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Leading NGOs to Address Innovations in Education at NGO Committee on the Status of Women, NY

Oakland, CA, March 09, 2014 --( In developing countries, few children - especially girls - complete secondary school, limiting the potential for the children and their countries to thrive. Asante Africa Foundation, Developments in Literacy, Population Council and Pratham, global NGOs implementing innovative approaches to keeping girls in school and ensuring all children receive a quality education, will lead a discussion on Innovations in Education at the NGO Committee on the Status of Women, NY (NGO CSW/NY) on March 15th.

NGO CSW/NY supports the work of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, uniting representatives from around the world to share best practices. This year’s session is themed, “Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) for women and girls.” With public focus on numbers, there is little guidance on content, and millions of children lack basic skills. To meet these gaps, numerous NGOs work to keep children in school while strengthening the quality of education delivered.

Representatives from Asante Africa Foundation (Erna Grasz, CEO/Founder), Developments in Literacy (Annie Field, Director of Curriculum), Population Council (Stephanie Psaki, Associate) and Pratham (Raina Singh, Development Director) will lead a discussion ranging from the criteria for meaningful education, to innovations improving access, quality, and girls’ engagement.

Grasz explains, “Attendance isn’t the only objective; how students are taught and engaged, in the context of local realities, has far greater long term impact on knowledge application.” Psaki notes, "We must do better measuring learning outcomes. Enrollment or attendance alone doesn't mean students are learning or retaining skills."

Panelists will share innovative approaches in curriculum design, including technology, impact measurements and cost-effective, sustainable scale models.

Singh: “Innovative practice, beyond just curriculum content and technology, must include programs which build community relationships to ensure relevancy.” Field adds, “Collaboration with all stakeholders, not just content delivery partners, is essential to scale and learning.”

The panel, free and open to the public, takes place:
March 15th, 8:30am
Church Center - 777 United Nations Plaza
2nd Floor
New York

Erna Grasz
Erna Grasz co-founded Asante Africa Foundation in 2006 with two African women she met traveling in Kenya and Tanzania. As CEO, she has grown the organization to impact over 36,000 students and 39 communities. Grasz, passionate about empowering students and strengthening teachers, is the visionary behind innovative programs such as the acclaimed Leadership and Entrepreneurship Incubator, which develops skills beyond the classroom to prepare youth for income generation opportunities. She leads global management teams in Kenya, Tanzania, and North America. In 2013 Grasz received the Jefferson Award for public service. She often speaks to global audiences on leadership and innovative approaches to education and philanthropy.

Annie Field
Annie Field serves as Director of Curriculum for Developments in Literacy. She holds a Master of Education degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, specializing in International Education Policy. In her position with DIL, Annie regularly travels to Pakistan to conduct teacher trainings, monitor educational progress and implement new initiatives. She has studied and lived in Nepal and taught English in Japan. A native of Seattle, WA, Annie has also worked for non-profit organizations looking at education within the US.

Stephanie Psaki,
Stephanie Psaki joined Population Council in 2013. Her work includes evaluating ways to improve quality of girls’ education and maximize its benefits to girls and their communities, and ensuring that high-quality evidence shapes programs. Before joining the Council, Psaki worked at FHI 360, providing technical assistance on girls’ education programs and supporting efforts to integrate gender into programmatic and research portfolios. Prior to that, she worked at the Fogarty International Center at the NIH on an eight-country child health study. Psaki is a member of the Population Association of America and received the Family Planning Fellowship and the Edward J. Dehne Award in Population Dynamics during her doctoral studies. She holds a PhD in women’s health and demography from Johns Hopkins University, and an MS in population and international health from Harvard University.

Raina Singh, Pratham
Raina Singh has extensive development experience in India. Before working with non-profits, she worked with Monitor Inclusive Markets, part of the Monitor Group, studying market-based solutions that effect social change. Raina started her development career with Hole-in-the-Wall, a Delhi-based NGO helping children learn to use computers without supervision. At Pratham India she introduced a program to teach English using mobile phones and set up digital classrooms across 1,000 low-income schools, enabling teachers to utilize digital content. In her current role, Raina builds relationships with corporations and foundations, raises awareness about Pratham and shares knowledge about the Indian education sector.
Contact Information
Asante Africa Foundation
Roger Phillip
Press Contact:
Paru Desai Yusuf
Chairperson, Board of Directors
Asante Africa Foundation
(650) 307-2626

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