2022 Klaus J. Jacobs Best Practice Prizes – Save the Children

Save the Children’s catch-up clubs in Uganda, Myanmar, and Colombia recognised among top 10 finalists for CHF 600,000 ($602,000) Klaus J. Jacobs Best Practice Prizes 2022

  • London-headquartered Save the Children recognized for learning catch-up programs for school returners after pandemic lockdowns in Uganda, Myanmar, and Colombia
  • Three Best Practice Prize recipients will be awarded CHF 200,000 each and announced on 30 September at a ceremony taking place in Zurich
  • All 10 finalists will convene for a co-creation event on 1 October, and are also eligible for follow-on funding of up to CHF 150,000
  • Save the Children has been named a top 10 finalist for the Klaus J. Jacobs Best Practice Prizes 2022, a set of three awards each worth CHF 200,000 ($201,000) that honor outstanding achievement and practice in advancing quality education.

Headquartered in London, UK, and formed in 1919, Save the Children is one of the world’s leading humanitarian aid organizations for children. When schools worldwide first closed in March 2020 to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, it turned its attention to the devastating impact this was having on children.

The three recipients of this year’s Best Practice Prizes will be announced at a ceremony in Zurich on 30 September 2022. For the first time, the 10 finalists will convene for a co-creation event, taking place on 1 October 2022. They will exchange knowledge and ideas on advancing learning, and will have the opportunity to partner with other shortlisted applicants to develop proposals for new projects. Two concepts will receive follow-on funding of up to CHF 150,000 ($151,000) each.

Awarded every other year, the Klaus J. Jacobs Best Practice Prizes recognize non-profits, businesses, and social ventures that are bringing forth innovative solutions to some of education’s biggest challenges.

Fabio Segura and Simon Sommer, co-CEOs of the Jacobs Foundation, said:

“We want to warmly congratulate Save the Children on becoming a top 10 finalist for the Klaus J. Jacobs Best Practice Prizes 2022. These prizes were created to showcase the groundbreaking work that businesses, social ventures, and non-profits all around the world are doing to ensure children have access to quality education. There is not a moment to lose. By bringing to light the evidence of what works we can use it to implement solutions that can be tailored to learners’ diverse individual needs.

“In the age of COVID, it is also important to share ideas and evidence of what works on the ground to help shift policy, particularly as education systems adapt to a new and unfamiliar terrain. That is why we are launching this new follow-on collaboration funding of up to CHF 150,000. We look forward to bringing together all 10 Best Practice Prize finalists for our co-creation event, and we can’t wait to see what inspiring concepts they come up with together.”

Luke Hayman, Head of Operations and Innovation of Save the Children’s Safe Back to School Task Team, said:

“We are so thrilled to be recognized as a top 10 finalist for this prestigious award, particularly as it is based on such rigorous criteria. We would like to thank the Jacobs Foundation for shining a light on the important work that organizations around the world are doing to advance education, and we look forward to exchanging ideas with all the amazing 2022 Best Practice Prize finalists.

“We hope to use this incredible platform to share our learnings, and help even more children around the world catch up on the learning they lost during the pandemic. Now more than ever, it’s important we all work together to prevent wasting the potential of an entire generation.”

Save the Children

Save the Children’s Catch-up Clubs (CuC) are the organization’s solution to overcome the impact of the pandemic on children’s education around the world. COVID-19 disrupted learning for 1.6 billion students globally, putting an entire generation of children at risk of never achieving their potential. CuCs provide children with the foundational learning needed to successfully return to school. They support children aged 8-13 in upper primary grades who are furthest behind to achieve basic proficiency in literacy and numeracy. Activities are delivered in intensive cycles to accelerate learning, accompanied by ‘wrap-around support’, such as child protection services and cash vouchers for families to cover education expenses, to address barriers to education and promote regular attendance.

By engaging children at their learning level and addressing social and economic barriers to education, CuCs provide tailored support to improve learning outcomes, ensure children’s safe return to school, and reduce dropout rates. Key indicators and a comprehensive learning agenda will measure the short- and longer-term impacts of CuCs on children’s literacy and numeracy gains, their ability and confidence to stay in school, and their sense of safety and well-being.

Pilot CuCs have launched in Uganda, Myanmar, and Colombia, and preparations are underway to launch or further scale clubs in Nigeria, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Malawi, and the Philippines during 2022. Early results from CuC pilots show improvement in children’s literacy in just 13 weeks. In Uganda, six times more children achieved the highest reading level than at the start of the program. In Colombia, 100% of children who remained in CuCs reached foundational literacy skills. Additionally, qualitative insights from beneficiaries, including children and their parents, demonstrate positive impact in engagement and progress in learning.

If Save the Children is named a recipient of one of the Best Practice Prizes, it plans to invest the winning funds in a larger-scale study to understand and improve upon the effectiveness, cost, and speed of the CuC model, and to share the results to advocate for investment and uptake of Catch-up Clubs on a global scale.

Klaus J. Jacobs Best Practice Prizes

Applications for the Best Practice Prizes 2022 opened on 6 January and closed on 10 February 2022. Recipients must demonstrate outstanding achievement in advancing learning and education, and embrace variability in learning. Their projects should draw on scientific evidence, use a clear results framework, and must be sustainable, scalable, and financially viable. Finally, they must build on strong leadership and partner networks.

In memory of its founder, the entrepreneur Klaus J. Jacobs, who passed away in 2008, the Jacobs Foundation presents two awards every other year for exceptional achievements in research and practice in the field of child and youth development and learning. The Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize rewards scientific work that is highly relevant to society, and the Klaus J. Jacobs Best Practice Prizes honor exceptional commitment and innovative solutions of institutions.

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