Building the capacity of change makers
Our programs aim to generate actionable evidence, communicate and disseminate this evidence, and build the capacity of community actors, non-governmental organization practitioners, and policy makers to create pathways out of adversity for children and adolescents.
Global Center for the Development of the Whole Child Haiti
GC-DWC Haiti serves as the Center’s flagship project and is at the forefront of cutting-edge whole child development interventions including early childhood education, mother tongue literacy, SEL, health and nutrition, systems activation, and social enterprise. The team is active in education policy, practice, and applied research.
The overall goal of Project Sampoorna is to build, operate, and replicate a whole child development (WCD) model for education in India through holistic systems engagement. In Telangana, the Social and Tribal Welfare Residential Education Initiative Society (the ‘Society’) envision creating outstanding residential schools that provide high-quality, holistic, and value-based education to marginalized children that will enable social mobility and empowerment. As the anchor organization for Project Sampoorna, the GC-DWC matches the Society’s vision with the tools and support they need to achieve their goals, refine their processes, and sustain them into the future.
Faith-Based Learning Network
With 85% of the world population identifying itself as “religious,” faith communities are well-positioned to promote science-based approaches to child development and learning. Indeed, they collectively provide about 45% of education globally. Given these realities, the GC-DWC founded the Faith-based Learning Network (FLN) to identify program learning needs and promote research to address critical issues across faith traditions. The FLN is composed of religious leaders, academics, donors, and policymakers from across faith backgrounds that support faith as an enabler to ensure positive child development and education outcomes.
SHARE: Supporting Holistic and Actionable Research in Education
While progress has been made in recent years to conduct research that strengthens education systems in low-middle income countries (LMIC), there continue to be significant barriers to the utilization of education research to inform policy and practice. SHARE brings together education policy-makers, practitioners, researchers, and knowledge disseminators to ensure education research meets the needs of and is accessible to key stakeholders in education systems.
Social Enterprise Initiative
Despite progress made in global development and local capacity building in the past decade, sustainability remains a key challenge for actors looking to create change and maximize impact globally. Too frequently, innovative ideas and solutions to complex issues are tied to grant cycles, with progress left to atrophy at the end of grant periods and their assured financial support. Ultimately, true sustainability in global development lies in economic independence from foreign aid and decision-making occurring within functioning, efficient systems at the local level.
Imagine a setting in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) where 7 million children aged 6 - 17 are not in school (UNICEF) or in Tanzania where hundreds of refugees from Burundi flee each month to escape political violence and food insecurity (UNHCR). How can we best reach and support marginalized learners, and how can we integrate them into formal or vocational education?
The youth population, aged 15-24, in Sub-Saharan Africa, the fastest-growing region in the world, is expected to double in the next 3 decades, reaching 375 million by 2030. However, development analysts have observed that the continent remains stubbornly inhospitable — politically, economically, and socially — to young people. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects that by 2035, there will be more young Africans entering the workforce each year compared to the rest of the world, emphasizing the need for students to learn not only the basic reading and arithmetic skills, but also 21st Century Skills or soft skills — skills that will empower them to face a world that is continually changing.
Play and Learning in Children’s Eyes
When children experience play as joyful, actively engaging, meaningful, iterative and socially interactive, their play is more likely to lead to deeper learning, connecting factual knowledge with real-world experiences. However, it is not always clear how children experience learning through play (LtP) or what, in their eyes, constitutes a quality LtP experience, or what fosters feelings of self-efficacy in children’s play. Far too often, adults fill the void in knowledge with assumptions about children’s perspectives. Funded by the Lego Foundation, Play and Learning in Children’s Eyes (PALICE) takes a different approach. Capturing children’s voices in this equation — their diverse experiences of learning through play across ages and geographies — is an important step towards thoughtfully building educational environments that optimize these opportunities globally.
Be Well, Teach Well
Despite the global emphasis on improving student social and emotional learning outcomes, there is little attention paid to teachers’ well-being. Moreover, there are few validated, rigorous assessments of teachers’ well-being that can be adapted for low-resource and displacement contexts. If the global education community is truly committed to providing equitable, quality learning opportunities for students then more attention must be paid to teacher well-being, including how to assess and better support teachers’ well-being in low-resource and displacement contexts, like Uganda.
As part of the Fostering Resilience Initiative, the GC-DWC wrapped up research projects in three countries—Kenya, Peru, and Colombia—in 2020. The GC-DWC also hosted our final Measuring What Matters Learning Partnership (MWM-LP) webinar in November, 2020. Additionally, in response to COVID-19, the LEGO Foundation developed a capacity-building course for educators and caregivers to respond to uncertain situations and to support their own and their children’s social and emotional learning (SEL) through play. Read more about each of these projects by following the links below.