussed: (1) the context in which reading programs and assessments take place in Arab language speaking countries, (2) special issues that occur when developing reading programs and assessments in Arab language, and (3) several approaches to reading programs with a focus on Yemen and Egypt. Reading programs in Arab language countries are faced with a range of special issues: low levels of reading; a diglossic environment (i.e. children growing up in households where colloquial Arabic is spoken while schools teach in classical Arabic, which is similar to learning a foreign language for these children); the different presentation of short and long vowels in writing; and the more active engagement of the left side of the brain than for other languages means that it takes longer to automate the reading process than for languages such as English. The speakers presented three approaches – two in Egypt and one in Yemen. Each of the reading programs and assessments leveraged standard approaches, but tailored them to the special needs of teaching and testing Arabic as well as to the special requirements of working with the respective ministries of education in post Arab Spring environments. During the discussion, the panelists explained how they involved the local governments at different stages in the assessments and program implementation. While early ministerial involvement did not guarantee complete buy-in in every case, it was successful in most programs discussed.

Session 2: Measuring Impact: The Use of Data Collection and Analysis to Track Improvements in Reading Moderator: Garth Willis, USAID/Washington Optimal Solutions Representative Mark Turner and Yvette Clinton of Optimal Solutions presented on the USAID-funded Secondary Analysis for Results Tracking (SART) project, which aims to show progress in reading efforts by collecting, analyzing, and reporting on data by country and for the Agency as a whole. Presenters gave a ‘short course’ on the use of data collection and analysis to illustrate the impacts of a focus on improved reading. Key analysis terms: benchmark, threshold, baseline, and endline to set a common understanding of the parameters of data use as a way to measure progress. Using data from a USAID/Malawi reading program, the audience saw a country report and data analysis. Data not only for data’s sake, but also to show accountability for inputs. Data analysis is the basic foundation for further progress in reading/learning. Q&A issues surfaced concerned the existence of quality data standards to enable comparison among data sets, the need to embed sound data collection and analysis methodologies into ministries of education so they can effectively track their own progress in improving reading, the ability to compare reading data sets across countries, and the need for information dissemination guidelines. The presenters asked implementers and Missions to send in reading data so the Agency can get a greater picture of reading progress.

Session 3: Printing and Publishing Books that Children Can Read Moderator: Marcia Davidson, Cambridge Education Carol Sakoian, Scholastic, Inc. Maggie de Jongh, blueTree Group Luis Crouch, RTI International Moderated by Marcia Dawson of Cambridge Education brought together book experts from Scholastic, Inc., Blue Tree Group, and RTI International to discuss to explain the complex processes involved in publishing, printing and procuring sufficient, appropriate, cost efficient and high quality books for all children in low-income countries. They discussed working with local printers, difficulties getting books to the right places, challenges with convincing teachers to use new materials, and children’s inability to read in early years owing to factors such as a scarcity of books and little or no supplementary materials in mother tongues. Luis Crouch of RTI proposed a new approach—creating a books fund modeled on health commodity funds. This approach would fund the creation of titles and delivery to schools, increase demand, and improve the supply chain. Such funds would need to purchase materials at a high volume, develop a recommended book set, keep costs low but pedagogical effectiveness high, work with publishers to address production costs, and model an effective supply chain. Audience discussed challenges: providing materials to children who will be the first readers in their families, making sure books are at an appropriate reading level, and teachers knowing how to integrate books into the instructional process.

