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Current and Recent Funded Activities
Updated April 19, 2015

International Development

Research & Projects in U.S. 

Custom Training Programs

Education in Conflict Network (1/15)
University Support & Workforce Development Program (1/14)
Vas-Y Fille" Democratic Republic of the Congo (7/13)
Palestine Teacher Development (11/12)
Afghanistan - Higher Ed Extension (9/12)
Faculty Development in Gaza
Afghanistan - High Educ Extension
Afghanistan - Medical Education
Senegal-Gambia Multi-Grade
Study of NFE For East Asia
INEE Educ & Fragile States

Afghanistan-Learning for Life
Southern Sudan

Global Horizons
ATLAS - Adult Education
Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad
LSI and Even Start


Palestine Education Study Group (10/13)
Community College Study Group
Afghan Masters Group
Palestinian Faculty Development
Malawi Training Institute
Azerbaijan (1) 
Azerbaijan (2)

Muskie Fellows
USAID/Africa Basic Education

For more details about any of these projects please contact CIE

Education in Conflict & Crisis Network
CIE working with EDC

The USAID Education in Conflict and Crisis Network (USAID ECCN) project will develop a community of practice that will build evidence and capacity to attain USAID’s Goal 3 of increasing equitable access to education in these environments for 15 million learners. The five year project was  awarded by  USAID’s Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment (E3).

The Center for International Education (CIE) has been awarded a five-year, $1.6 million sub-contract from the Education Development Center (EDC). CIE will work with EDC and partners Morgan Borscz Consulting (MBC), as well as with regional partners ADEA and SEAMEO-INNOTECH.  CIE will focus on developing the research and evaluation activities within the project.

USAID is making a targeted effort to address bottlenecks and challenges to educational acceGwen, Ash & Juliass in 18 countries affected by conflict initially focusing on Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Sudan, according to a Scope of Work document guiding the project.

The team at CIE is led by adjunct professor Ash Hartwell as the Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist along Gwen Heaner as the Research Manager and Julia Novrita as the Research Assistant.

Education in crisis and conflict-affected environments remains a key challenge in many areas of the world. Although this field is maturing through the work of organizations such as the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE), and is the focus of many donors and institutions, there is still much to be learned. Practitioners focused on policy, planning, and implementation could benefit from clearer guidance and accepted best practices as they struggle to provide high quality accessible education in the world’s most challenging environments.

ECCN will work with policymakers, governments, donors, and implementers to analyze and synthesize existing data and develop new research. Findings will be discussed and disseminated with staff from organizations within the community of practice through in-person and ICT-based training, knowledge-sharing forums, and dissemination of materials.
USAID Missions and other members of the community of practice will work together to build consensus on indicators, with Goal 3 projects serving as a laboratory for testing and tracking specific approaches and performance monitoring tools to help improve program design and operation. The knowledge gathered from this process will inform USAID and implementing partners for future projects.

For further information on ECCN, please visit the project website or contact Ash Hartwell

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CIE Awarded $23 Million Sub-contract for
Higher Education in Afghanistan

The Center for International Education will be the lead technical sub-contractor for Family Health International 360 on a new USAID-funded, $92 million project entitled Afghanistan University Support and Workforce Development Program (USWDP).   The consortium, led by FHI360, also includes Purdue University, Altai Consulting and the Afghan Holding Group. 

In February 2014, CIE will have completed 8 years of work with higher education in Afghanistan, first as a sub-contractor to AED, and then for three years as the prime contractor on a continuation of the Higher Education Program.  The new USWDP which began January 1, 2014 will continue CIE’s involvement for five more years.

CIE will continue its practice of managing such projects with an on-campus team mUSWDP Teamade up of PIs (DRE & Joe Berger), professional staff (BGW & a new position), and graduate students (currently Hunter Gray, Hassan Aslami, and Rohina Amiri). Hassan and Rohina are long-term field employees of the project who are now in graduate degree programs at UMass.

USWDP is designed to help Afghanistan’s higher education professionals effectively manage the growth of tertiary education while improving academic quality and its relevance to economic development in Afghanistan. The project will improve the management capacity of the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) and up to 10 public universities.  It will assist universities in developing effective governance structures, creating learning environments that foster well-qualified faculty members, highly capable and motivated students, and market-oriented academic programs.

The project will seek to create sustainable public-private collaboration and to develop international university partnerships both regionally and with US universities as part of the project approach.  

Besides working to strengthen the capacity of the MoHE, UMass will be working to create new Master’s degrees, a series of Associate Degree programs linked to employment and redesigned or new Bachelor’s degree programs which are more relevant to likely job market demands. 

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Study Tour of Senior Ministry Officials from Palestine

Palestine Education Officials

The Center for International Education (CIE) recently hosted a Study Tour for four senior level Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE) officials from Palestine as part of the USAID-funded Leadership and Teacher Development (LTD) project, whose primary contractor is AMIDEAST. The four senior officials included Basri Saleh, Deputy Minister Assistant for Development and Planning, Shahnaz Far, Director General of the National Institute of Educational Training (NIET), Tharwat Zaid, Director General for Supervision and Qualification, and Samah Iriqat, Director for the Commission for Developing the Teaching Profession. The group was in Massachusetts for six days to ensure engagement and alignment across departments in the MOEHE to realize the goals of the Ministry’s Strategic Plan. The study tour was led by the LTD Chief of Party (COP) Said Assaf and Principal Investigator, Gretchen Rossman, with Joseph Berger and Sharon Rallis who are both working on the project.

The purpose of the tour was to learn about high quality teacher professional development systems, programs to support teachers learning new learner-centered pedagogical and assessment approaches, supervision, teacher licensing, teacher performance assessment, and opportunities to network and build possible collaborative partnerships. Among the activities of the busy week, the study tour visited and met with officials from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to discuss statewide standards, policy frameworks, and use of data for assessment and evaluation.

