Media Release

2022 Klaus J. Jacobs Best Practice Prizes – Movva

Edtech Movva recognized among top 10 finalists for CHF 600’000 ($614’000) Klaus J. Jakobs Best Practice Prizes 2022

  • Movva, headquartered in São Paulo, Brazil, recognized for AI-based platform that brings children and parents closer together, and combats school dropout
  • 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

Movva 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 ($208,000) that honor outstanding achievement and practice in advancing quality education.

The São Paulo-based organization operates primarily in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa, sending weekly reminders and encouragement messages (also known as ‘nudges’) directly to students’ or caregivers’ cell phones to engage them in their own, or their children’s, school life.

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 ($156,000) 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 Movva 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.”

Caroline Schulz, co-CEO of Movva, 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 support even more families across Brazil and around the world, helping children everywhere thrive in school.”

Movva

Movva mobile phone ‘nudges’ content is non-curricular, entirely aimed at bringing children and parents closer together, discouraging child labor and violence against children, and making education top-of-mind, despite the impeding pressures of poverty-induced financial worries. Movva leverages insights from behavioral sciences to identify the most important constraints that might affect student and parenting behaviors – such as self-limiting beliefs, mindsets, cognitive biases, and social pressure – then framing messages to effectively overcome them. It also applies machine learning algorithms to customize and target communication, based on what is predicted to work best for each student, using a combination of data on student characteristics, previous academic records, and interactions with the messages. During the pandemic, Movva supported over two million students and their families across Brazil, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guatemala and Honduras. It is launching in Malawi this year, in collaboration with the non-profit Give Directly.

In the short-term, if messages reach students and caregivers as intended, children’s school life becomes top-of-mind, motivating pupils to engage in learning and parents to monitor them more closely, to show up at school more often, and to encourage parents to incentivize their children to continue studying. In turn, students find greater motivation to study, attend school, and allocate more hours to homework. In the medium-term, children feel more supported by their parents, and experience improved socio-emotional skills, higher attendance and higher numeracy and literacy skills. This helps reduce school dropout rates, leading to more students completing their degrees. In the long-term, quality education helps improve society as a whole. Educated young people access better job opportunities, and act as responsible citizens in their communities, with a higher quality of life.

Movva’s platform uses artificial intelligence to meet the specific needs of each student. It offers multimedia content that can effectively change student behavior, but also allows schools to create their own videos for students, with the help of a virtual assistant that guides users to record different versions of the same message, inspired by behavioral profiles, and then activates AI to match each video to the students that would benefit the most from each version.

Movva’s nudges have been shown to improve learning outcomes and decrease grade repetition and school dropouts across Brazil and Côte d‘Ivoire. As its product is a Software as a Service (SaaS) and because it is cloud-based, it can be easily deployed anywhere in the world, in partnership with governments and local schools.

If Movva is named a recipient of one of the Best Practice Prizes, it plans to use the winning funds to scale up in Brazil and Côte d’Ivoire, and double down on investments to better engage with local stakeholders in both countries. It will also invest the funds in improving its technological capacity, with the objective of scaling nudges more efficiently, at lower cost – critical for both government and low-fee private schools.

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.