Session 4: Scale and Sustainability for Reading Programs: Cost Considerations Moderator: Suezan Lee, USAID/Washington Connor Brannen, J-PAL Benjamin Piper, RTI International The effectiveness of programs is the key component to success; but programmers must also be able to answer the question, “At what cost?” Presenter Connor Brannen of JPAL discussed the concepts behind cost effectiveness analysis (CEA), especially with respect to scaling up pilot interventions. CEA summarizes a complex program in terms of a simple ratio of costs to impacts. She noted that impact assessment should take into account the context of the pilot and its specific implementation, while a calculation of cost is best achieved by means of an “ingredients” analysis, tracking the various components with thought to how such costs might change when going to scale. CEA provides an overall indication of the order of magnitude of a program’s cost effectiveness, but does not predict the cost of a program at scale. Dr. Benjamin Piper of RTI International presented the results of the Primary Reading and Math Project (PRIMR) in Kenya and the associated cost analysis which is providing USAID with findings on the actual cost of student learning results. The PRIMR project is able to demonstrate specific reading gains by pupil and track specific costs per project component (e.g. improved text books, targeted teacher training). The project gets children to reading proficiency for about half the cost of what the government expects to spend. Q&A focused on the applicability of this model for scaling up, the issue of governments wanting to use only some elements of the PRIMR approach without supporting others, and some of the potential political impediments to moving forward (such as a book publishing industry that will resist changes to textbooks that may lower their profits.

Session 5: Changing Teacher Practice: Effective Training and Coaching Moderator: John Comings, USAID/Washington Nancy Clark-Chiarelli, Education Development Center Rita Bean, University of Pittsburgh

John Comings from USAID/Washington moderated a session focused on what works in teacher coaching in the U.S. and in developing countries. Nancy Clark from the Education Development Center shared information on a teacher coaching program currently operating in Sudan and Rita Bean from the University of Pittsburgh discussed findings from the research. Key takeaways from the session were that teacher coaching in the US has been shown to improve teacher satisfaction and child learning outcomes and that both individual and group coaching are effective. Presenters also discussed the use of technology as a new resource to help with training coaches. Building trust in the coach/teacher relationship is extremely important, as well as differentiating between a coaching role and a monitoring role in the classroom. Since coaching should be seen as a supportive, it should not be combined with collecting information for accountability or evaluation purposes.

Session 6: What Do We Need to Know about Children’s Cognitive Development to Optimize Early Moderator: Sara Harkness, USAID/Washington Nathan Fox, University of Maryland Charles M. Super, University of Connecticut Dan Stoner, Save the Children Robin Horn, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation

This panel discussed children’s cognitive development in relation to schooling. Nathan Fox of the University of Maryland discussed brain development and executive functioning, which is conscious, goal directed control of attention and behavior. This functioning grows rapidly between age 3 and 7 and helps children control their attention in ways such as following multi-step instructions, avoiding distractions, and persisting at problem solving. Charles M. Super of the University of Connecticut and Dan Stoner spoke on factors that affect the development of the brain and children cognitive development. Dr. Super discussed the intersection of culture and developmental transformations and their impact on children’s learning. Dr. Stoner described how brain development is affected on the molecular level by trauma, disease, malnutrition, malaria and other diseases brought on by parasites. Robin Horn of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation described their work and delved into a discussion on which the policies and interventions matter. It is essential to provide an enabling environment for brain and cognitive development. Audience stressed the need to effectively translate scientific evidence to policy in order to convince politicians about the returns that will come from investing in education, and coordination between education and health is essential to address challenges that inhibit cognitive development.

Session 7: Technology and Reading: Learning from the Field Moderator: Anthony Bloome, USAID/Washington Meredith Fox, USAID/Washington David Rurangirwa, USAID/Rwanda Chris Pagen, USAID/Kenya

Speakers from USAID Missions in South Africa and Kenya and a USAID-grantee in Senegal gathered to discuss and provide examples of the use of technology in support of early grade reading efforts. Colleagues and partners in the field talked about their experience in scalability, data collection, and privacy and confidentiality issues in the use of technology to gather information for education assessments from educators and students. Moderated by Tony Bloome, exhibitors were introduced to participants in an interview format, and discussions centered around best practices in the use of technology to support early grade reading efforts.

