Thursday, January 30, 2014

Randomized Control Trials

Randomized Control Trials are coming of age. It's been 10 years since Abdul Latif Jameel launched Poverty Action Lab; introducing an evidence-based approach, changing thinking about measuring impact. Now The Kauffman Foundation and Nesta have teamed up to offer funding for innovation, entrepreneurship and growth experiments using RCTs. The deadline for submissions is Feb. 24th. Click here to learn more. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

‘Schooling Ain’t Learning’

Thanks to the world's focus on MDG #2, achieving universal primary education, school enrollment is up. But there is a crisis in education - evidence shows that children are not learning nearly enough. For example, only 1 in 20 fifth graders were able to perform basic arithmetic and less than 1 in 4 could read a simple sentence in rural India.
With technology and access to web-based platforms such as Khan Academy,  more of the same is not the best option. In fact, the Online Learning Institute currently is calling for proposals to lead roundtable discussions during the 10th annual conference to be held July 1st in Atlanta.
Worldwide, our approach to education is in need of an overhaul. A new book by Lant Prichett "The Rebirth of Education"  advocates for education systems to evolve locally.  Mr. Prichett gives us plenty of food for thought, as we rethink our education system to prepare children for today's world and to be tomorrow's leaders.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Women Empowerment

On 14 Feb World Citizens will dance to end violence against women and girls.  
Women's empowerment a the driving force behind ASAP's work; created as a result of my personal experience as a Peace Corps volunteer teaching in rural Africa. Here I witnessed the local acceptance of my roommate being raped. As a result, we're proud that over 85,000 women are now actively involved in ASAP Savings Groups in Zimbabwe and Malawi -  and now have their own power and voice in the home.

But global change takes generations. Today the statics are staggering. One in three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her life time. That's one billion women.

ASAP in Zimbabwe and Malawi are proud to participate in  One Billion Rising. On Feb. 14th, together  we will harness the power and imagination, coming together to tell stories, dance and speak out to stop violence against women.

This is a start, but some say the deck is stacked against true equality for women.  Here are some resources.

Click here view "50 years of Women's Legal Rights"
Click here to view the 2014 key findings from the World Bank report "Women, Business and the Law"

There is so much work to be done!

Friday, January 03, 2014

Africa - Looking Ahead

The beginning of the new year is a time for reflection and planning. The Brookings Institute has released their report outlining some of the major challenges and opportunities Africa will face in the coming year.Click here to read the Foresight Africa report.
Join the conversation on twitter using #ForesightAfrica. 
Don't miss the exciting opportunity to attend the live webcast on January 7th from 10-11:30 am EST

Top Priorities for Africa in 2014 

Leading Africa experts will discuss the most important challenges the continent will face in 2014. The panel will include: Robin Renee Sanders, former U.S. ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria; Bright Simons, Ghanaian social entrepreneur and founder and president of the mPedigree Network; and Amadou Sy, senior fellow with the Africa Growth Initiative. Helene Cooper, New York Times White House correspondent, will moderate the discussion.