In December 2017, Sesame Workshop and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) were awarded a MacArthur Foundation grant towards solving a critical problem of our time which is bringing early education to refugee children.
Technology platforms provide a good opportunity to think about doing this at scale and with maximum portability, which is crucial in the Syria Response region due to ongoing displacement and population movement. Such ambitious scope and scale was attractive to us and we are delighted now to be able to announce that IRC selected us to be their technology partner, responsible for building and delivering the platform.
Through our partnership we will transform the language, early reading, math, and social-emotional skills of a generation of children ages 0-8 affected by the Syrian war. Focusing on children in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Northwest Syria and Northeast Syria over the next five years, the project combines the depth of in-person services, reaching 1.5 million children, with the breadth of mass media, reaching 9.4 million children.
All of this will be backed up by a research study, in collaboration with NYU. This study aims at optimizing the technology platform through testing which types of content and message delivery maximize user engagement and evaluating the effectiveness of the platform in improving caregiver and child outcomes.