The study tour also visited the Education Collaborative in Northampton and met with senior leadership teams for some Springfield and Amherst Public schools to learn more about the functioning of the schools with particular emphasis on pre-service teacher educator programs and educator assessment. Additionally, the MoEHE officials participated in a discussion during their visits with William Gorth, founder and president of the National Evaluation Systems (NES) group of Pearson and with the Collaborative for Education Services about assessments and addressing the gaps in programs and services with high quality

The study tour ended with a debriefing session in which the participants reflected on lessons learned during their stay and ways to implement that knowledge to improve policy and practice in Palestine. On their last day they made a panel presentation on education reform in Palestine during NE regional conference of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) which was hosted by CIE at UMass.

Valorisation de la Scolarisation de la Fille "VAS-Y Fille!"

The Center for International Education (CIE) assisted by the Center for Educational Assessment (CEA) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been awarded a contract to provide evaluation services for the International Rescue Committee’s (IRC) project to increase girls’ access to education in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The IRC, Save the Children, and Catholic Relief Services are working as a consortium to implement the project in DRC (in Bandudu, Equateur, Katanga, Kasai Oriental, and Orientale provinces) over two years. Bjorn Nordtveit is the Prinicipal Investigator (PI) and Jennifer Randall is the Co-PI for the project which began in the summer of 2013.

The main goal of the VAS-Y Fille! project is to enroll and retain 56,000 girls in primary and early secondary school through a holistic program of economic support to families, quality teaching and learning activities, community involvement in education and accelerated learning programs. VAS-Y Fille! hypothesizes that the combination of multiple interventions focused on overcoming supply- and demand-side barriers to girls’ education will lead to better learning, retention and completion rates for girls. As a result, girls will progress more efficiently through the school system; these additional years of schooling and increased knowledge will enable them to complete a full cycle of primary school and effectively delay marriage. Economic support to families and quality teaching and learning activities in schools will be the focus of the evaluation.

UMass will join an IRC research, monitoring, and evaluation team of 13 staff based throughout VAS-Y Fille! Provinces. We will provide support in design and implementation of qualitative and quantitative baseline, midline and endline evaluation studies in October 2013, April/May 2014 and April/May 2015. Much of this work will be done in Kinshasa, DRC, by providing training and implementation support to the IRC research, monitoring, and evaluation team.

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Study Tour of Faculty Members from
Kabul Polytechnic University in Afghanistan

Kabul Polytechnic Group

In April 2013,  CIE hosted a delegation of six Afghan Faculty members from Kabul Polytechnic University (KPU), including the Vice Chancellor, the Dean of Computer Science, several faculty members, and a Director from the Ministry of Higher Education. They were in Massachusetts for an 11-day study tour to learn more about the community college system in the US. The study tour was a component of a larger initiative to lay the groundwork for creating a community college system in Afghanistan and establish Associate Degree programs at KPU. The study tour was sponsored by USAID and managed by the Center for International Education’s team for the Afghanistan Higher Education Project (HEP). The study tour was led by Joseph Berger, the Associate Dean for Research and Outreach in the School of Education and Jim Armstrong, HEP's Senior Manager for Techncial Education based in Kabul. One of the goals of the HEP program is to lay a foundation of Associate Degrees as part of their strategic plan to introduce a system of community colleges to expand access to higher education in Afghanistan.

Therecent study tour afforded the visiting faculty members from Afghanistan to learn about various components that are important to consider in the creation of a community college system.  Since KPU is planning to initiate its first Associate Degree in Information Technology, the group took the opportunity while at UMass Amherst to meet with specialists focusing on IT including: Rick Adrion and other staff members at the Commonwealth Alliance for Information Technology Education (CAITE).

Visits to surrounding community colleges in Massachusetts provided the study tour participants with a first-hand look at the inner-workings of community college educational and administrative processes. The study tour visited and met with staff from the following colleges: Holyoke Community College, Springfield Technical Community College, Middlesex Community College, and Bunker Hill Community College. Additionally, study tour participants attended a Community College Leadership Academy meeting that was held at the State House in Boston. While at this meeting, participants heard from Senator Michael Moore, who serves on the Joint Committee on Higher Education, as well as Charles Desmond, the Chairman of the Board of Higher Education.

The study tour came to a close with a workshop facilitated by Dr. Carol Stax Brown, President and Executive Director of the Community Colleges for International Development (CCID). The workshop focused on the challenges that countries face in creating community colleges and ways in which to address them in a context like Afghanistan. The 11-day study tour culminated in a debriefing session in which the Afghan faculty members created presentations to be shared with their colleagues when they return to Afghanistan. They also discussed strategies for selecting and adapting what they had learned from visiting community colleges in Massachusetts.

Palestine - Leadership and Teacher Development

CIE has been awarded a $1million sub-contract from AMIDEAST, with USAID West Bank & Gaza funding, to help with the reform of teacher education in the West Bank and Gaza.  The project, Leadership and Teacher Development, is a comprehensive education reform initiative focused on supporting the Ministry of Education's national effort in teacher development.  Pictured above is a meeting of the CIE team with staff of Al Ahliya University. The overall goal is to improve the quality of education through a comprehensive approach to leadership and teacher development, concentrating on in-service teachers in grades 5-10, principals, and supervisors, and the macro policy context.  The four major objectives of LTD are:

  • Capacity of school principals, supervisors and teachers to improve classroom instruction is enhanced
  • National cadre of high-quality teacher and leadership educators is created
  • Policies, structures and systems within key Ministry of Education departments supporting leadership and teacher development are created and harmonized
  • Pre-service teacher education in Gaza is enhanced

CIE will be responsible for implementing four components:  the Teacher Education Enhancement Program (TEEP), Teacher Performance Assessment System (TPAS), Study Tours for Leadership & Supervision, and Enhancing Pre-Service Education in Gaza.  The PI for this project is Gretchen Rossman; Co-PIs are Sharon Rallis and Joe Berger. The team will visit Palestine several times to deliver workshops to teacher educators and to collaborate with Ministry officials in refining formative teacher performance assessments.

