VVOB 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 that honor outstanding achievement and practice in advancing quality education. The non-profit operates in Cambodia, Ecuador, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, Vietnam, Zambia and Belgium, with its headquarters in Brussels, working on sustainably improving the quality of education.
Long-term partnerships and innovation
VVOB engages in long-term partnerships with national governments, working closely with structures in charge of supporting the professional development of teachers and school leaders. Country agreements allow VVOB to closely support the ministries of education with technical assistance to achieve their objectives and sustain them over time. Strategic partnerships also strengthen VVOB’s evidence base as it refines program interventions. Additionally, VVOB identifies the most promising innovations for teachers’ professional development and school leadership development and brings those to scale. Multidisciplinary VVOB teams support the professionalization of teachers and school leaders by strengthening institutions responsible for their professional development and guidance. VVOB’s work centers on education policies in the respective partner countries, existing good practices, lessons learned, and evidence. To systematize scaling, VVOB collaborated with other education organizations to create a publicly accessible knowledge product, the ‘Education Scalability Checklist’ – which is used across VVOB programs to inform the scaling process, program design and adaptations.
VVOB has been a pioneer in promoting effective school leadership in education systems, for example, supporting the establishment of a School Leadership and Management Unit at the Rwanda Basic Education Board, and elaborating national standards for effective school leadership, and the professional development of more than 3,000 school leaders. Building on this work and to bring the successes to regional scale, VVOB is now closely collaborating with the Government of Rwanda to establish an African Center for School Leadership to promote effective school leadership in the African region. School-based teacher and school leader professional development is one of the strategies that has proved highly effective, with VVOB successfully using this model in South Africa (reaching 58,288 teachers and school leaders) Uganda (reaching 900 teachers) and Vietnam (reaching 3,981 teachers and school leaders).
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 each.