Ahlan Simsim education

Teaching the world’s most vulnerable children

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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Ahlan Simsim is at the Rigorous Evaluation stage

health

Micronutrient Cubes

A third of the 2 billion people who are micronutrient deficient are children. Many have little access to diverse foods or supplements. By working through private sector supply chains, this...

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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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empowerment

Voluntary and Spontaneous Returns

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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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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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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health

Mental Health

Jordan

Supporting the mental health needs of displaced people will be crucial to helping them lay the groundwork for future success.

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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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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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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

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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education

Pop Up Learning

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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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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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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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

other

SCAN

The Systematic Cost Analysis (SCAN) tool 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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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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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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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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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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safety

Modern Man

Liberia

Modern Man is a mobile messaging campaign that engages men with an aspirational and positive masculine identity to prevent intimate partner violence. It sends SMS messages to men who have...

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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.

Find out more
No projects currently, try another filter

health

Transforming Treatment for Acute Malnutrition

IRC is proposing a suite of five approaches to simplify treatment for acute malnutrition and to make it more accessible. Alongside an ambitious advocacy campaign, they have the potential to...

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With refugees around the world displaced for longer and longer periods - now an average of 10 years - the humanitarian system struggles to support them. Few displaced children have opportunities to learn and play; some have been exposed to extreme violence. They are at risk of “toxic stress,” a biological response to adversity that disrupts normal brain development. Though there are opportunities to address toxic stress through education, only 2% of humanitarian funding goes to this area - and just a fraction of it focuses on early childhood.

Under the MacArthur Foundation $100 million grant, the Sesame Workshop and the IRC have come together to deliver early childhood content. Ahlan Simsim - or “Welcome Sesame” - is the largest early childhood intervention in the history of humanitarian response, combining an educational broadcast reaching 9.4 million children in the region with direct services for 1.5 million of the most vulnerable children and caretakers. Ahlan Simsim harnesses the unique strengths of IRC and Sesame Seeds to deliver early learning and care at scale. It combines high quality, research-driven educational content, engaging characters who connect deeply with children’s lives and experiences, and extensive on-the-ground operations to support families in fragile settings.

Ahlan Simsim aims to help parents provide the care children need to overcome toxic stress, through in-person support as well as video and audio content. Community sites are transformed into nurturing care and learning centers. Frontline staff are trained, and centers equipped to provide support for managing and overcoming toxic stress. And finally, a locally-produced television show will introduce children to characters and role models who understand their experiences, including the Sesame Muppets. The show focuses on language, literacy, numeracy, and socio-emotional skills. Most of all, Sesame Seeds helps promote understanding—children spend time with characters that help them be smarter and kinder.

January 2018 | Joint project team established

Project transitions and graduates from incubation at the Airbel Center.

December 2017 | Sesame Workshop and IRC awarded MAcArthur 100&Change grant

The Foundation’s Board selected the joint Sesame Workshop-IRC project on education for Syrian refugees as the winner of its single $100 million grant.

“We are compelled to respond to the urgent Syrian refugee crisis by supporting what will be the largest early childhood intervention program ever created in a humanitarian setting” — Julia Stasch, MacArthur President

 

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September 2017 | Project named finalist in MacArthur Foundation 100 & Change grant competition

Four solutions to social problems were named finalists in MacArthur’s global competition for a $100 million grant called 100&Change together with Catholic Relief Services, HarvestPlus, and Rice 360.

Resource

April 2017 | Pilot launches

15-month pilot begins, with funding from the Bernard van leer foundation and the Open Society Foundation.

March 2017 | Advisory Meeting held

Early work funded by the Bernard van Leer Foundation and the Open Society Foundation supports a Global Advisory Meeting to discuss early childhood development humanitarian response with 84 participants from UN agencies, government and non-government organizations, academic experts, and humanitarian organizations. 

Resource

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.