The project also provides the opportunity to reconnect with and work with CIE graduates. Pictured at left are graduates Judith Johannes, and Ayman Khalifah with Joe Berger (on the left). [Nov '12]

2nd Extension of the Higher Education Project in Afghanistan

In September 2012, the Center for International Education (CIE) was awarded an additional one-year, $11.1-million contract by the U.S. Agency for International Development to continue its work in improving higher education in Afghanistan.  This extension adds to the previous contract and  brings the total award to just over $21 million for a period of 30 months.

This project is part of an overall program to rehabilitate and strengthen the education system throughout Afghanistan. Since 2006, CIE has worked as a partner in a consortium with the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) and education faculty who offer four-year teacher education programs in that country.  Starting in March of 2011, CIE became the prime contractor to continue implementing AID’s support for higher education in Afghanistan.

At UMass the HEP initiative is managed by a team at CIE of six people including two Principle Investigators (D. R. Evans and Joe Berger), two finance staff members(Barbara Gravin Wilbur and Naitian Wang) and two graduate Research Assistants (Hunter Gray and Hassan Aslami). Hassan is an Afghan Master’s student at CIE who previously worked for HEP as the M&E manager during the first five years of the project.  The field team of course does the real work and is composed of expatriate senior managers and a highly competent team of over 50 Afghan employees. Many of these employees have been with the project for seven years or more.

The major objectives of the one-year extension are:

  1. Provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) for increased capacity to implement the National Higher Education Strategic Plan (NHESP)
  2. Support the development of graduate education by implementing a new Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Administration and continuing support for the ongoing Master’s in Education which the project previously started.
  3. Improve University Teaching through faculty development using Professional Development Centers (PDCs) with expansion to selected additional faculties beyond the faculties of education
  4. Develop two-year Associate Degree Programs at Kabul Polytechnic University as the foundation for a future Community College System

In addition to these objectives, the project also will work to improve professional training, create linkages with US universities, improve gender policies and practice in the MoHE, and continue to support the development of Quality Assurance procedures for the universities.

HEP staff will continue to work on developing and sustaining the very successful master’s degree program in teacher education at Kabul Education University. Noteworthy is the fact that in all cohorts of the M.Ed. 50% of the students are women, and half of each cohort is from universities outside of Kabul. Three classes have graduated and the 4th and 5th cohorts are now in the program. The women graduates of the M.Ed. will make up at least half of all women teaching in faculties of education in Afghanistan.

This year’s extension to the project supports the beginning of a second Master’s Degree program in Public Policy and Administration which admitted its first class in August of 2012.  As with the M. Ed, half of the class is women. The picture on the right shows HEP's staff of the MPPA Studies Center at Kabul University, led by Dr. Wahid Omar.

Since 2006 HEP has worked with 18 higher education institutions in 17 provinces to provide faculty development opportunities especially through Professional Development Centers (PDCs). During this extension HEP will focus its efforts on 5 universities in order to develop a model process for strengthening universities.  The results of this effort will be used by AID as part of their plans for continued support for higher education in the coming years.  CIE/UMass is fortunate to have had the opportunity to play a key role in the challenge of building a national quality system of higher education for Afghanistan. [Sept '12]

Faculty Development in Foundations
CIE works with three universities in Gaza

In September of 2011 the Center for International Education began a two-year project in collaboration with Al-Azhar University in Gaza, Palestine.  Funded by the World Bank through the Palestinian Ministry of Education, the "Faculty Development in Foundations" project will assist education faculty from three universities in Gaza to improve the quality of instruction in their teacher education program.  A recent needs assessment and two-week training in Gaza confirms that these education faculty, who mostly teach large classes (100+) through a lecture-style format, want to know how to make such classes more creative, interactive and dialogue-based. They want to use technology (computers, internet, Facebook, mobile phones, course management websites) to get their students thinking critically by using more active learning techniques.  In this way, the faculty members hope that the students they teach in the university teacher education program will one day be teaching Gazan children in school using these same active teaching techniques. 

In October 2012, CIE faculty member Cristine Smith and colleague Kate Hudson welcomed Dr. Osama Hamdouna, Dr. Soliman Keshta, Dr. Yaser Salha, and Dr. Suhaib Alagha, faculty from three universities in Gaza, Palestine, for their second study tour to UMass. The study tour, which focused on learning more about engaged, student-centered teaching practices and teacher education, included the observation of several undergraduate and graduate teacher education and English courses here at UMass and a visit to the Renaissance Expeditionary Learning School in Springfield.  

There, the guests also met with UMass students who are currently enrolled in the TEACH 180 Days in the Springfield Secondary Teacher Education Pathway program, where they are preparing to do their student/practice teaching in the spring 2013.  Talking with those students helped the Palestinian faculty visitors to reflect on their own processes for teacher practica in Gaza. The guests also met with Dr. Joe Berger to learn about teacher education initiatives in the CIE's Afghanistan project, as well as meeting with School of educaton faculty with expertise in training science and math teachers.  [Oct 2012]

Extension of the Higher Education Project in Afghanistan

In February of 2011 CIE was awarded $9.9 million as prime contractor for a one year extension of the Higher Education Project (HEP) in Afghanistan.  Prior to that, CIE had been a sub-contractor for five years on the USAID-funded Higher Education Project. The extension is a bridging activity to keep essential components of HEP going while USAID prepares its strategy for support of higher education in Afghanistan in the future.  Indiana University is working as a sub-contractor during the extension.

