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:
- the regulations and selection criteria
- downloading the application form
- how to submit applications
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.