Untitled Plenary 3: Advancing Reading Through Collaboration: Building a Strong Community of Practice Moderator: Penelope Bender, USAID/Washington Allison Anderson, The Brookings Institution Eric Eversmann, Save the Children Amber Gove, RTI International Karen LeBan, CORE Group Karen Tietjen, Creative Associates International

Penelope Bender from USAID/Washington moderated this plenary, which focused on Communities of Practice (CoP). Presenters focused on lessons learned as well as the opportunities and challenges of participating in CoPs. Karen LeBan from CORE Group spoke about the history and development of her organization, and noted a number of lessons learned which can be applied to developing a successful CoP. These include building relationships, providing multiple levels and methods of engagement to suit the needs of members, contributing to the evidence base, measuring results and using common indicators, and maintaining a supportive donor environment. Allison Anderson from The Brookings Institution discussed her involvement in the Interagency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE). She explained that INEE was established as a mechanism for sharing information and among the lessons learned cited that form follows function. She also discussed how the consultative process built the framework for her organization and offered an opportunity to build trust. Karen Tiejen of Creative Associates explained that participation in a CoP offers opportunities to keep informed about events in the development community, to pool resources, and to participate in a forum in which different and divergent voices can be heard. Amber Gove of RTI International added that contributing to a CoP facilitates identification of approaches and solutions, solidifies existing networks, allows for the identification of new actors and partners, increases cost efficiency and effective use of tax payer funds, and provides opportunities to advance scholarship. Eric Eversmann from Save the Children cited agreement with the previous presenters and noted that his organization includes partnering through opportunities such as a CoP in their theory of change. He recommended as best practices a clear vision with feasible objectives, output driven work streams, a commitment to institutionalization, strong leadership and processes, and inclusive and open membership.

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ENTREPRENEURIAL REVOLUTION NETWORK BENCHMARKS 2011-20 : Remembering Norman Macrae

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online library of norman macrae--correspondence welcomed on 42 year curriculum of Entrepreneurial Revolution and net generation as most productive time to be alive - chris.macrae@yahoo.co.uk

AFM00 Samara and AfricaStar and Yazmi
AFM10 IHUB/Ushahidi
AFM11 MIT Media Lab Africa
AFM12 MIT D-lab and Abdul Latif with Toyota
AFM121 Polak last mile multinationals africa –eg green energy and clean water distrib
AFM13 Ibrahim Foundation
AFM14 Africa24tv
TB1 Free University and Jobs Schools
TB11 Open Learning Campus Africa
AFM15 Young Africa Society –world bank ypa milennials’ goals 2.1
AFM2 Jamii Bora –end slums youth banking and partner labs
TB20 Primary financial literacy curriculum – eg Afaatoun out of Orphanages
AFM21 Bridges primary schools
TB21 Love of self- empowerment curriculum – eg Maharishi (TB1)
TB22 Coding curricula from primary up
AFM31 Kiva Africa
AFM32 Acumen
AFM33 BRAC African Girl Jobs-creating banking
AFM34 Eagri-Africa
AFM35 African health millennials www –and PIH Rwanda, Free Nursing College Africa
AFM36 Mara Foundation
AFM4 MPESA/Safari
AFM5 Nanocredit
AFM6 USADBC - diaspora association benchmarking african food security value chains
AFM61 –diaspora multi-country celebrations eg AfricaTip (AgeTip)
AFM611 NEPAD
AFM612 Makerfaireafrica
BOM1 berners lee
BOM2 mit every students an entrepreneur
BOM21 MIT100k
BOM3 mit media lab -open source wizard entrepreneurs and new commons
BOM30 Negroponte $100 Laptop
BOM31 Joi Ito
BOM32 reclaim our learning
BOM4 MIT open education movement
BIM41 OLA
BOM5 Legatum
BO51 Legatum millennials and fans
BOM52 networks of cashless banking technolgists
BOM53 innovations journal
BOM6 partners in health/brigham womens hospital
BOM61 value chain networks club inspired by pih and world bank millenials
BOM62 ypchronic
BOM63 GFH
BOM64 Haiti training hospital - connector of neraly free nursing college
BOSF1 Kiva and puddle
BOSF2 Khan Academy
BOSF3 Coursera segment interested in Open Learning Campus

communications and community banking links series 1 and 2

Out of The Economist since 1972 Macrae's viewpoint Entrepreneurial Revolution argues that the net generation can make tremendous human progress if and only if educators, economists and all who make the biggest resource integrate youth job creating into the way their worldwide purpose and impact is valued -chris.macrae@yahoo.co.uk join in ... 43rd Entrepreneurial Revolution Youth Networks Celebration..
 