The same CIE team that has been involved in the Higher Education Project over the past five years will continue in this new venture. The initiative is led by David R. Evans, and Joseph B. Berger, chair of the department of educational Policy, Research and Administration in the School of Education. Berger and Evans stressed that the HEP has been a team effort that includes CIE faculty, staff and graduate students. Notable for their contributions are Barbara Gravin Wilbur, fiscal administrator, and graduate student Mindy Eichhorn, who serves as the project coordinator. Nigel Brissett who just received his doctorate from CIE returns to work on the project. He is joined by Ann Creely, a new staff member who works with BGW as an accountant.

The extension continues the work with the Ministry of Higher Education and with the faculties of education at 18 universities.  There are five major components:

  • Building the capacity of the Ministry of Higher Education and developing quality control mechanisms at the university level
  • Maintaining the existing Professional Development Centers in 11 Universities and creating two new ones
  • Continuing to operate and build the sustainability of the Master’s in Education at Kabul Education University
  • Designing and preparing to start a Bachelor’s degree in Public Policy & Administration in four or five provincial Universities; Designing and preparing a Master’s in Public Policy and Administration to be offered at Kabul University
  • Continuing to upgrade the capability of faculty members to teach English, Math & Science to pre-service teachers. (This component is done by Indiana University).

HEP staff will continue to work on developing and sustaining the very successful master’s degree program in teacher education at Kabul Education University. DRE and BGW attended the graduation ceremony in Kabul for the second cohort of this program. A third cohort is in its second year of study and a fourth cohort was admitted in march 2011.  Noteworthy is the fact that in all cohorts 50% of the students are women, and half of each cohort is from universities outside of Kabul.  When all current students have finished, the program will have produced 88 faculty members with master’s degrees.  The women graduates will make up at least half of all women teaching in faculties of education in Afghanistan.

Part of the indirect benefits to CIE is the continuing enrollment of Afghan students in Masters and Doctoral programs at CIE. There are currently three Afghans in the doctoral program and several more students will join us in the Fall.

CIE and IGH at UMass begin work with Kabul Medical University

Kabul Medical University

In the middle of 2009, USAID asked the Higher Education Project (HEP) to take on an additional responsibility to strengthen The Kabul Medical University. The new component is managed by the Academy for Educational Development in partnership with three U.S. universities.  The UMass component is being led by the Center for International Education and the Institute for Global Health at UMass/Amherst.

HEP is working with Kabul Medical University (KMU) and in partnership with the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) and Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) to achieve the following objectives: (1) improve the pre-service medical training offered in Afghan public universities to better meet workforce needs, beginning with KMU; and (2) establish a cadre of doctors graduating from Afghanistan’s public universities who are able to offer high quality services to the Basic Package of Health Services  and Essential Package of Hospital Services in Afghanistan. 

Specifically, HEP and KMU will work towards achieving the following results: (1) improved coordination among stakeholders; (2) revised and updated curriculum at Kabul Medical University; (3) improved teaching methods at Kabul Medical University; (4) strengthened systems for clinical rotations; and (5) revised and rationalized admissions requirements.

The Principal Investigators is David Evans and the Co-Principal Investigators are David Buchanan and Joe Berger. They work together with a team of UMass employees in Afghanistan and here on campus to carry out the work of the project. They are shown in picture with Dr. Obaid, the Chancellor of KMU.

The UMass responsibilities are focused on two aspects:  creating a new School of Public Health at KMU with revised undergraduate course offerings, and designing a new Masters in Public Health for KMU.  We are also responsible for strengthening the pedagogy across all of KMU to support their goal of implementing a problem-based methodology which is adapted to the realities which will be faced by graduates working Afghanistan’s health services. [Dec 2009]

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Study of NFE and Skills Training Programs in East Asia

UNICEF East-Asia Pacific has recently contracted the Center for International Education to carry out a desk review of non-formal education (NFE) equivalence frameworks and non-accredited skills training programs in the East Asia - Pacific region.  Dr. Cristine Smith is leading the CIE team in its collaboration with UNICEF Regional Advisor Cliff Meyers to explore opportunities for future UNICEF resource allocation and policy support for adolescents unable to access quality post-primary education.   The Center’s work will provide critical input for the subsequent Regional Adolescent Education Strategy to be developed by the UNICEF East Asia-Pacific Regional Office in Bangkok.

The study is being done by a team of current CIE members including Peter Quamo and Kimberly Parekh on campus and Farida Fleming (not pictured) from Australia where she is interviewing staff of projects being reviewed by the study. The team, except for Farida, is pictured.

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Learning Initiatives for Rural Education - LIRE

In January 2008, CIE began a new project in Senegal and The Gambia focusing on the role of multi-grade classrooms in addressing the challenge of providing primary education in rural areas. The project is supervised by Jacqi Mosselson and Gretchen Rossman as Principal Investigators. The project is funded by a World Mbarou Gassama & Rebecca PaulsonBank Trust Fund. CIE is partnering with the National Council for Negro Women in Senegal, where Mbarou Gassama Mbaye currently serves as a Managing Director..

The LIRE Project is designed to increase access to primary schools in low-density population areas in Senegal and The Gambia.  Schools in these rural contexts are often configured as either single-teacher schools or two- or three-teacher schools that must serve all levels oftentimes without sufficient teacher resources and teacher training to successfully facilitate student learning.  Given these constraints and the pressures of increasing access through EFA policies, the LIRE project will work with multi-grade teachers, school communities, and appropriate education departments to provide teacher training in multi-grade pedagogy, curriculum adaptation, classroom management, and action research processes. 

