Tag Archives: WISE

WISE Awards 2012 – applications open until 31st May


The World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) Awards are now open for applications – until 31st May 2012.  If you are aware of people working on innovation initiatives that have transformed educational delivery, do encourage them to apply!

The WISE Awards are specifically designed to identify, showcase and promote innovative educational projects from all sectors and regions of the world to inspire change in education. Each year, a Jury composed of leading experts from the education world selects six innovative projects for their concrete and positive impact on communities and societies. Each winning project gains global visibility through the Awards process and receives a prize of $20,000 (US).  Since the creation of the Awards in 2009, over 1,300 applications from 116 countries have been received, resulting in 98 Finalists and 18 winning projects from across the world.

In 2012, one of the six awards will be given explicitly to a project that has best delivered innovative financing of primary education.  This reflects the support of the Qatar Foundation’s Chairperson Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser for the United Nations MDG 2 on achieving universal primary education and it is designed to stimulate innovative projects targeted at achieving this goal.

All of the necessary details concerning the awards are available on the WISE Awards website, which provides specific information about:

All relevant applications are first reviewed by a Pre-Jury of distinguished educationalists.  They will  recommend 24 finalists who will then be invited to submit more detailed applications for consideration by the prestigious Jury of international experts.

It is particularly important that applicants explain clearly and in detail how their projects deliver on the nine criteria by which the WISE Awards are judged:

1. Educational Transformation: the overall extent to which the educational activity has transformed an aspect of education that has also had societal impact. Applicants must show what aspect of education they have sought to transform, and the impact that the project has achieved, not only in educational terms but also through the effect that this has had on society more generally.

2. Sustainable Financing: the extent to which the educational activity is funded in a sustainable way and achieves value for money to ensure its continuing viability. Applicants need to show how their projects have sought to ensure continuing financial viability.

3. Innovation: the extent to which the educational activity is innovative in design and/or practice, thereby transforming traditional means of educational delivery. Innovation can be of many different kinds, but it is important for applicants to emphasize what is particularly novel about their project.

4. Inclusion and Diversity: the extent to which the activity includes a diversity of beneficiaries and has enhanced equality of access to education. Successful applicants will have paid special attention to ways through which their project has ensured greater equality of access to education, particularly through an increase in the diversity of those participating in learning opportunities provided through the initiative.

5. Quality of Learning: the extent to which the transformation has contributed to the improvement of the quality of learning. Applicants need to indicate what they understand by quality of learning, and show explicitly how the intervention has indeed enhanced this.

6. Scalability: the extent to which there is evidence that the educational activity has the potential to be scaled up effectively, or has already been replicated at a larger scale than originally piloted. For more recent projects, it is essential that applicants show explicitly how they will ensure that the initiative can be scaled up effectively.

7. Partnership and Participation: the extent to which the educational activity has established effective partnerships and includes participation from beneficiaries and stakeholders. Applicants need to indicate the character of the partnerships involved, and be explicit about the ways through which beneficiaries and stakeholders participate in the design and implementation of the initiative.

8. Monitoring and Evaluation: the extent to which there is evidence of effective ongoing enhancement of the program through regular monitoring and also evidence of formal internal or external evaluation procedures. It is important that applicants show how ongoing monitoring procedures have enhanced the project, and also how formal evaluations after completion of specific stages have contributed to the initiative’s subsequent development.

9. Dissemination: the extent to which the organization has already effectively disseminated and shared educational practices with other practitioners in a diversity of ways. Applicants should provide evidence of how they have already shared their educational experiences with other practitioners.

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Monitoring and Evaluation of ICT in Education initiatives: reflections from WISE


The second WISE (World Innovation Summit for Education) summit provided an opportunity for colleagues from Education Impact to host a lively and highly participatory workshop designed to contribute to more effective monitoring and evaluation of ICT in education activities, focusing particularly on developing countries.

It was premised on two assumptions:

  • that there is too little monitoring and evaluation of ICT for education initiatives, and much of what is undertaken is of poor quality; and
  • that it is important to differentiate between monitoring (the process of continuing self-reflection within organisations and individuals aimed at improving their performance) and evaluation (the review of outcomes against targets, often undertaken by external agencies)

The workshop began by identifying the reasons why there is so little effective monitoring

and then why there is so little good and effective evaluation

This was then followed by a discussion of how we can ensure better monitoring

and the things that need to be put in place to ensure better evaluation.

Clicking on the above mind-maps enables them to be viewed at full size!

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WISE Awards 2010 – closing date 15th July


The Qatar Foundation has recently announced the WISE (World Innovation Summit for Education) Awards application process for 2010 – with a closing date of 15th July 2010.

Recipients of the 2009 WISE Awards were:

  • Sheetal Mehta for Project Nanhi Kali (India)
  • Vicky Colbert for Escuela Nueva (Colombia)
  • Delio Morais for Distance Learning in the Amazon Forest (Brazil)
  • Peter Levy for Curriki (USA)
  • Martin Burt for The Self-Sufficient School (Paraguay)
  • Joyce Dongotey-Padi for the Widows Alliance Network for Sustainable Economic Development in Ghana

The 2010 WISE Awards are designed to recognise and support outstanding practice and achievement within the theme of Transforming Education: Investment, Innovation and Inclusion. Applicants must show how they deliver on the following ten criteria:

