EdTech Global Landscape Analysis education

Trends from the present and near future of technology-enabled learning

The research identified six EdTech innovation trends that represent patterns of approach we observed across many individual global projects. Accompanying each innovation trend are 2-3 case studies that illustrate how the technology is currently being used and brings the trend to life. The EdTech Open Atlas is a crowdsourced repository of information on EdTech projects and solutions from around the world. It is a resource for educators - teachers, NGOs, policy & decision makers - to explore what methods and tools exist to best assist their education goals.
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Decision-Making During COVID-19

The Decision-making During COVID-19 project is a collaboration between the Centre for Disaster Protection the International Rescue Committee (IRC), to test and operationalize crisis risk financing tools in the context...

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education

EdTech Global Landscape Analysis

The research identified six EdTech innovation trends that represent patterns of approach we observed across many individual global projects. Accompanying each innovation trend are 2-3 case studies that illustrate how...

Find out more

economic-wellbeing

Local Manufacturing of Medical Supplies in Northwest Syria

Northwest Syria

Open source designs, local manufacturing, and business support can enable a localized supply chain of critical medical equipment while also supporting the market and providing income to families in economic...

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empowerment

Service Delivery for Mobile Populations

Jordan

As people displaced by the Syria crisis begin returning to their homes, new approaches will be needed to deal with the unprecedented scale of returns.

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empowerment

Urban Housing

Jordan

Rapid urbanization in many parts of the world has led to a great deal of challenges ensuring the availability of adequate housing. In the Middle East, this is coupled by...

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This project became inactive following the Design Research phase

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other

Defining and driving innovative finance

Global humanitarian budgets are not keeping pace with our clients’ needs and aspirations. Airbel is designing and testing new approaches to raising finance, and impactful new ways to use funds...

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other

Financing Refugee Crisis Response

Together with the Centre for Global Disaster Protection, Airbel is working to assess the potential to use risk-based financing approaches to respond to refugee influxes.

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This project graduated following the Generate Solutions phase

empowerment

Information Flows

Jordan

Displaced people live in challenging circumstances where accurate information can become difficult to obtain. Strengthening information flows can aid in decision-making and make their circumstances easier to manage.

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This project graduated following the Generate Solutions phase

empowerment

Placement Algorithm

United States

Airbel is piloting and scaling an innovative machine learning algorithm developed by the Stanford University Immigration Policy Lab that matches refugees in areas where they are likely to thrive when...

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This project became inactive following the Generate Solutions phase

economic-wellbeing

Trade Accelerator

Focused support for Jordanian businesses to foster rapid growth and help them tap into the European market and hire refugees to do so.

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This project became inactive following the Generate Solutions phase

health

Virtual Baby

This portable game would let children earn points for raising a happy baby, teaching them about sexual health and nutrition.

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This project became inactive following the Generate Solutions phase

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empowerment

Ask Laila

A hotline, SMS, and web-based service to help resettled refugees get quick answers from a trusted local source - in their own language.

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This project became inactive following the Prototype phase

education

Audio-Class System

Colombia

The Colombian education system is struggling to support an unprecedented influx of students in the midst of a global pandemic. To respond to the crisis, the IRC created an innovative...

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health

Dela

Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo

Dela aims to be an open-source mobile application that connects community health workers and their supervisors with a consistent channel of communication, to improve the quality of services delivered through...

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empowerment

Games for Diversity and Inclusion

Airbel worked closely with colleagues in the Asia Region to prototype approaches to increasing diversity and inclusivity in our workplaces through mechanisms with wide appeal, that can be easily integrated...

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This project graduated following the Prototype phase

health

Medicine Bank

Jordan

People with low income in Jordan often struggle to access the medicine they need. This solution is aimed at making supply chains more efficient to reduce the cost of pharmaceuticals....

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health

InforMH

Jordan

Leveraging people’s existing practices to bridge the information and stigma gaps that prevent people from seeking mental health and psychosocial support.

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education

Pop-Up Learning Tanzania

Tanzania

With more students out of school around the world due to COVID-19 than ever before, we need solutions that ensure the hardest-to-reach children receive quality education. The IRC is delivering...

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health

Sprout

Niger

Over 16 million children under the age of 3 are afflicted by severe acute malnutrition. To pinpoint the most impactful prevention methods, Sprout is experimenting with 3 distinct approaches.

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This project graduated following the Prototype phase

education

Spark

Tanzania

Spark creates alternative learning spaces outside of refugee camp schools to practice play-based learning and social-emotional skills with primary school children.

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This project became inactive following the Prototype phase

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empowerment

IRC Connect

United States

In partnership with Twilio.org, Airbel is developing an SMS-based system to streamline communication between caseworkers and newly-settled refugees as they adapt to their new lives in the United States.

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This project graduated following the Pilot phase

education

Coach Erevu

Tanzania

Coach Erevu is a virtual teacher coaching program designed to empower teachers to learn and practice social-emotional learning activities that they can use in their classrooms.

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This project graduated following the Pilot phase

health

Low-Literacy Malnutrition Tools

South Sudan

In hard-to-reach areas local community health workers are key to treating malnourished children. Commonly used tools for diagnosing and treating malnutrition have been adapted to meet the needs of workers...

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This project graduated following the Pilot phase

health

Micronutrient Condiment

Kenya

Two billion people are affected by micronutrient deficiencies worldwide. One third of them are children. We aim to introduce an affordable product inspired by existing porridge preparation practices for sale...