Between July and December 2008, LIRE carried out three training workshops with teachers and inspectors from the 20 demonstration schools located in Senegal and The Gambia.  Trainers in Senegal included Mr Yaya Diatta, the In-Country Coordinator, and inspectors from the districts of the demonstration schools.  Trainers in The Gambia included Mrs. Emily Sarr, the In-Country Coordinator, and two Gambian trainers.  Each set of in-country trainers has been paired with UMass trainers. The UMass LIRE team includes Alicia Fitzpatrick, Paul Frisoli, Sarah Kahando, Rebecca Paulson and Karla Sarr .

Workshops focused on the following topics: using local resources in schools; integrating the community into the classroom; assessing student progress through continuous assessment processes; micro-teaching; classroom management and arrangement; developing self-instructional materials; development of weekly and daily multi-grade lesson plans; and adapting the curriculum for multi-grade settings.

Between training workshops, teams made monitoring and evaluation visits to the demonstration schools to assess progress in implementing multi-grade practices and to provide supportive feedback to the teachers.  In addition, in the Gambia, community sensitization visits have been made to several villages which the demonstration schools serve.  In Senegal, tutors (inspectors) from all 22 Teacher Training Colleges participated in a workshop designed to provide them with initial exposure to the principles and practices of multi-grade education; many have been trained at a theoretical level and are quite knowledgeable.  Also present at this workshop was the Director of In-Service Teacher Training at the Ministry.  The workshop was opened by representatives of the Minister: his chief Technical Advisor and his chief of Cabinet.

For the most part, teachers have shown great progress in implementing new practices in their schools.  They are sharing the materials which they have developed, building a locally-generated repertoire of new activities and practices for multi-grade settings.  Teachers in The Gambia have had little exposure to multi-grade pedagogical practices so much of the content in the workshops is new to them.  Many teachers in Senegal, on the other hand, have had some training in multi-grade principles and practices but much of this has been theoretical rather than practical.  All value the pragmatic approach taken by the LIRE trainers.

Teacher guides and training manuals for each country have been developed, pilot-tested, and modified.  These will be widely shared, upon final review by the Technical Working Groups and Advisory Committees in both countries. For a collection of pictures of various field activities over the past year click here [12-08]

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CIE Joins INEE Working Group on Education and Fragility

In February 2008, CIE was chosen to become a member of the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) Working Group on Education and Fragility, with Assistant Professor Jacqueline Mosselson as CIE's representative.  The INEE is a global open network of members working together within a humanitarian and development framework to ensure all persons the right to quality education and a safe learning environment in emergencies and post-crisis recovery.  The new Working Group is made up of practitioners, policymakers, and researchers engaged in advocacy, research, and policy development in the education sector in fragile states.  The aims of the Working Group are to work collaboratively to strengthen consensus on how to mitigate state fragility through education and ensure equitable access for all; to support the development of effective quality education programs in fragile states; and to promote the development of alternative mechanisms to support education in fragile states in the transition from humanitarian to development assistance.  It is an exciting opportunity for CIE to be involved, both in terms of the being involved in both the research and policy sides of this emerging field.

The inaugural meeting for the Working Group on Education in Fragility met in Istanbul, Turkey from 14-16 April 2008.  All representative organizations attended, including donors (e.g. USAID, DfID, The World Bank, etc.), multilateral and bilateral agencies (e.g. Save the Children, Unicef, Reach Out To Asia, etc.), and two academic institutions (CIE/UMass and the University of Ulster).  During Spring 08 a group at CIE, led by Ash Hartwell produced a revised draft of the Progressive Framework which was discussed at the meeting.

The inaugural meeting reviewed the WG’s objectives and set up a work plan for the next two years. After delineating overarching activities, such as developing content for the October 2008 Policy Roundtable and WG contributions to the 2009 Global Consultation, we split into two sub-groups.  CIE became a member of the Research Sub-Group, and Jacqi became its co-chair, along with Rebecca Winthrop of IRC.  The Research Sub-Group is tasked with strengthening the evidence base of approaches to education in fragile states, ensuring that new and existing analytical tools for addressing education and state fragility are aligned with established and emerging good practices, and to explore linkages between practitioners and researchers working on education in fragile states. 

CIE is taking the lead on producing two of the outcomes for this sub-group.  First, we will craft the synthesis paper on education and fragility, highlighting current conceptual frameworks, and clarify and differentiate between contexts of fragility and the impact of the different contexts on education.  Secondly, we are involved in mapping the existing research in the field by compiling an annotated bibliography and identifying research gaps as well as lessons learned.

Palestinian Faculty Development Program at CIE

CIE welcomes four doctoral candidates who are part of the Palestinian Faculty Development Program.  Two arrived in September 2006 and another two in Fall 2007.  The Palestinian Faculty Development Program (PFDP) was launched in October 2005 with a goal of increasing the capacity within the higher education sector in the West Bank and Gaza and addressing long-term issues of reform in teaching and learning practices. The program is funded by USAID and the Open Society Institute (OSI) and administered by AMIDEAST &OSI.

The doctoral candidates at CIE are all faculty members in Palestinian Universities:

Ayman Khalifah was a science teacher with UNRWA in Palestinian refugee camps and taught at Al Quds Open University
Ayman Khalifah

Ola Khalili worked as a math teacher in the Education Department in Birzeit University.

Ola Khalili
Kefah Barham was a part-time a lecturer in English teaching at Al-Quds Open University. 
Kefah Barham
Abdrabu Abu Alyan – taught in the department of English at the Islamic University of Gaza.
Abdrabu Abu Alyan

Since their arrival they have helped all of us at CIE develop a fuller understanding of the complex situation in Palestine, as well as providing insights into the culture and the challenges faced by higher education.

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Adult Basic Education in New England
- A Model for Other Contexts?

