Earth Institute Education and Technology Projects Featured in Broadband Commission Report

The Education Sector for the Millennium Villages, based at the Center on Globalization and Sustainable Development, Connect To Learn, and the Modi Research Group, are pleased to announce that a few of their most innovative and exciting projects have been featured in the Broadband Commission for Digital Development’s report, “Technology, Broadband, and Education: Advancing the Education for All Agenda.” The Broadband Commission was created in 2010 in response to UNESCO’s and the International Telecommunication Union’s desire to promote the use of technology—specifically information and communication technology (ICT)—in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. This report comprises accounts of how various organizations are using broadband to support educational development.

One project description, on education sector spatial planning in Nigeria and Ghana, can be found on page 30 of the report. This project features the collaboration of both the education and ICT team on the Nigeria MDG Information System (NMIS), a web-based platform created by the Modi Research Group, which allows users to easily view the status of education facilities for an entire local government area. This particular project involves the use of GPS on Android phones to mark the location of schools and relevant resources, such as water points, and create maps of entire school districts. Another, on the use of technology for developing data systems on a large scale is on page 31. This initiative also uses mobile phones for data collection in order to complete a baseline survey of all education facilities in Nigeria. Once the data was cleaned and analyzed, they were shown within the NMIS platform, and have been used by the Nigerian government to facilitate education planning and quality improvements to schools throughout the country.

A longer case study on the Connect To Learn program can be found on page 47 of the report. Connect To Learn is a partnership between the Earth Institute, Ericsson, and Millennium Promise. Its mission is to improve quality of education through a combination of investments in ICTs in schools and providing scholarships to secondary school, especially for girls. The case study in the Broadband Commission report describes the overall Connect To Learn model, how it uses a public-private partnership to implement the use of broadband technology in schools, and how it promotes girls’ education. The case study specifically emphasizes the importance of continuing professional development for teachers, and how this improves the quality of education for generations of children.

The Earth Institute and CGSD are proud to have these critical projects featured in the Broadband Commission’s report, and our team hopes that these projects provide relevant examples for future replication and scale up throughout other countries and regions. The work featured in this report is one of many examples of how our goals align with the goals of UNESCO and its partners in achieving the MDGs. The report is available online via the Broadband Commission, here.

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