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USAID'S Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) Announces $14.5 Million for Sixteen Awards for Cutting-Edge Initiatives

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Today, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced 16 new awards through its Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) to test and scale breakthrough solutions to the world's most intractable development challenges. The successful organizations, many of which are new to working with USAID, span six sectors and nine countries.

Among the award winners, DIV will fund five new USAID partners:​

  • In the Republic of Botswana, Young 1ove, will roll out the Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) program to help students learn and build foundational skills.

Experiences around the Art and Science of evidence-use webinar: Stories from Africa

The Africa Evidence Network (AEN) hosted the 9th #AfricaEvidenceWebinar entitled: Experiences around the ‘Art’ and ‘Science’ of evidence-use: Stories from Africa on 26 August in the lead up to EVIDENCE 2020 ONLINE.

The AEN welcomed speakers from different sectors and spaces within the Africa evidence ecosystem. The speakers shared their stories of evidence-use.  

Mr Kiruben Naicker, Department for Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (South Africa) Ms Moitshepi Matsheng, Young1ove (Botswana) Prof Kenneth Yongabi, Imo State University (Nigeria)

The participants in this webinar heard three stories of innovative evidence-use in Africa. They were part of the discussion to distinguish elements of these strategies that speak to the ‘art’ as well as the ‘science’ of doing EIDM in these stories. 

Pivoting to Remote Teaching: How Young 1ove Provides Education During COVID-19

School closures have been shown to lead to increases in dropout rates and long-term health risks. To prevent this during the COVID-19 pandemic, Young 1ove, one of the largest youth NGOs in Botswana, quickly pivoted from delivering in-person educational programs to remotely teaching students and assessing their learning.

In this webinar, leadership at Young 1ove share valuable lessons on using new tools and retraining staff to maintain service delivery during closures and lockdowns. This webinar is brought to by the Safe People + Data Initiative, led by Dobility, the makers of SurveyCTO, to provide methodologies and resources for safer data collection, in response to new challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and the growing need for safety-focused innovation.

For Kids at Home, ‘a Small Intervention Makes a Big Difference’

Parents are more crucial than ever to their children’s education. Here are two programs, thousands of miles apart, that have helped get them involved.

If schools across the United States return to “normal” in January, the average student will have lost nearly seven months of learning. But the low-income students among them will have lost more than a year.

Parents must be part of the solution. But the yawning gap between rich and poor that existed even before the pandemic also affects parental involvement. The conventional wisdom in schools is that low-income parents don’t get involved. Now, they need to be super-involved.

Innovations in phone-based assessments to support learning

July 22, 2020

Given the spread of COVID-19 around the world, school closures have affected nearly 90% of the world’s learners. Countries have turned to delivering learning content to students and parents through various modalities, including online, TV/radio, and via delivery of hard-copy learning packets. However, many children, parents, and teachers might not have the adequate resources (devices, internet connections, instructional materials, sufficient skills, and/or time) to actively participate in the learning process, resulting in potential severe learning losses that could adversely impact future chances of millions of students around the world.

TaRL Africa Webinar: Accelerating Learning When Schools Resume

29 July 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has meant the sudden closure of schools across the world. As schools slowly begin to reopen, it is important to re-engage children at school differently to the normal – in an environment where children are given time to catch up and learning can continue. Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) is an evidence-based intervention proven to quickly equip children in grades 3-5 with basic reading and arithmetic skills.

Focusing on the Foundations: Education in the time of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has left an unprecedented more than 1 billion children out of school for substantial periods of time. Even before the pandemic, there was a learning crisis. In Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, three-quarters of grade 3 students cannot read a basic sentence such as “The name of the dog is Puppy.” In rural India, half of students in grade 3 cannot solve a two-digit subtraction problem such as 46 minus 17 (ASER 2018World Development Report 2018).

Do School Closures Have To Stop Learning? How Young 1ove is Teaching Students Remotely.

What's this item about? What makes it interesting? Write a catchy description to grab your audience's attention...According to UNESCO, 144 countries have closed schools nationwide in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting over 1.1 billion students. Young 1ove, one of the largest youth NGOs in Botswana and a provider of evidence-based and life-saving education programs, took decisive and early action to ensure that students wouldn’t be left behind. Read on to learn about how they’re providing remote services to students and using SurveyCTO.