The Adult Transitions Longitudinal Study (ATLAS) is a $1 million, five-year social research project funded by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation and conducted by faculty and graduate students from the Center for International Education (CIE) and the Research and Evaluation Methods Program (REMP).  The study will document the educational and economic outcomes of adult basic education students who participate in the New England ABE-to-College Transition Project in 2007 and 2008.  The Transition Project serves adult basic education students such as those who have earned a GED or other high-school equivalency degree, and who wish to enter college or pursue other forms of post-secondary education.  The Project seeks to bridge the
academic gaps between a GED and college-level work through direct instruction and counseling that addresses the social barriers experienced by non-traditional adult students.

The ATLAS study will follow a group of approximately 250 Transition Project students over five years in order to better understand the factors that contribute to or stand in the way of participant success in post-secondary education.  The ultimate goal of the ATLAS study is to inform policymakers, program practitioners, students and potential funding organizations about
the educational trajectories of Transition Project participants, as well as the influence of the Transition Project on participants' postsecondary academic success, labor market gains, and family education planning.

The ATLAS research team is led by Dr. Cristine Smith from CIE and Dr. Steven Sireci from REMP, and includes faculty and graduate students from both programs.

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Global Horizons

Global Horizons
Global Horizon's primary mission is to promote a greater awareness of the world community in Massachusetts' schools K-12 by providing global and multicultural education curriculum resources and training to educators throughout the Western Massachusetts region. The project has a resource center located at the Center for International Education at Hills South/University of Massachusetts. In addition, Global Horizons is now an Associated Schools Project under UNESCO vis ASPnet/USA.

The Global Horizons project is funded by the Massachusetts' Global Education Consortium under the Massachusetts' Department of Education. The project is currently directed by Professor Jacqi Mosselson and managed by Abraham Sineta.

Welcome to Global Horizons for Spring 2008 !

* Earn 10 PDPs and a STIPEND
* Network with other global educators
* Lesson plans and teaching materials    available
* Meals and Refreshments provided


May 3, 2008 
Refugees & Immigrants: Tools and strategies for inclusive Education

In this workshop we will provide an overview of refugee flows globally, and then look at what is involved and prioritized in refugee education in the post-conflict setting. We will show a short film on learning conditions at a refugee camp in Kenya.  We will then use  an interactive approach to facilitate a discussion on the experiences of refugees and immigrants in the K-12 setting, and of the impact of this global phenomenon on the local classrooms. The goals of these activities are to lead to understanding of what inclusive education is as a discourse and how it relates more generally to intercultural education.

The workshop will tackle the practical ways of how we can adapt lesson plans to ensure that we are responding effectively to both the needs of the local and refugee/immigrant students. Simultaneously, we will discuss strategies for tapping the rich source of experience that refugees/immigrant students  offer to enrich the pedagogy of teaching history, social studies, geography, among other subject areas

In addition, the cultural diversity of teaching techniques will also be covered, for example, an exercise in which which we will involve practical peer to peer classroom interactions that engage non-immigrant and immigrant students alike in concrete exercises for the classroom.

The workshop will take place from 9am to approximately 3pm at 275 Hills South on the UMass campus (Unless otherwise noted). Parking is free in front of the University Research Center behind Hills South.

For more information or to register, please contact Abraham Sineta
at or 413-545-4178 call CIE at 413-545-0465

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Learning for Life Project

In May 2004, the Center for International Education at UMass was awarded a contract to develop basic literacy and health skills for women in Afghanistan. The project, called Learning for Life, is expected to reach more than 5,000 women, providing them with basic education equivalence with an emphasis on health. The program is funded by a $4.3 million contract from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). For this project, the CIE is a sub-contractor to Management Services for Health (MSH) under the Rural Expansion of Afghanistan Community-based Healthcare (REACH) project. CIE in turn has sub-contracted with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to carry out the implementation of the project in 12 provinces in Afghanistan in collaboration with local NGOs.

The principle goal of Learning for Life is to improve the literacy and mathematical skills of women while increasing knowledge about health related concerns. Health services cannot be delivered effectively without trained women professionals. Because of the lack of access to education, there are few women who have the basic education needed to be eligible for training in the health professions. Women who successfully complete various levels will become eligible for training as community health workers or community midwives under programs offered by the REACH project.

For the Learning for Life project, CIE is designing an innovative instructional program that enables rural women to gain literacy and numeracy skills quickly. The program will use learning centers where women will attend classes for several hours each day. Using nonformal and gender-sensitive pedagogies, local facilitators will guide the women through a series of learning milestones adapted as equivalencies from the formal primary school curriculum. The milestones will focus on literacy (listening, speaking, reading and writing), mathematics, and health sciences.

Learning Centers were opened in two provinces in April 2005, and plans are now in place to open a total of almost 400 learning centers by July 2005 in 12 provinces of Afghanistan. The majority of the learners are enrolled in the first level, equivalent to grades 1-3. Smaller numbers are will be enrolled at the second level Grades 4-6. An additional group will be in a bridging program in six provinces that prepares women to take the entrance exam for the Community Midwife Training program.

During the initial phases of the project many CIE folks have worked on the project or provided technical and logistical support. They include: Ash Hartwell and DRE, Bro Russell, the project director for the first year, Vachel Miller, Anita Anastacio, Frank McNerney, Monica Gomes, Mainus Sultan, and Barbara Gravin Wilbur. As of June 2005 Dr. Vickie Sigman began work as the new project director, bringing with her many years of management and teaching/learning experience. Lisa Deyo of MSH provides technical guidance and oversight for the project. [6-05]

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Education Policy, Planning and Finance
Institute for Malawian Educators

Grace Milner, Chikondi Maleta, Themba Chirwa, Tinkhani Msonda

For the past three years, the Center for International Education has worked with the USAID funded University Partnerships for Institutional Capacity Building (UPIC) in Education program by leading the Advanced Degree Activity (ADA) project. One function of the ADA project is to assist and support the Ministry of Education. While CIE has previously conducted several short-term training programs in Malawi, this fall, CIE is offering an intensive, four-month Policy, Planning, and Finance Institute for officers of the Ministry of Education's Planning Division.