job creation survey

discuss valuation video

Norman Macrae Foundation

e chris.macrae@yahoo.co.uk

Wash DC tel 1 301 881 1655

 

 

 

For how many of The Economist's first 175 years was it the most effective mediator of sustainability exponentials of humanity all over the planet

 

best million-youth moocs hosted by economists

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discuss valuation video

hottest youth-spring question of our life and times-can online education end youth unemployment for ever ? yes but only if you help map how!

moocyunus launches youtube competition -what would purpose of youth's favorite free online university be?

join blog of moocyunus

 

 The Economist- when first seeing youth experiment with digital networks in 1972,

Season's most urgent collaboration debates:

next 100 million jobs nursing

42nd year of 7 wonders if thinkpad of The Economist's genre of Entrepreneurial Revoution

40 years of notes from archives of entrepreneurial revolution 1-7 a...

 

help catalogue top 100 microfranchises

 

help catalogue 100 short videos on right old muddle of anti-youth economists..

Dad (Norman Macrae) created the genre Entrepreneurial Revolution  to debate how to make the net generation the most productive and collaborative . We had first participated in computer assisted learning experiments in 1972. Welcome to more than 40 years of linking pro-youth economics networks- debating can the internet be the smartest media our species has ever collaborated around?

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Foundation Norman Macrae- The Economist's Pro-Youth Economist

5801 Nicholson Lane Suite 404 Rockville MD 20852   tel 301 881 1655 email chris.macrae@yahoo.co.uk

Main Project webs wholeplanet.tv

microeducationsummit.com including yunusdiary.com bracnet.ning.com taddyblecher.com as lead open education partner of mandela elders and branson 

NormanMacrae.ning.com

2013 = 170th Year of The Economist being Founded to End Hunger

2010s = Worldwide Youth's most productive and collaborative decade

 1972: Norman Macrae starts up Entrepreneurial Revolution debates in The Economist. Will we the peoples be in time to change 20th C largest system designs and make 2010s worldwide youth's most productive time? or will we go global in a way that ends sustainability of ever more villages/communities? Drayton was inspired by this genre to coin social entrepreneur in 1978 ,,continue the futures debate here

world favorite moocs-40th annual top 10 league table

  • 1) e-ME
  • 2) 8 week tour of grameen curriculum and uniting human race to poverty museums
  • 3) 8 week tour of brac curriculum and mapping microeducation summit for post 2015 milennium goals

send votes to chris.macrae@yahoo.co.uk , Macrae Foundation

  • 4) 8 week tour of africa's free university and entrepreneurial slums
  • 5 what to do now for green energy to save the world in time
  • 6 nurses as 21st world's favorite information grassroots networkers and most economical cheerleaders more

 

 

  • 7 how food security as a mising curricululum of middle schools can co-create more jobs than any nation can dream of
  • 8 pro-youth economics and public servants
  • 9 celebrating china as number 1 creditor nation
  • 10 questions worldwide youth are asking about what was true last decade but false this decade because that's what living in the most innovative era means chris.macrae@yahoo.co.uk

archives at The Economist



 

Number 1 in Economics for Youth

The unacknowledged giantcelebrate unacknowledged giant

dannyboyle chrispatten butler-sloss marianowak tomhunter MYunusgeorgesoros bernerslee michael palin

Timeless ER from The Economist's Unacknowledged Giant (aka dad Norman Macrae) A  b  c ;;1997 a;;; 1983 a ;;;1976 a b;;; 1972 a ;;; 1962 a 1956 a - correspndence with optimistic rationalists always welcome - chris.macrae@yahoo.co.uk

 

from chris.macrae@yahoo.co.uk please help in 2 ways -nomination of collaboration 100; testify to world's largest public broadcasters such as BBCthat this survey needs their mediation now

Intercapital searches for replicable youth eonomic franchise

.Japan

Bangladesh

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

Atlanta.
Paris
Turkey.
Dhaka.
Austria
Boston
Brussels Poland
China
Switzerland
Princeton-Nashville
London-Glasgow Nordica: S D N
Canada
Austin
Spain .Kenya
Brazil Joburg
Oregon/CA
Germany
.S.Africa
.India
25

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