Is It Possible to Measure Learning by Phone?

Schools have been closed in most countries since March and—in many places—they’re likely to stay closed until September. This means kids will have been out of school for almost half a year, with potentially catastrophic consequences for their education and their welfare.

Principles for Phone-Based Assessments of Learning

School closures affecting more than 1.5 billion children are designed to prevent the spread of current public health risks from the COVID-19 pandemic, but they simultaneously introduce education risks as well as new, longer run health risks, via lost education. While some studies measure student involvement in educational activities during the crisis through phone-based surveys, the literature on assessing learning by phone is almost nonexistent, despite the fact that learning loss has major implications for school dropout and rising inequality.

Revealing a Safer Sex Option to Reduce HIV Risk: A Cluster-Randomized Trial in Botswana

Background: 1.8 million new HIV infections occur every year, disproportionately affecting adolescent girls and young women. Abstinence-only risk avoidance approaches have had limited impact on reducing new infections. This cluster-randomized trial examines a risk reduction approach to curbing risky sex for school-going girls in Botswana.

How do you scale spirit?

For those of us interested in the question of scale, Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL)—a pedagogical approach to remedial education developed by the non-governmental Indian organization Pratham—provides an excellent case study to explore. 

Teaching At The Right Level To Enhance Basic Education

MoBE signed a four-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Young 1ove to see this remedial education initiative taken to scale in collaboration with University of Botswana (UB) and UNICEF. Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) was pioneered by Pratham Education Foundation in India and has been adapted for Botswana to support students falling behind in basic literacy and numeracy.

Combination Prevention and AIDS 2018

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Advocate Dorothy Okatch of the NGO Young 1ove sizes up the challenges for prevention in her country Botswana, where gains in treatment have been lauded.

Does “Sugar Daddies” replicate? The preliminary results are in for Botswana

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In early 2016 the Global Innovation Fund invested in Young 1ove and Evidence Action to support the testing of a creative peer education approach to empower girls in secondary school in Botswana to reduce their risks of HIV/AIDS and unintended pregnancies. The Sugar Daddy intervention, which showed a clear effect on pregnancy in Kenya in 2005, had more mixed results in Botswana in 2016. In this guest blog, Young 1ove discuss their decision not to continue implementing this program as it was initially designed, and instead to respond to the evidence and pivot.

Partnership Is More Than a Buzzword

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"This summer, I had the pleasure of visiting ten GlobeMed grassroots partner organizations in Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi, and Botswana. Thanks to the support of Segal Family Foundation, I was able to conduct learning visits with our mutual partners Komera in Rwanda, and Young 1ove in Botswana. The purpose of my learning visits was to better understand the strengths and challenges in each GlobeMed partnership, to facilitate conversations between students and organization staff focused on long-term partnership success, and to determine how GlobeMed’s Global Headquarters can further support partnerships across the globe."

Does Your NGO Carry Out a Randomized Control Trial?

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Today’s guest is Noam Angrist, the founder of Young 1ove, an NGO providing sex education to 35,000+ young people in Botswana. Sex-ed is a complicated issue, and over the decades it’s been hard to tell what worked and what didn’t. In Botswana, where 22% of the population has HIV, much of it hadn’t worked.

UNESCO Profile on Moitshepi Matsheng

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“When I was six years old, my mother died of HIV but I was never told what happened to her. Even today, talking about safe sex and HIV remains taboo. As a young female activist at university, I was desperate to change the way young people view HIV/AIDS. During one of my courses, I read a research paper about a class on “sugar daddies” that had reduced teenage pregnancy by 28% in Kenya. This resonated with me as it showed that openly discussing issues around HIV with young women could actually save lives. I joined forces with my colleague, Noam, and we founded Young 1ove.”

Course helps girls in Botswana avoid HIV and “sugar daddies”

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MIT News Office profiles Co-Founder Noam Angrist and the founding of Young 1ove. 

MIT In London

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“Here in London, you can feel like you’re part of history and that you’re on the cutting edge at same time — it’s a great fusion,” says Noam Angrist ’13, a Rhodes Scholar who shuttles between the U.K. and Botswana on behalf of a development nonprofit he launched in 2014. Of London and the city’s immediate environs he says, “It’s where the old and new clash beautifully.”