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education

Pop-Up Class Tanzania

Tanzania

Pop-Up Class Tanzania is an after-school digital learning program where children learn on personalized game-based learning software called onecourse and Kitkit School.

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education

Pop-Up Learning Bangladesh

Bangladesh

Pop-Up Learning is a computer-assisted learning program, aimed to mobilize quickly and efficiently on the onset of crisis.

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other

Resettlement Revolving Fund

In this new model for refugee resettlement finance, a self-sustaining fund provides countries with finance for refugee resettlement, and is replenished as refugees fuel economic growth.

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This project graduated following the Pilot phase

education

Tunakujenga

Tanzania

Tunakujenga is a family learning program designed to empower caregivers to engage in nurturing and playful parenting to support their children’s social and emotional development.

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This project graduated following the Pilot phase

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education

EmpaTeach

Tanzania

EmpaTeach is a project that aims to reduce corporal punishment in low resource settings by helping teachers learn positive discipline methods, change destructive thought patterns, and plan ahead for positive...

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This project graduated following the Rigorous Evaluation phase

safety

Real Man Challenge

Liberia, Uganda, Peru

The Real Man Challenge is a mobile messaging campaign that engages men with an aspirational and positive masculine identity to prevent intimate partner violence. It sends WhatsApp messages to men...

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safety

Becoming One

Uganda

Becoming One is a counseling program designed to bring couples closer and prevent intimate partner violence. The program is delivered in partnership with local faith leaders, who guide couples through...

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health

ComPAS: Combined Protocol for Acute Malnutrition Study

South Sudan, Kenya, Somalia, Mali, Chad

The current malnutrition treatment is inaccessible for 4 out of 5 acutely malnourished children globally. A new combined approach is simpler, less expensive, & offers more comprehensive treatment, with the...

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other

Dioptra

Dioptra simplifies the process of conducting cost analyses, helping humanitarian and development actors make use of limited resources in a transparent and effective way.

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economic-wellbeing

Match

Jordan

Working to counter the high rates of unemployment that follow mass displacement, the Match project in Jordan is testing a set of new innovations for placing vulnerable populations and refugees...

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education

Ahlan Simsim

In this historic effort, IRC and Sesame Workshop have partnered to help children whose lives have been uprooted by the war in Syria to build brighter futures.

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EdTech Global Landscape Analysis: Trends from the present and near future of technology-enabled learning

The internet and computers have transformed nearly every sector and industry. Education is no different. Millions of hours of free learning videos are now online, many from the world’s most recognizable institutions. Tutors from any corner of the planet are available for hire. For those that don’t want to pay, forums and chats for peer learning can bridge the gap with a bit of extra effort. New interfaces and formats are leading learners through gamified experiences. These services are available as mobile apps, softwares, websites, plugins and even as virtual reality experiences. The list goes on, and grows every day.

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented the world with unprecedented learning challenges, which have in turn accelerated transformation of education. It was hard to find ways to make virtual university learning as rich as in-person learning. Doing the same for every age group, including very young children, has been even more difficult. In poor countries, the already difficult challenge of providing proper support for students was compounded by parallel crises. It will be a relief to see the restrictions finally lifted, but the effects to learning and education will reverberate for decades onward. One of the (perhaps) more hopeful effects has been an explosion in educational technology innovation and funding. Whatever else happens long-term, it is clear EdTech is only going to be more a part of our life, work, and learning.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) helps people whose lives are shattered by conflict and disaster by supporting them in their effort to survive, recover and gain control of their future. A key part of this is providing education, especially to children. In the contexts in which IRC works, this is always difficult, and COVID-19 has multiplied these challenges. IRC is always trying to improve their existing programs. EdTech solutions may provide opportunities to better serve people and communities in crisis. To better provide for these people, IRC is undergoing the process of researching, analyzing, prototyping, and engaging with the EdTech sector to discover new methods for improving the lives of people in crisis.

A part of this work involved research into what is going on in the global EdTech landscape as a whole, not only for the humanitarian context. Often, the best new innovations come from adjacent industries or use-cases that might not have been originally designed with humanitarian needs in mind. Exploring the full range of what is currently available means less missed opportunities. Designing new programs with the full scope of the possible in mind means more tactics to improve learning outcomes in any setting.

We hope this scan and analysis can serve as an ongoing resource to those in the humanitarian sector and beyond. We hope it will provoke their thinking about what possibilities exist to serve their learning and education challenges, and how trends in the sector are moving toward or away from the kinds of solutions they might need for their work.

EdTech Open Atlas: Mapping the World’s Innovations in Education Technology

In our research we came across an enormous volume of innovations from every corner of the globe. It became clear that a central repository was needed to serve as a go-to for someone looking to explore what is available in the sector and beyond. To address this need, we’ve created the EdTech Open Atlas. The Atlas is a crowdsourced repository of information on EdTech projects around the world. It is a resource for teachers, learners, and caregivers to explore methods and tools that can assist their education goals. Anyone from the public can add to the repository by adding new projects. This creates an ongoing resource for inspiration to anyone addressing an education or learning need, no matter where they are located.

The Airbel Impact Lab at IRC is a team of researchers, strategists and innovators committed to the accelerated design, rigorous evaluation and cost-effective scaling of the most impactful solutions supporting people affected by crisis.