Education has long been understood as a fundamental right of every child. Beyond empowering children and youth as individuals, quality education has been linked to numerous benefits to society, including effective governance, social stability, poverty reduction, improved maternal and child health and economic growth. For instance, recent studies reveal that not only does primary education increase girls’ earnings by 5 to 15 percent over their lifetimes, but also that educating girls, in particular, leads to healthier, smaller and better-educated families. A stable and safe school environment can also provide physical and psychosocial assistance to children and communities affected by crisis and conflict.
Focus on Quality and Learning Outcomes
Over the past several decades, countries across the world have made impressive gains in increasing access to education as millions of additional children have enrolled in school. However, many serious challenges remain on the road toward achieving a quality education for all. Many children and youth, particularly in crises or conflict-affected areas, continue to confront significant obstacles, including inequitable access to schooling, barriers to school completion, limited skills-based and tertiary learning opportunities and, most critically, insufficient attention to the core foundation of education, learning. According to recent data, as many as 250 million children that are enrolled in school remain unable to read basic text or count, even if they have spent four years in school. Researchers and international organizations are increasingly calling attention to the imperative to improve the quality of education and guarantee that children are learning skills that improve their opportunities in life.
CAMRIS’ work in education aims to ensure that children and youth everywhere have access to safe learning environments and leave school with the knowledge and skills that will enable them to live healthy, productive lives. Through research, evidence-based analysis and technical support services, our work in education addresses important factors that impact sustained student-learning outcomes, ranging from teacher preparedness, gender equality, language of instruction, child nutrition, community mobilization, management capacity and student assessment.
When clients need to add capacity execute their mission, CAMRIS weaves solutions that increase client capabilities. We increase your capabilities through our service delivery tracks that include:
- Program and project design and implementation
- Capacity building
- Organization (agency, bureau, mission, implementing partners)
- Institutional support
- International experts
- Delivery of high-quality baseline through end of project evaluations
- Monitoring and evaluation
Repair schools and work with the Mali Ministry of Education to restore educational services for children in conflict-affected regions of the country by overcoming the destruction of physical and institutional infrastructure caused by armed conflict, crisis, and natural disasters. Stregthen community resilience and improve access to and equity in education. Promote good water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) practices in conflict-affected regions of Mali.
CAMRIS assessed education facilities to determine what schools required improvement by conducting a rapid assessment on construction needs, selecting five sites for new construction, and sixty schools for rehabilitation. CAMRIS took a grassroots approach by forming partnerships with local communities and together selecting where to build schools within Mali’s conflict-affected regions. In addition to building schools, this project provides educational and recreational supplies to existing schools.
CAMRIS is revitalizing School Based Associations to re-engage in school management, preventing violence and abuse in the educational system, empowering teachers to conduct conflict and gender-sensitive learning, improving community led activities to support enrollment and regular attendance of children in vulnerable groups, and creating sustainable solutions to strengthen the capacity of central and local education staff. Additionally, CAMRIS promotes good WASH practices in Mali.
The CAMRIS team has built five new schools, rehabilitated dozens of schools, and improved WASH practices in conflict-affected regions of Mali. Furthermore, the resources provided have increased communities’ resilience and improved access to and the quality of education for children.
CAMRIS works with the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Global Development Lab (GDL) on the GDL-II contract. The purpose of GDL is to foster innovation by working with external partners to help end poverty. This is done by using technology, innovation, science, and partnership to accelerate achievement of foreign policy and development goals. GDL operates through a two-part mission: produce breakthrough development innovations, and accelerate the transformation of the US development enterprise.
CAMRIS supports the GDL mission through highly qualified technical experts. These experts are trained in areas such as development, science, technology, communications and policy. These experts assist USAID in fostering independence through technological advancements. Among these advancements are mobile technology for banking and other services, as well as online education in regions which are difficult to access.
CAMRIS brings together diverse teams of experienced and qualified staff to support GDL’s mission of leveraging technology to help end poverty. Staff are placed within two units attached to the Office of the Director, and five key centers:
Global Development Lab Office of the Director
- Engagement and Communications Unit
- Evaluation and Impact Assessment Unit
Global Development Lab Key Centers
- Center for Data, Analytics and Research (Lab/DAR)
- Center for Development Innovation (Lab/DI)
- Center for Global Solutions (Lab/GS)
- Center for Transformational Partnerships (Lab/TP)
- Center for Mission Engagement and Operations (Lab/MEO)
Design and deliver customized interactive e-learning products for the Employee Education System (EES) of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Analyze, develop, and deliver blended interactive e-learning courses using the “ADDIE” (Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation) model. The courses ranged from low- to high-end interactivity. The CAMRIS team supported planning, content creation, course administration, learning management, and customized subject matter-specific training.
The CAMRIS team delivered content approved by experts in fields related to the VA’s health, human resources, and procurement programs, as well as the technical proficiency needed to conform to the ADDIE model and meet other EES requirements. The CAMRIS e-learning courses provided VA with a means for building the capacity of its health and health system administrative personnel.
Design, develop, and install distance learning/web-based training modules in basic civic education with a USAID perspective and advanced topics supporting the work of USAID’s democracy and governance (D&G) agenda.
Interactive and participatory methodologies, including e-learning modules, blogs, and distance learning to help USAID’s Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA) develop its professional development and learning framework and website. CAMRIS staff engaged in curriculum design and delivery, learning assessments through evaluation, and dissemination of electronic information and e-learning.
The CAMRIS e-learning product included three distance learning/web-based training modules; two instructional design training programs; two facilitation skills training programs; a monthly D&G e-zine; a D&G “toolkit” in database format; and postings of comprehensive training session descriptions and associated materials for all training courses.
Create multicultural educational content and didactic materials to help teachers in Latin America provide perspectives on marginalized ethnic and racial groups, reduce the “digital divide,” and promote student participation.
Create learning resources for use on the websites of the Latin American Network of Education Portals, which are public repositories of educational materials maintained by ministries of education throughout the Americas. As a subcontractor to the Inter-American Development Bank, CAMRIS helped develop 2,000 digital learning resources. The content was largely defined by indigenous and Afro-descendant participants and ordered in teaching sequences to allow educators to approach topics like racism one lesson at a time. The CAMRIS team provided quality control in addition to creating digital materials.
The resources provided new tools to regionwide education portals for teaching diversity and enabled students, teachers, parents, education experts, and countries with scarce resources to engage in increased collaboration.