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Advancing Literacy through Mobile Technologies: Empowering Women and Girls – Phase II: From Insight to Action

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Presented at the mEducation Alliance Symposium in Washington, D.C., 15-16 October 2013, on behalf of Diane Boulay

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Advancing Literacy through Mobile Technologies: Empowering Women and Girls – Phase II: From Insight to Action

  1. 1. Advancing Literacy through Mobile Technologies Empowering Women and Girls PHASE II: From Insight to Action 15-16 October 2013, Washington, D.C. 2013 Mobiles for Education Alliance International Symposium: Commit Fair for Project Scaling Project Proposal by UNESCO Headquarters, Education Sector ICT in Education Team
  2. 2. 126 million children OUT OF SCHOOL ©UNESCO/Marc Hofer
  3. 3. 3 © UNESCO/Akhtar Soomro
  4. 4. 774 million adults and 123 million youth lack BASIC LITERACY SKILLS © UNESCO/Françoise Pinzon Gil 4
  5. 5. © UNESCO/Françoise Pinzon Gil 5
  6. 6. Framing the Issue Women and girls face barriers to accessing education… (cultural, societal, religious, political, economical, their own attitudes, and geographic or security constraints. ) Learning through mobile devices can help overcome some of these barriers…. (their unique features include portability, relative affordability, discreteness, potential content richness, wide-use and increasing social acceptability, and one-to-one learning advantages)
  7. 7. Rapidly rising global mobile cellular subscription rates Per 100 inhabitants 100 90 6.8 billion 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 2000 2005 2010 2013 Source: ITU, 2013 (estimated)
  8. 8. And greater world coverage by a mobile cellular network 67% in 2005 96% in 2013 Source: ITU, 2012; ITU, 2013 (estimated) © Milica Sekulic
  9. 9. © UNESCO/Roya 9 Aziz/Star Group
  10. 10. © UNESCO/Mario Santan
  11. 11. UNESCO recognized the need to know more about: • how mobile devices can provide better access to education, especially to women and girls • how to overcome the obstacles preventing their optimal use for learning and improvement of livelihoods
  12. 12. Mobile Phones Advancing Women’s and Girls’ Literacy Support was provided by the government of the United States of America 12
  13. 13. Projects reviewed Asia and Pacific Project MILLEE (India) Pink Telephone Project (Cambodia) Mobile-based Literacy Programme (Pakistan) Mobile Literacy Project (Afghanistan) USTAD Mobile Application (Afghanistan) Nokia Life Services (India, China, Indonesia) Arab states Somali Youth Livelihoods Project (Somalia) SMS Use by Berber Women (Morocco ) Africa Project ABC – Mobiles 4 Literacy (Niger) Jokko Initiative (Senegal) Latin America AlfabeTIC (Argentina) Cell-Ed - Teaching Adult Literacy (USA Latin American immigrants)
  14. 14. © UNESCO/Bunyad Foundation 14
  15. 15. 15 © UNESCO/D. Willetts
  16. 16. Key Messages Emerged from the report: • Mobile learning for women’s and girls’ education and literacy is an opportunity that governments can not afford to miss. • The particular needs of the targeted women and girls must be addressed and life-skills and empowerment opportunities offered. • There are few initiatives and more action is needed to scale them up, with close monitoring and gender-sensitive evaluation. • Programmes can bring added value through a powerful combination of 3-levels of change (change of self, a change in the perception of self, and a change in the perception of others of self). • Community sensitization and mobilization as well as political support are key ingredients for success. • Reasons, structures and spaces with flexible learning times are needed, with close consideration of how the mobile technologies can be optimized in the different 16 educational contexts and settings.
  17. 17. UNESCO is committed to empowering women and girls through education via innovative mobile technology-based learning
  18. 18. UNESCO calls for to launch phase II of the project © UNESCO/Roya Aziz/Star Group
  19. 19. PHASE II: From Insight to Action Bring about large scale impact on literacy for women and girls in targeted PCPD countries and open potential for similar initiatives Best leverage literacy education for life skills development in the areas of education, health, rights, agriculture, sanitation, water, and personal and family finances Raise awareness and promote the value of literacy through mobile phones Develop effective mobile learning models for literacy development among women and girls Build capacity of the UNESCO field offices and local implementation agencies 19
  20. 20. PHASE II: From Insight to Action • A pilot project is proposed to target PCPD countries where the need literacy and life skills is greatest and the impact can be most effective. • Mobile solution (basic or advanced devices) used to disseminate information, enable feedback and monitoring, and enable communication between participants to form peer-to-peer learning networks. • Partnerships with local NGOs for literacy content development and training, as well as partnerships and local mobile network operators. • Dialogue with and support from governments to ensure sustainability and reach for scalability. 20
  21. 21. Project Implementation v Stage I: • Needs assessment (field visits), partnership establishment • Community sensitization and mobilization campaign for awareness, political support and local buy-in, including participatory methods to include the future beneficiaries' voices. Stage II: • A 6-month face-to-face literacy programme including life skills development modules and embedded within a broader empowerment and human rightsbased curriculum. Stage III: • Introduction of the 4-month basic mobile technology component, with gender-sensitive monitoring and evaluation (feedback through focus groups and community meetings). • Peer-to-peer connection and chat-feature through a network for building in interactivity, providing feedback. Stage IV: • Reflection and documenting model and lessons learned. • Promoting sustainability of the initiative. 21
  22. 22. Example Target Countries Country Greatest Challenges Advantages Haiti -One of 41 countries farthest from literacy goals. -One of 11 countries with adult literacy rates below 50% -Low literacy rates for adult women (44%). -One of UNESCO’s 20 targeted education priority countries. -Post-Disaster setting. -Island country, which would offer valuable lessons for scaling-up to similar contexts. -UNESCO office in Port-au-Prince (national office to Haiti) -Regional diversity: Example from the Caribbean Rwanda -Post Conflict Post Disaster setting -East Africa focus; possibility to expand programs in similar cultures and using English -One of UNESCO’s 20 targeted education priority countries. 22
  23. 23. Expected Outcomes • The quick reinforcement and scaling up of basic literacy among women and girls, especially those who have been the hardest to reach. • Development of life skills in specific contexts. • Greater connections woman-to-woman and with the greater world. • Increased autonomy, confidence and empowerment (3-levels of change in self and the community). • Stronger communities that value and encourage women’s and girls’ education. 23
  24. 24. Strengths Challenges • Identification of an urgent need • Specific and difficult contexts to among marginalized target implement the project and audience and strong mobile convince community members potential solution of its importance for the targeted population (especially • UNESCO to leverage the in conservative areas) accumulated knowledge and established network of experts • Potential challenges in from the global study measuring outcomes given the contextual and cultural • A very active UNESCO Mobile constraints Learning Team • Need for a wide spectrum of • Broad and deep organizational committed partners at the capacity to provide both governmental, local and private centralized coordination and sector level in-field, local expertise in the selected countries 24
  25. 25. Connect with us UNESCO: ICT in Education – Mobile Learning UNESCO ICTs in Education @UNESCOICTs 25
  26. 26. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization