Rural Broadband | Business Plan Development
Need: Our partner works to expand internet connectivity in rural zones of Kenya. Historically, extending internet connectivity to rural areas has been infeasible because the investment costs are high and there is a lack of paying market demand. This poses challenges for humanitarian organizations working in rural areas, and for surrounding communities that have little to no internet access.
Approach: Infrastructure build out has become cheaper and there are demonstrable benefits of aggregating demand. Our student team conducted in-depth research on technical and economic solutions, culminating in a Rural Broadband Concept Note meant to attract investment from prospective donors within our client’s network. Our work involved collaboration with senior staff in CISCO and the International Rescue Committee.
School Outcomes | Baseline Evaluation Design
Need: Based in Monrovia, Liberia, our partner works to enhance the lives of disadvantaged Liberian youth through open learning centers and other educational programming. The organization requested help evaluating the mathematical and reading ability of primary school students in communities of operation.
Approach: In consultation with members of the Graduate School of Education, GIC conducted extensive research on diagnostic and evaluative theory. The team created two baseline examinations to test basic literacy and numeracy for grades 1 through 6. These comprehensive evaluations included various oral and written components. Upon completion, GIC conducted a full training session on implementation with the director of the program.
Change Agents | Curriculum Development
Need: Based in Bihar, India, our partner focused on empowering ‘change agents’ at the village level through educational programming and other community outreach activities. The organization approached GIC asking for an educational program that would help alleviate local religious tensions that inhibited community development.
Approach: In line with the needs of our client, GIC created an educational program centered on inter-faith awareness and reconciliation. GIC developed six hours of classroom content, including an evaluative mechanism that assessed the effectiveness of the approach. The purpose of the program was to empower individuals to build community relations.
Strategic Planning | Re-Branding Effort
Need: An emerging education development organization in Morocco requested GIC's assistance in managing an organization-wide rebranding, restructuring and succession management effort.
Approach: GIC analyzedthe organization's leaders, staff, and donors to map key relationships, interests, obligations, and demands. GIC used this information to draw up a short and long term vision for the organization. Finally, we assisted the organization in the implementation of the rebranding effort, including restructuring responsibilities and putting succession systems in place.
Measuring Change | Impact Evaluation Framework
Need: Our partner requested a basic impact evaluation of its ongoing community engagement programs in Bihar, India, which included leadership training camps and teacher training sessions.
Approach: PennGIC created a baseline report using client-provided statistics and key educational indicators. We designed investigative surveys to gather additional qualitative and quantitative data, and provided our partner with a detailed sampling and implementation strategy to generate data for statistical analysis.
Assessing Progress | Scholastic Data Analysis
Need: Our partner based in Matagalpa, Nicaragua supports technological and pedagogical innovation in government schools. The organization asked GIC to analyze and determine trends in collected scholastic data, in order to help evaluate the progress and impact of its programs.
Approach: GIC analyzed the data sets, including on student retention and enrollment rates, academic performance, and gender parity. We developed visuals to better communicate the trends in collected data, and indicated additional areas for investigation in the organization’s system of evaluation.
Monitoring and Evaluation Design
Need: Our partner works to empower children and their families in rural Nicaragua and improve their livelihoods through education and proper nutrition. The group is undergoing a period of organizational change, and requested an analysis of its current system of monitoring and evaluation.
Approach: PennGIC researched and outlined educational indicators for potential use in the client’s existing M&E program. GIC utilized several criteria for determining the value of new and existing indicators, including international relevance, cost of implementation, compatibility with donor interests, and link to organizational objectives. The report is part of a process to re-structure and update the organization’s methods of evaluation.