Visiting scholars Grace Milner, Chikondi Maleta, Themba Chirwa, and Tinkhani Msonda are taking courses that directly relate to their work with the Planning Division of the Ministry of Education including: Education Finance in Developing Countries, Policy Issues in International Education, and Mixed Methods in Monitoring and Evaluation. The scholars are also participating in a special seminar where they will focus on individual projects relevant to the Planning Division that can be implemented after they return to the Ministry of Education..

In addition to taking courses and participating in a weekly seminar, the scholars will meet with local school administrators to learn about Amherst's local school system and will travel to Boston to meet with state education officials to learn about the statewide school system of Massachusetts.

The four visiting scholars join a larger group of ten Malawians who are currently pursuing degrees at the Center. An addtional twelve other Malawians have already received degrees and returned to work in Malawi. Using theories, concepts, and tools learned at CIE, this group of twenty-six Malawians will work together to strengthen Malawi's education sector in areas of Policy, Planning, and Leadership as well as Testing and Measurement.

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CIE and the Afghan University for Education

In April of 2003 CIE was awarded a grant by the Association Liaison Office of the U.S.State Department. The award supports a partnership between CIE with the School of Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the Afghan University for Education (AUE) to build local institutional capacity for rapid teacher training in basic education. In a letter to the Center for International Education, Dr. Sharif Fayez, the Minister of Higher Education, wrote, I would like to see novel, innovative, creative, and cutting edge teacher education in Afghanistan. . . . We must train a new breed of teachers in an entirely new way for a new national and global reality.

Over the past two years, CIE has held a series of five workshops at the university in Kabul to train AUE faculty in active learning methods. Nearly 35 members of the faculty--as well as ten local teachers and sevenmembers from the Ministry of Education-have participated in these workshops. Toculminate the training process, the AUE participants have organized their own local workshops on active learning methods. These participants have organized training sessions in six provinces, at locations including regional teacher-training institutes and Ministry of Education regional centers. Over 370 teachers have attended these sessions, many of whom had never received a day of training beyond their initial pre-service experience many years earlier.

The CIE-AUE partnership has achieved its goal of building capacity at AUE for rapid teacher training using active learning strategies. The number of participants and trainees involved has far exceeded the objectives in the original grant proposal. One of the significant outputs from the workshops is a new manual, designed and produced by the AUE faculty participants, for training trainers in active learning techniques. This manual will be published in Dari in August 2004 and will be made available for general use in several major teacher-training national efforts. This publication also forms the basis for further publications at AUE.

CIE and AUE are establishing a Center for Accelerated Learning at AUE to support continued project activities. The Center will house project materials, provide logistical support for workshops and other linkage activities, and provide translation services. Some of these activities are already in place.

CIE will continue working with faculty at AUE to provide opportunities for them to become directly involved with several field projects in Afghanistan. Participants are now recognized as some of the most highly trained personnel in modern pedagogical methods in the entire country. Consequently, there is growing demand for their services in a variety of Minister supported projects including several new literacy programs and the national teacher education project. (7/04)

Sudan Basic Education Program

The Center for International Education (CIE), as a member of the consortium headed by CARE, is part of this $23 million USAID-funded project, which aims to increase access to quality education in southern Sudan. The main theme of the Sudan Basic Education Program (SBEP) that forms the foundation of all program components is local capacity building. The project will work focus on professional capacity development, institutional strengthening, and participatory process for community ownership. The SBEP will span the course of five years, from 2002-2007, in four regions of the southern Sudan: Bahr el Ghazal, Eastern Equatoria, Western Equatoria, and Upper Nile.

The implementation of this project is through a consortium of non-governmental organizations, coordinated and led by CARE (visit CARE's SBEP site). Other consortium members include American Institutes for Research (AIR), and the New Sudan Council of Churches. The three major project components are to improve teacher development programs, increase the capacity of primary and secondary schools to deliver quality education, especially for girls, and to improve non-formal education for out-of-school youth and adult learners. Within the overall aims of the project, CIE has primary responsibility for professional capacity development through the institutional linkages component and for increasing life-long learning opportunities, through the non-formal education component.

Sudanese institutions participating in the linkages component include the Institute for Development, Environment and Agricultural Sciences (IDEAS), four regional teacher-training institutes (RTTIs), and theCurriculum Steering Committee. These institutes partner with institutes from the East Africa region, such as Makerere and Kyambogo Universities in Uganda and the Kenya Institute of Education, in their efforts to build a more unified and comprehensive teacher education curriculum, and common process for teacher certification. These linkages also build administrative, management, and financial capacity for the Sudanese institutions, establish partnerships between specific RTTIs and comparable Primary Teachers' Colleges (PTCs) in northern Uganda, utilize an interim, external teacher examination and certification system while concurrently developing a competency-based system to be implemented in Sudan, and develop IDEAS into a recognized tertiary institution.

The non-formal education component of SBEP project focuses on increasing life-long learning opportunities, with a focus on out-of-school youth and girls. As one aspect of this component, CIE will strengthen existing programs in accelerated learning that enable learners to gain the equivalency of several years of formal education in one year. CIE will also enhance the development of village-based schools for girls and will offer literacy courses to community members. It is anticipated that as a result of such interventions greater numbers of women will enter the teaching profession.

