Project Profile

USAID Integrated Child and Youth Development Activity in Uganda

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Project Name

USAID Integrated Child and Youth Development Activity

client

USAID 

Prime Contractor

Education Development Center (EDC)

Partner Organizations

Resonance, Bantwana Initiative of World Education, Arizona State University, School-to-School InternationalRedearth Education

Country

Uganda

Time Period

August 2020 – August 2025

Challenge

In Uganda, only one-third of students complete primary education. A range of factors limit students’ ability to stay in school and succeed and thrive in the classroom. These include teacher absenteeism, the need for boys and girls in poor families to support family income or help with household work, an inability to afford school supplies, and the threat of gender-based violence in school environments. Further, classes in many primary schools are not age-based, due to students frequently dropping out and then reentering school once they can pay their school fees. This affects the school’s ability to tailor learning objectives to each student cohort’s age and stage. 

Solution

The USAID Integrated Child and Youth Development (ICYD) Activity—led by Education Development Center (EDC)—seeks to improve learning outcomes for children in Uganda, while ensuring safe and healthy learning environments. Over five years, the Activity team will work across a range of critical areas to achieve its goals, including:  

  • Working with local government on early grade reading initiatives;  
  • Addressing primary school retention through a combination of family, community, and school-based interventions to take on known drivers of school dropout rates; and  
  • Supporting local government and local organizations to improve service delivery for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC). 

Resonance leads private sector engagement (PSE) across the Activity. We’ll seek to facilitate strategic partnerships with multinational, regional, and local companies to improve early grade reading and school retention, and to combat drivers of school dropout. We’ll also provide guided technical support to select local government agencies in Uganda, to help them more effectively engage the private sector in service delivery going forward. 

Select Results

In the Activity’s first year, we’ve worked to lay the groundwork for private sector partnership development: 

  • We conducted a Rapid Partnership Appraisal to map relevant private sector players in Uganda and outline promising collaboration opportunities. 
  • As part of this activity, we interviewed 64 private-sector companies, business and industry associations, and non-profits, to gauge how and why the private sector might partner with the ICYD Activity. 
  • Based on this research, we outlined nine initial partnership concepts for further exploration and development. These range from opportunities to advance digital learning to creating traveling libraries to establishing new internship programs for OVC to improve lighting for reading practice at home. 
  • To build the capacity of ICYD staff and partner agencies to effectively engage the private sector and to enhance partnership sustainability, we are providing PSE training workshops to ICYD staff in the Activity’s target regions. These trainings define the importance of PSE, its applications for ICYD, and how to establish a successful partnership. The trainings will continue throughout Year 2 of implementation. 

In Year 2, we will facilitate partnership development workshops with prioritized companies to define roles and responsibilities and co-create and formalize shared-value partnerships. We will then manage, coordinate, and support each partnership’s implementation together with ICYD stakeholders. 

We look forward to continuing our work with the ICYD Activity and private sector partners to advance market-led approaches that promote learning and opportunity for children in Uganda.  

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