Learning Societies

Learning always takes place within a broader context. Individuals and institutions interact, learn, and evolve continuously in their respective societies. Societies develop systems, such as education systems, to promote individual development, and to safeguard their progress and future. These systems do not always work as intended.

A systems-change approach provides for the greatest impact in child and youth development and for societies at large. This is what we have learned from our TRECC program in Côte d’Ivoire and our Early Childhood program in Switzerland. While the knowledge, capacities, and resources needed to change educational systems often exist, they are diffused and spread across policymakers, the private sector, researchers, community groups, schools, service-delivery organizations, advocacy groups, funders, and investors in different regions.

Connecting the relevant entities and building fields is a pathway for joining these fragmented actors. This means convening a critical mass of organizations and partners to work together and to leverage resources to achieve the intended change as a field, rather than individually or as a single stakeholder.

Our approach

With our focus on Learning Societies, we promote evidence-informed decision-making in public policy and corporate practices in selected countries. The Learning Societies portfolio aims to create trustful and dynamic multi-stakeholder communities in target geographies who are generating and using evidence, mobilizing resources, and continuously improving their system with effective programs, policies and practices.

We initiate multi-stakeholder coalitions in an effort to leverage and aggregate resources, aligning public and private agendas. We increase the knowledge, capacity, and willingness of governments, industry, schools, and social purpose organizations to advocate for, design, deliver, and jointly scale up effective education policies and interventions. In this context, we continue to use grant-matching mechanisms and innovative financing facilities, and our TRECC program serves as a blueprint for future collaboration.

Building on approaches developed and tested within TRECC and the Jacobs Foundation’s early childhood program, the Learning Societies portfolio includes three interconnected and mutually-reinforcing programs: the Evidence for Policy & Practice Program to promote the generation and use of research and best practice by education stakeholders in target geographies; the Building Partnerships & Practice Program to foster a dynamic community of diverse stakeholders who are learning and driving systemic change together; and the Scaling Through Systems Program to promote access to catalytic resources that drive policy and systemic changes.

Irina Hotz
Co-Lead Learning Societies
irina.hotz@jacobsfoundation.org

Ross Hall,
Co-Lead Learning Societies
ross.hall@jacobsfoundation.org

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