Meet the Winners and Runners Up From Africa For The Queens Young Leaders Award

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The Queens Young Leaders Award recognizes exception young people aged 18-29 from across the Commonwealth, who are taking the lead in their communities and using their skills to transform lives.  

Queen Elizabeth II To Award Young Motswana

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As the Commonwealth celebrates the Queen’s 90th birthday, this year’s award winner, 23-year-old Moitshepi Matsheng, has been recognised by the Queen for taking the lead in transforming the lives of others and making a lasting difference in her community.

Top 30 Thinkers Under 30: Brenda Duverce

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The top young thinkers in economics, education, political science, and more.

What Botswana's Teen Girls Learn In 'Sugar Daddy' Class

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Chilo Ketlhoafetse struts around an eighth-grade classroom like the coolest guy in Botswana, warming the students up to talk about an awkward subject. He calls out "Nomhlaba!" and they respond "Auwe!" — nonsense words from a local childhood game. Soon he has the students clicking their fingers, dancing and following his every word.

Social Development — Moitshepi Matsheng

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Persistent and inspiring, Moitshepi Matsheng co-founded Young 1ove at the age of 22, which she grew into one of the largest NGOs in Botswana, with a staff of 81 and reach of 35 000+ youth.

Young 1ove: Scaling in Botswana

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Noam Angrist cofounded Young 1ove with the promise of connecting young Africans to proven life-saving information.  By massively scaling sexual health information campaigns that were previously shown in randomized trials to have significant impact, he hoped Young 1ove would be able to reach 1 million youth in Africa by 2017.  However, while he and his team were less than a year into the project, they were already dealing with anfractuous government processes, strained by limited resources, and unsure of how their operations would succeed at scale.

MTV Helps "Young 1ove" in Fight Against HIV/AIDS

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When one thinks of MTV, what comes to mind is the crazy reality and music shows which are broadcast on this popular music channel. Very few know of the global initiatives that MTV has taken on to combat problems the youth are facing all over the world.

Meet Young 1ove

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Using data to keep African youth HIV-free.

Global Innovation Fund unveils first investments

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The newly-formed Global Innovation Fund (GIF) has announced its first tranche of investments in London today, with £3m being allocated to eight social innovation projects in the developing world.

When Sugar Daddies Are Not So sweet

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Let’s say you’re a teen. You want to have sex, but you don’t want HIV, and in your country there’s a pretty high risk of contracting the virus if you’re sexually active. So you opt for what you consider to be the safest choice — an older, financially stable man who seems to have his life in order, unlike the rowdy teenage boys at school. Makes sense, right?

To 30 Thinkers Under 30: The Fulbrights and Rhodes Scholar Planning on Launching a New Government Agency

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As a teenager, Noam Angrist was certain he was going to be a doctor. He’d placed as a semi-finalist in the USA Biology Olympiad and was preparing for the pre-med track. Then, a life-threatening blood clot near his heart and lungs sent him to the hospital for three weeks. The experience made him see what he calls “the jarring failures in our health care system.”

Mulago Foundation Fellows: Noam Angrist

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Noam Angrist is a research-loving and impact-obsessed social entrepreneur. After conducting research at the University of Botswana, he was motivated to address the social challenges he saw every day -- namely sugar daddies and rampant HIV infection. Noam chose to tackle this issue by taking a proven intervention from a five year-old RCT, previously collecting dust on a shelf, and turning it into a scalable intervention.

Meet Our Co-Founder Noam Angrist

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Noam Angrist is the founder of Young 1ove, a Botswana based not-for-profit organisation, providing evidence-based sex education to young people.  Noam studied Economics and Math at MIT, was a Fulbright scholar in Botswana and is currently studying a MSc. in Evidence Based Social Intervention at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes scholar.

Standard Chartered Partners With Young 1ove and MTV Staying Alive

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In an effort to help on issues of HIV awareness education among Batswana youth, Standard Chartered Bank recently announced its partnership with a Botswana-based non-governmental organization, Young 1ove and MTV Staying Alive Foundation. This partnership comes at a time when young people in Botswana are commemorating the Month of Youth Again HIV/AIDS. 

Youth Launch Young 1ove

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On March 22, a non-governmental organization for the youth by the youth will be unveiled at the University of Botswana amphitheater, amidst much hype and hope that finally, issues pertaining to the youth of Botswana will be given centre-stage.

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