  1. Educational Transformation: the overall extent to which the educational activity has transformed an aspect of education that has also had societal impact;
  2. Sustainable investment: the extent to which the educational activity is funded in a sustainable way to ensure its continuing viability;
  3. Innovation: the extent to which the educational activity is innovative in design and/or practice, thereby transforming traditional means of educational delivery;
  4. Inclusion and Diversity: the extent to which the activity includes a diversity of beneficiaries and has enhanced equality of access to education;
  5. Quality of Learning: the extent to which the transformation has improved the quality of learning;
  6. Scalability: the extent to which there is evidence that the educational activity has the potential to be scaled up effectively, or has already been replicated at a larger scale than originally piloted;
  7. Partnership and Participation: the extent to which the educational activity has established effective partnerships and includes participation from beneficiaries and stakeholders;
  8. Monitoring and Evaluation: the extent to which there is evidence of effective ongoing enhancement of the programme through regular monitoring and also evidence of formal internal or external evaluation procedures;
  9. Dissemination: the extent to which the organisations involved are already effectively disseminating and sharing their educational practices with other practitioners;
  10. Clarity of proposal: the extent to which the proposal is clearly intelligible and conforms to the requirements of the application process.
The  application process is designed to generate six Awards. Each of the six recipients will receive a WISE Prize Award of $20,000 at the Gala Dinner on 8 December 2010. Recipients will also be given the opportunity to showcase their projects during the WISE Summit to be held in Doha from 7 to 9 December 2010.
The WISE Awards application process is open to individuals or teams of individuals from across the world and across all education sectors (apart from previous WISE Award winners). Thirty finalists will be announced by mid August 2010, and they will be invited to submit more detailed applications. The six prize winners will be selected from these finalists.

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Reflections on WISE – The World Innovation Summit for Education


I do not usually like big conferences and summits.  All too often, people read prepared papers or speeches, and rarely inspire or speak from the heart.  However, the World Innovation Summit for Education held in Doha from 16th-18th November was surprisingly different.  Of course there were some fairly tedious presentations, but the Summit nevertheless did have a buzz about it.  People were talking, really talking, about the importance of education, and what we might be able to do enhance its sustainability, pluralism and innovation across the world.  There were also some really inspirational presentations – both by academics and by politicians!

However, the hosting of the conference  by the Qatar Foundation, bringing together 1000 of the world’s leading educationalists, and giving awards to six  outstanding examples of pluralism, sustainability and innovation in education, raised many interesting questions.  Why has so little yet been done globally to deliver on agreed educational targets? As the 2009 Global Monitoring Report summarised, “Progress towards the EFA goals is being undermined by a failure of governments to tackle persistent inequalities based on income, gender, location, ethnicity, language, disability and other markers for disadvantage”.

Three key inter-related issues come to mind:

  • All too often education is now being treated as a private good – people are being encouraged to pay for education in the expectation that it will bring them advantages in their future lives.  However, if we are to create a fairer, more equitable world, it is essential that education should be treated as a common rather than a private good.  An educated population is an integral factor in helping to ensure good governance, equality of opportunity, peaceful co-existence, and innovative solutions to poverty.
  • One of the reasons why governments across the world continue to provide insufficient funding for education, may be because in recent years they have come to believe that education is no longer a common good, but is instead a private one.  This enables governments to argue that people should pay for education themselves, rather than funding it from the common purse. Increasing fees for higher education in the UK are thus regularly justified by government ministers who argue that a degree brings increased lifetime earning capacity, and that individual students should therefore pay for it.  However, such arguments may also underlie the reticence of many governments across the world to fund education sufficiently.  Even though 23 countries contribute more than 7% of their GDP to public expenditure on education, 35 contribute less than 3%.  We need to work through existing global mechanisms more effectively to help ensure that all states fund education appropriately, so that all peoples can have equal and fair access to quality education.
  • How, though, do we do this?  How can we ensure that the enthusiasm and energy generated at events such as WISE is channeled effectively to initiatives that will actually make a difference?  UNESCO has for long sought to promote the importance of education across the world, but has been beset by too high expectations and too low levels of funding to have been able to make the impact that many of its staff would like to see.  How do we turn the energy that the Qatar Foundation released at WISE into systemic change?

Four more quirky observations from WISE:

  • I did not hear anyone publicly thank the French agency \Auditoire who did all of the organisation of the Summit on behalf of the Qatar Foundation. They were quite outstanding, and much of the success of the Summit was undoubtedly due to the experienced and dedicated team that they had in place.  Well done to all involved!
  • Carla Bruni attended – was I the only one who was left decidedly unimpressed?
  • Fidel Castro is alive and well in Doha – and can occasionally be seen in the Habanos bar in the Ritz Carlton – he did, though, look remarkably young – definitely in his prime!  But, it was nevertheless strange to see him there
  • I always thought that the role of a good master/mistress of ceremonies  was to ensure that everything keeps to time, that the speakers and participants are able to shine, and that they should do so by being almost invisible themselves.  It would appear that Nima Abu-Wardeh had been given a different set of instructions – or perhaps she simply had other ideas!

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WISE awards for outstanding educational achievement


LOGO WISEThe Qatar Foundation has recently announced the launch of its WISE (World Innovation Summit for Education) awards for outstanding educational achievements.  In this inaugural year, the WISE Awards nominations will generate six prizes to existing projects aligned with the Forum’s three main themes: Pluralism, Sustainability and Innovation.  Two prizes will be awarded for each of these three themes. Each of the six laureates will receive a WISE Prize Award of $20,000 at the Gala Dinner on November 17th, 2009. Laureates will also be given the opportunity to showcase their projects during the WISE Forum.

The WISE Awards application process is open to individuals or teams of individuals from across the world and in all education sectors, to be supported by a letter of endorsement from senior management of their organisations. The closing date for applications is 15th July 2009.

Laureates will be selected by a pre-jury and then by an International Jury consisting of some of the world’s leading experts in pluralism, sustainability and innovation in education, drawn from public institutions, civil society, the private sector, international organisations, universities and social entrepreneurs.

Further details are available as follows:

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