Education Campaign Programme Wins DAI Innovation of the Year

October 31, 2014

DAI is delighted to announce that the Transforming Education in Pakistan (TEP) programme has won Innovation of the Year with its Alif Ailaan Data Platform.

The U.K. Department for International Development project is tasked with building the political will among all stakeholders—parents and politicians, teachers and unions, governments and officials at all levels—to tackle an education emergency that sees 25 million children out of school.

As a fundamental step in the campaign, TEP set out to establish authoritative data about the education system that would cut across ideological divisions and focus the debate on actionable items. To that end, the team built an open source data platform that pulls together raw data from various sources, provides tools to explore these data, and publishes independent analyses of education data in Pakistan. This public database has become the go-to clearinghouse for education data in Pakistan.

To learn more about the innovation, watch this video:

TEP’s innovation was one of five finalists in DAI’s inaugural Innovation Challenge. The Challenge, which began in the summer, attracted 92 original submissions from more than 50 DAI projects. The applications went through three phases of judging: written applications, videos, and this week’s in-person pitches before a panel of judges.

The panel consisted of Dave Ferguson, Director, Center for Development Innovation, US Global Development Lab, USAID; Jean Gilson, DAI Senior Vice President, Strategy and IT; Caesar Layton, Founder, Cultivate Ventures; Dale Pfeifer—CEO, GoodWorld; and Arif Zulfiqar, former Director of the World Bank Global Partnerships & Trust Fund Operations, and former Chair of the grants committee for the $500+million Japan Social Development Fund.

To kick off Innovation Week, DAI staff were treated to a presentation by economist Sonal Shah, who reminded DAI to innovate to improve lives, not for the sake of innovation. “Sometimes invention and innovation get put together,” she said. “It’s not about the latest, coolest thing. Innovation is an idea that can spread and bring about change. The best metric to use is—did we change someone’s life?”

Shah, who headed development initiatives at Goldman Sachs and Google, was founding Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, and currently leads the Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation at Georgetown University.

DAI presented trophies to the winning project and the finalists in an October 29 ceremony where CEO Jim Boomgard addressed the staff: “The Challenge has refreshed our creative juices,” he said. “Our task now is to build on this great beginning, and see where we can replicate and scale these efforts in ways that help our clients shape a more livable world.”

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