Expert Feedback Question 1: Experts shared, “This is not necessarily new (IRI has been used for decades), but, in an age of new and networked technology and innovation, using the "old" tech of radio - because it is shown to be effective - is refreshing. And combining this old tech necessarily with community engagement shows War Child's commitment to doing this right.”
War Child Canada: Thank you for your feedback and comments! You’re correct - IRI has been used as a teaching methodology since the 1970s, however IRI projects often use radio-based learning to complement existing formal education models. In this context, radio broadcasts run within formal classroom in an effort to shift the dynamic from the traditional rote style learning to a more active and engaging method. By taking IRI out of the classroom, this innovative project will improve the accessibility of education by extending it into the communities of those most vulnerable and hard to reach – out-of-school girls in conflict-affected populations.
Expert Feedback Question 3: Experts shared, “War Child has a robust organizational presence and approach, as well as a long history of doing excellent work in emergencies. However, not enough information has been provided as to the sustainability of the funding model. This may form, for example, one component of a larger War Child program that has long-term funding.”
War Child Canada: Thank you for this valuable feedback. We have taken this into consideration and elaborated under the question “How is your organization considering sustainable growth in order to continue making an impact over time?” We are happy to answer any other questions you may have.
Expert Feedback Question 4: Experts shared, “This Idea has been specifically designed to address issues relating to girls education in the relevant contexts. They have anticipated many of the security and cultural issues that girls face to access and achieve education. While it can be argued that providing education to a girl exposes her to more risks (on the way to physical location, from family and leaders who oppose it, etc.), it's abundantly clear that her and her family's future is brighter when she's educated.”
War Child Canada: We completely agree that both girls’ and their families’ futures benefit from her education. The “Do No Harm” approach was directly incorporated in the design of this innovation and specifically focuses on ensuring inclusion related to protection measures, mediation of ethnic tensions, and gender equality, especially around girls’ access to education.
Expert Feedback Question 6: What outstanding questions do you have for this team? Experts shared, “Your Idea solved the accreditation question, since the girls are being acknowledged for achievement by the national education ministry, but how similar is the curriculum to what children receive in schools? Is the content designed in conjunction with the MoE and does it cover all subjects? Is the content all in French? Is the program available to out-of-school boys too? For children on the move, is it relatively easy for a girl to either join another IRI program in her new place or to enter directly into a school, if available? What associated costs are there for the families (supplies, time spent by family members to cover for or accompany girls, etc.)?
War Child Canada: Thanks for the great questions! This approach uses the DRC’s national curriculum that children follow in formal school, but adapts it in two distinct ways: first, it is modified to suit an accelerating learning model, meaning two grade levels are condensed into one to help get children caught up on their schooling faster. It is then developed into radio-based lessons, which are subsequently recorded and broadcast across communities. It covers all core subjects, including math, geography, history, science, technology, English, and civics. As this is also an accelerated learning program (two grades combined into one), it does not follow the regular school schedule, which teaches just one grade at a time. The content is all in French. While the project primarily targets girls, boys are able to join in the classes as well. Based on feedback we have received from experts at OpenIdeo and community members, moving forward we will actively engage boys in all lessons as well.
As lessons are broadcast across radio, students are able to study at any location, so if they move from one community to another they can easily pick their studies back up. When students graduate the IRI program, they receive a transcript that allows them to re-enter the formal school system at the next grade level.
We definitely agree that life skills are essential in reducing risk for girls living in conflict and post-conflict settings and have seen this first-hand in our own programming. It would be great to chat further about future opportunities for collaboration - War Child Canada is also working in Jordan. Please do feel free to reach out as it would be great to talk further!
It's great to see the unique angle T4R is taking when looking at girls' education in refugee settings. We also see that many models exist, but the struggle often lies in ensuring ease of access/reducing barriers to access. Thanks for sharing!