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Community Contribution

CLA Strengthens Efforts to Improve Language and Learning for Children with Disabilities

Brittany Anderson and Shelly Malecki

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All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development (ACR GCD)—launched in 2011 by USAID, World Vision, and the Australian Government—advances EdTech innovation and research to improve reading outcomes for marginalized children in low-resource contexts. Through ACR GCD, innovators and communities worldwide take risks and design and test solutions to address challenges, like quality education for all. 

In 2019, ACR shifted from supporting innovators and innovations at pilot or proof of concept stages to transitioning mature, evidence-based solutions to scale. In the past, ACR tested numerous successful innovations, but their applicability at scale remained unknown. The innovations, while appealing, weren’t meeting the immediate need for scalable solutions. As more than 387 million children won’t read or be able to do basic math by the end of primary school (UNESCO, 2017), shifting to support scalable, evidence-based solutions became imperative. This demanded a well-organized and intentional Learning Agenda to measure the impact of investments in evidence-based EdTech programming and ACR’s ability to scale effective solutions.

The Collaborating, Learning and Adapting (CLA) approach provided the structure that was missing, embedding learning in the awards life-cycle and ensuring ACR partners and awardees had regular opportunities to share knowledge and experiences and then adapt their designs or implementation approaches based on ongoing learning or changing circumstances. COVID-19 presented our awardees with the impetus for change and need for adaptation which resulted in being some of the first organizations to develop new books for students easily accessible online in underserved languages with COVID-19 prevention messages.

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