Overcoming the Limitations of Donations: An English Education Nonprofit in India Transitions to Social Enterprise
Access to quality English language instruction has become a key to upward mobility in the developing world. But as Andrew Spearing and Nilabh Agrawal at Instilt Educate point out, for nonprofits in the English education space that are looking to rapidly scale, the donation-only model is a non-starter. They discuss the limitations of the nonprofit revenue model, and explore how Instilt Educate has navigated the challenges it has encountered in launching a paid element to complement its usual donation-based fundraising.
Putting Outcomes Above Ideology: Why the Development Sector Must Recognize the Critical Role of Low-Fee Private Schools in Addressing the Global Learning Crisis
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the global learning crisis, with up to 70% of children in low- and middle-income countries unable to read and understand a simple text by age 10. Yet Corina Gardner and Stephen Caleb Opuni at the IDP Foundation argue that, despite the urgency of the situation, the development sector remains locked in an ideological debate over whether non-state schools should play a role in the global education landscape. They urge the sector to move past its resistance to private education options and instead work to ensure that these schools are properly regulated, integrated and supported.
Augmented Reality for Financial Literacy: An Innovative Approach to Delivering Immersive Customer Education
India's Business Correspondents – i.e., retail agents engaged by banks to provide financial services at locations other than a bank branch – often struggle to learn about the new products and services their banks offer. And though online training has become the new normal during the pandemic, many of these agents find it difficult to complete. Piyush Singh and Rahul Ranjan Sinha at Grameen Foundation India discuss the value of augmented reality in addressing this challenge – and in enhancing online financial education more broadly for underserved customers.
Countless books and articles have addressed the challenges of going to scale in the development sector — yet a systematic approach to scaling remains out of reach. However, as Scott MacMillan at BRAC USA explains, BRAC founder Sir Fazle Hasan Abed was arguably more successful than anyone at scaling effective poverty programs. He shares insights from his new book on Abed's life and work, which sheds light on how BRAC has created and scaled programs to an extent that no other nonprofit or social enterprise has managed to achieve.
Getting Children Back to School: Lessons Learned from Uganda as it Ends the World’s Longest COVID-19 Shutdown
Uganda recently reopened schools after the world’s longest COVID-19 shutdown. Due to limited access to online education, most young people had not been learning for nearly two years – and officials estimate that roughly a third won't ever return to school. Atul Tandon and Andrew McCusker at Opportunity International explore the impact of pandemic closures on low-cost private schools in the country, discuss the particular risks of school closures for girls, and share three key lessons that can help schools successfully reopen and bring students back to the classroom.
Boosting STEM Training for African Women: Why Tech-Related Skills are Key to the Continent’s Progress
As the world becomes more reliant on digital technology, the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) training is growing. But as Rachita Sharma at Girl Power Talk explains, there's a wide STEM skills gap between men and women – including in sub-Saharan Africa, where women’s lack of technical skills is undermining their capacity to achieve their economic potential. She explores some of the challenges that are preventing African women from pursuing STEM-related job skills or careers, and discusses some solutions to these issues.
How to Build a Career that Will Change the World: Six Keys to Shifting Your Work Toward Social Impact
With the rise of remote work, the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed many people's professional lives. But Roshan Paul at the Amani Institute points out that the crisis has also had a profound impact on young professionals, prompting a global reassessment of the meaning of work. With millions of people questioning the very purpose of their work and pushing their organizations to address social problems, he explores the movement towards impact-first work, sharing insights from his new book “The New Reason to Work: How to Build a Career That Will Change the World.”
Charting a Pathway to Scale Through Government: Adapting a Girls’ Empowerment Program to a Public School Setting
BRAC’s Empowerment and Livelihood for Adolescents (ELA) program supports vulnerable young women through group training focused on education and social/economic empowerment. But despite its longevity and impact, the program has lacked a path to self-sufficiency and scale. Esau Tugume and Jenna Grzeslo at BRAC discuss a solution to this challenge: adapting ELA to an after-school setting in Uganda, allowing it to be scaled through public schools. They explore this model, and share how they've navigated the issues that can arise when leveraging government involvement in pursuit of scale.