Top accolade for innovative Pakistan education initiative
A pioneering radio programme that broadcasts lessons to close to 9,000 school-aged children in one of Pakistan’s poorest districts has been named the most innovative development project in the world.
The ‘Broad Class – Listen to Learn’ project, run by the Power99 Foundation in the Haripur District of Pakistan received the prestigious accolade at the Global Development Awards in Lima earlier this month.
Now in its 17th year, the annual awards ceremony recognises outstanding innovation in international development projects with entrants hailing from all over the world. The Broad Class project was selected from a pool of 270 submissions from 59 different countries.
Established with support from the OPM-led Sub-National Governance (SNG) programme, the project delivers radio-based lessons to students across Haripur – a district in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The show, which was piloted for eighteen months and is now being scaled-up, focuses on strengthening the literacy and numeracy skills of early grades students in more than 160 schools across the district. Early assessments of its impact show improved learning outcomes and school enrolment rates for the district.
The SNG programme, delivered by Oxford Policy Management, is a DFID-funded, multi-year project that aims to improve public services in Pakistan’s Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces. It does this by working with government, local partners and civil society organisations to build capacity and encourage innovation in service delivery. The programme’s Challenge Fund mechanism is a key element of this, providing grants to local organisations pioneering initiatives that have the potential to transform service delivery, but who are unlikely to realise this potential without additional financial and technical support.
Stephen Akroyd, Principal Consultant at OPM and SNG programme director, said: ‘Congratulations to the Power99 Foundation! It’s great to see the Broad Class project recognised in this way. SNG’s Challenge Fund component is an effective and efficient way to maximise the impact of such a promising project that has the potential to improve access to high quality educational services for so many.’