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Call for Proposals: Partnership to Strengthen Innovation and Practice in Secondary Education

Activities: Education

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur-Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. In addition to selecting the MacArthur Fellows, the Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and understand how technology is affecting children and society.
BackgroundSecondary school education is measurably associated with positive effects on health, well-being, and productivity (Alvarez 2003). For girls, research shows that those with more years of education marry later (Ozier 2010), have smaller families (Schultz 2002), and survive childbirth at higher rates (McAlister and Baskett 2006). They experience reduced incidences of HIV/AIDS (Hargreaves et al. 2008), earn more (Psacharopoulos and Patrinos 2004), and live in societies with higher national rates of economic growth Read-more

Purpose:The aim of the Partnership to Strengthen Innovation and Practice in Secondary Education (PSIPSE) is to accelerate innovation in secondary education programming, research, and development in selected countries. It is led by a group of private donors and donor advisors, including ELMA Philanthropies Services, Human Dignity Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, MasterCard Foundation, and Wellspring Advisors, who have come together to encourage a new wave of innovation and learning in secondary education. This collaboration was born from the principles of the Global Compact on Learning, which underscores the importance of collaborative action to achieve quality learning outcomes, and supports goals of the UN Secretary General’s Global Education First initiative. Participating donors not only work with each other, but also actively aim to enrich the knowledge base of the wider secondary education field.
The PSIPSE began in early 2012, when a Call for Proposals was issued to solicit projects that could help inform the imminent expansion and transformation of secondary education. The 2012 Call yielded over 500 letters of inquiry and, ultimately, 19 projects were selected for over $8 million in support. The 2013 Call for Proposals builds on this momentum and channels attention to critical gaps research has identified in the delivery of more widespread and quality secondary education.  Donors have allocated $10 million for the 2013 Call subject to the quality of proposals received.
Strategic Focus:The PSIPSE’s focus is both upper and lower secondary education. Where schooling at the upper level is further divided between traditional general secondary education and vocational education, PSIPSE is focused on increasing the relevance of general secondary education learning.  PSIPSE supports programs and projects targeted to the formal education system and informal programs that help students transition to or re-enter the formal system.  PSIPSE is interested in four thematic areas: demand, improving teacher effectiveness, promoting employment-relevant skills, and alternative educational models for learning (see ‘Thematic Areas of Interest’ section below). Read-more  

The geographic focus for this Call for Proposals is East Africa, Nigeria, and India (see ‘Geography’ section in full call for proposals below). The Call is open to organizations (but not to individuals), including private sector entities proposing projects with charitable purposes, and working on specific education challenges in these places. The PSIPSE is particularly interested in collaborations between non-profit or public stakeholders and private sector entities.
Download the full 2013 Call for Proposals to learn more about thematic areas of interest, types of projects eligible for support, application process, and more.
Video on Investing in Girls' Secondary Education in Developing Countries

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