Alison Cohen's blog

Youth Program Celebrates Success in Mali

In rural Mali, thousands of young people have gained the skills, knowledge, and tools to improve their lives and bolster their communities thanks to the USAID-funded Mali Out-of-School Youth project (PAJE-Nièta).

November marked the successful conclusion of PAJE-Nièta during a special ceremony in Bamako. As part of the ceremony, the project officially transferred basic education materials, developed by EDC, to the Government of Mali, ensuring that they can be used to inform other basic education and youth entrepreneurship development programming in the future.

What We've Learned from Community Schools

For the past 25 years, community schools in Zambia have educated some of the poorest and most marginalized students in the country. These schools are typically free, run by parents, and often have far fewer resources—from books to trained teachers—than Zambia’s government-run and private schools.

Making the Case for Foreign Aid in the 2018 Budget

For decades, foreign aid from the United States has supported economic development, educational initiatives, and peace and reconciliation activities around the world. And at only 1 percent of the entire U.S. federal budget, foreign aid is an affordable investment, too.

For International Women's Day: 3 Ways to Boost Women's Opportunities

In fragile economies around the world, women continue to face barriers to their education, financial independence, and civic participation. Yet when women participate in the institutions of society, communities are enriched.

Here, Education Development Center (EDC) experts offer ideas for boosting women’s economic power and access to education around the world.

1. Challenge gender norms

Traditional gender roles remain one of the biggest barriers to women’s participation in civic, economic, and educational activities.

3 Technologies That Are Transforming Learning in Developing Countries

Innovations in technology continually change the way people learn. And now, in an age when mobile-broadband networks reach nearly 85 percent of people around the world, technology is democratizing learning in developing countries—especially for youth and those living in rural areas.

For EDC’s Steve Anzalone, who has spent his career at the intersection of technology and education, the most transformative technologies engage learners, enhance the learning process, and are practical and cheap to deliver.

From a Liberian Village to the White House

Eight young women, participants in the USAID Liberia Advancing Youth Project run by EDC, were in Washington, D.C., this month as guests of First Lady Michele Obama. Their visit was part of Let Girls Learn, the U.S. government education initiative.

A Fresh Start, a Second Chance for Youth in Guyana

"SKYE is all about a second chance," said one participant.

The neighborhood of Agricola is one of the poorest and most dangerous communities in all of Guyana. For Flemlyn Ragobeer, it was also home.

Now, as a youth coach for the Skills and Knowledge for Youth Employment (SKYE) program, Ragobeer is going back to Agricola, helping to pull other young people out of poverty and crime and into a better life.

Keeping Track of Program Progress in Honduras

One of the major challenges for any large-scale education, health, or economic development program is keeping track of activities and data, all while monitoring and evaluating progress. This means pulling together myriad pieces of information across multiple program sites and sharing it with those who need it.

One youth development program in Honduras is no different. But thanks to some technical savvy, program staff have come up with an innovative technology tool to help share information, make decisions, and improve programming.

Getting a Read on Youth and Adult Literacy

Teaching literacy is difficult in war-torn, impoverished countries such as Liberia, where an alarming number of youth dropped out of school before grade three – or never attended school at all. But improving literacy among those who missed the chance to learn to read and write early on can be a critical part of improving their abilities to earn a sustainable livelihood.

Reading And Writing Go Hand In Hand

Teachers and students in Rwanda are learning to write their own stories, creating culturally relevant materials for other young readers to share. A similar literacy program in Mali is creating a culture of reading supported by oral and written storytelling in thousands of classrooms. While both approaches put writing at the heart of reading instruction, each program has been customized to meet its country’s specific literacy education needs.

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