Media Release, Article

2022 Klaus J. Jacobs Best Practice Prizes recipients announced

CHF 600,000 ($610.000) Klaus J. Jacobs Best Practice Prizes 2022 awarded to Luker Foundation,  Luminos Fund, and Youth Impact.

  • The Luker Foundation, Luminos Fund, and Youth Impact recognized for education programs in Latin America and Africa
  • All three Best Practice Prize recipients will be awarded CHF 200,000 ($203,000) each at a ceremony taking place in Zurich on 30 September
  • They were selected from a shortlist of 10 finalists, all of whom will convene for a co-creation event, taking place on 1 October 2022, and are eligible for follow-on funding of up to CHF 150,000

The Luker Foundation, Luminos Fund, and Youth Impact have been named the recipients of the CHF 600,000 ($610,000) Klaus. J Jacobs Best Practice Prizes 2022. The three organizations are being honored for outstanding achievement and practice in advancing quality education, and will each receive CHF 200,000 ($203,000).

The three Best Practice Prizes will be awarded at a ceremony in Zurich on 30 September 2022. The recipients were selected from a shortlist of 10 finalists, all of whom 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 ($153,000) each.

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

“We want to warmly congratulate the Luker Foundation, Luminos Fund, and Youth Impact on being awarded a 2022 Klaus J. Jacobs Best Practice Prize. 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.

“We can’t wait to see what innovative ideas the Luker Foundation, Luminos Fund, Youth Impact, and our other 2022 Best Practice Prizes top 10 finalists are able to develop together at our co-creation event. With the deadline for SDG4 fast approaching, the education community must work together to jointly come up with solutions to ensure equitable education for all.”

The Luminos Fund

The Luminos Fund was recognized for providing education programs for out-of-school children aged 8-14 in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, helping them to catch up on three years of learning in just 10 months, then reintegrate into local government schools. Each year, over 90% of Luminos students advance to local government schools, and at least 75% remain in formal education after 12 months.

With a focus on learning-through-play and assessment-led pedagogy, the Luminos Fund strives to make learning a joyful experience, to equip students with a positive outlook on education. The program is delivered through community-based partners whose capabilities Luminos helps build, support, and oversee. Classrooms are taught by high-potential local young adults who Luminos trains to teach, thereby fuelling local education systems with much-needed trained resources.

To date, the Luminos Fund has supported more than 172,000 children across Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, The Gambia, and Lebanon, and plans to reach an additional 200,000 students by 2024. They work with governments, advising on curriculum development, strategies, and national education policy.

Luker Foundation

The Luker Foundation was recognized for its ‘Let’s All Learn to Read’ flagship literacy program, which has so far benefited more than 700,000 children and teachers across Colombia and Panama. The initiative, which began in the Colombian city of Manizales and is backed by the Inter-American Development Bank and Harvard University, introduced an innovative phonetic teaching and learning method to improve literacy.

The program includes face-to-face and high-impact digital strategies, such as classroom management, and the synthetic phonics method. It provides fun learning materials to help children improve their reading and socio-emotional skills. It also offers personalized tools for struggling students, and tailored evaluations to identify learning gaps.

According to the Luker Foundation, proper implementation of the program for five years would increase reading performance on standardized tests by 30%. Governments and private foundations from Guatemala, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic have expressed an interest in joining the program, which the Luker Foundation hopes to extend to all Latin American countries.

Youth Impact

Youth Impact was recognized for ConnectEd, its remote, low-tech education program which delivers simple math tutorials by phone and text message. Tested originally in Botswana, and later in an additional five countries around the world (India, Kenya, Nepal, Uganda, and the Philippines), ConnectEd has been shown to reduce innumeracy by up to 31% for enrolled children and deliver the equivalent of one year of high-quality education per $100. The program, which has been shown to work when delivered by NGOs and scale with teachers within government systems, has reached over 25,000 children globally.

Based in Gaborone, Botswana, Youth Impact, is a grassroots, youth-led, evidence-based movement aiming to identify, adapt and scale up health and education programs by young people for young people. Last year it reached a milestone of having helped 100,000 young people across 10 countries.

Klaus J. Jacobs Best Practice Prizes

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 or individuals.