UMass’ involvement in SBEP enables the Center to enhance and integrate community-based, non-formal education activities with the emerging education support network at the macro-level, and enhances the Center’s stature as a leader in the fields of accelerated learning and post-conflict educational reconstruction. (6/04)

Muskie Graduate Fellows at CIE

Muskies at 2002 Holiday PartyEach year CIE welcomes a group of Muskie/Hays Fellows from the newly-independent states of the former Soviet Union. They enter a two-year masters' program which combines elements of higher education, educational administration and international education. The fellows are supported by the Muskie/Freedom Support Act Graduate Fellows program of the Bureau of Cultural and Educational Affairs of the US Department of State. The program is administered through The Open Society Institute of New York. On campus, the program is coordinated by Professor Gretchen Rossman and administered by Barbara Gravin-Wilbur. The Fellows are assigned peer advisors who facilitate their integration into the CIE and UMass communities.

Since 1998, we have had a total of 17 Fellows. Incoming students for fall 2003 are Firuza Gafurova from Uzbekistan, Volha Narbutovich from Belarus, and Larissa Savitskaya from Kazakhstan. These three young women will join the six continuing Muskies: Nino Chubinidze from Georgia, Kunduz Maksutova Some of 2002 Muskie Graduatesand Askar Mambetaliev from Kyrgystan, Olga Okhlopkova from Yakutsk (Russia), Svetlana Pivovar from St Petersburg (Russia), and Tigran Tovmasyan from Armenia.

May 2003 graduates include Irina Anjelova from Armenia and Saida Nabiyeva from Azerbaijan. The previous year (2002) witnessed the graduation of five Fellows: Elena Katzkevich (Russia), Natali Kovalyova (Russia), Natalia Oleshko (The Ukraine), Ara Rostomyan (Armenia), and Yuri Yerastov (Russia). In May 2001, four Muskies successfully completed their degrees: Baktygul Ismailova (Kyrgystan), Silva Kurtisa (Latvia), Azat Muradov (Turkmenistan), and Zinaida Rumleanscaia (Moldova).

CIE's first Muskies, arriving in fall of 1998, were Tamar Mikadze from Georgia and Irina Sahakyan from Armenia. They completed their degrees and returned to their home countries. Tamar is currently studying First two Muskie Groups and Dr. Rossmanagain in the US - at New York University.

We are delighted to have with us these dedicated educators from newly-independent states. They bring fresh, important perspectives to all their classes and brighten up Center meetings on Tuesday mornings. We look forward to continuing to host Fellows through the Muskie program in years to come.(7/03)

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Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad: Teachers to East Africa

The Global Horizons Program of the Center for International Education (CIE) in the School of Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass), in cooperation with the Outreach Program of Boston University's (BU) African Studies Center, has been awarded a Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad grant to take 12 Massachusetts public school teachers on a curriculum development study tour to Kenya and Tanzania, East Africa, in the summer of 2004. This study tour will focus on the complex interactions of Islam and Muslim societies in the context of East African society and history.

Program goals include the following:

1) To increase teachers' cognitive knowledge about Islam and Muslim societies outside of the Middle East, specifically focusing on Kenya and Tanzania - their peoples, cultures, and history; 2) To develop effective understanding and accurate perceptions of Kenya and Tanzania through teachers' first-hand experience; and 3) To expand teachers' capabilities for teaching about Islam and Muslim societies in Kenya and Tanzania by developing grade-specific curricula for use by participants in the school districts in which they teach and for dissemination more broadly throughout Massachusetts and the United States. The proposal was written by Kelly O'Brien, a current CIE Doctoral candidate, and Professor Gretchen Rossman, who will serve as Principal Investigator. Kelly will serve as one of the study tour leaders during their five weeks in Africa. Prior to departure, the group has been meeting at CIE on weekends for a series of orientation and training sessions.[6/04]

Rural Afghanistan: Training Youth to Lead
Accelerated Education for their Peers

In the rural villages of Afghanistan over 80% of girls and young women, and at least 60% of boys and young men, are illiterate. After more than 23 years of conflict, these are the "lost generation," wanting to help rebuild their country but severely limited by their lack of even a primary education. In a nation where virtually the entire education system has been destroyed, literacy and basic education for these youth will be painfully slow if traditional school models are the only option. There is a severe shortage of teachers, especially women, since few have been trained in the last twenty years-and without female teachers, most girls over 13 encounter cultural barriers to attending school.

To address this challenge, an innovative partnership of CIE with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the youth-led and youth-managed Youth and Children Development Program (YCDP) has found a way to assist-starting with rapid training of local youth who do have some level of education. With CIE training trainers and supervisors, and CRS/YCDP support, these young people will become 'Education Facilitators' in their villages. Over half will be older girls and young women who, just a few months ago, had little hope of having a 'career' or becoming an integral part of rebuilding their nation.

In September 2002 CIE trained a group of YCDP older youth and young women as trainers in participatory community mobilization and service leadership skills. Starting in October of 2002, these in turn trained some 120 mostly volunteer youth who began mobilizing local communities in two rural provinces. They will facilitate communities to meet and consult, to form Village Education Committees, identify their most pressing educational needs and to locate resources they already have to solve those needs: a building, mud and local building materials, innovative educational materials that can be made locally, and their hands. Then CRS assists with small funds, educational materials and equipment. The communities select older youth and young adults who have at least a 6th grade education, along with teachers from the area who have potential as education trainers.

From January-March 2003, CIE trainers will train some 90 youth and 18 adults as Education Facilitators and supportive Supervisor/Trainers. This will serve as a pilot model to test an approach to rapid teacher training and meeting the urgent needs for teachers in the country. The Education Facilitators will then use the Accelerated Learning materials adapted from CARE Afghanistan and other curricula that facilitate a rapid 'catch-up' for older village youth. The young Education Facilitators will learn new interactive, learner-centered teaching skills not commonly used in Afghanistan where the traditional method is rote learning. Then with certificates of training in hand, they will be ready to return to their villages, to open new windows of learning for their peers.

CIE carried out a second phase of training facilitators and trainers during the summer of 2003 (A graduation ceremony for one group is pictured at left. The trainer, Monica Gomes from CIE is second from the left in the front row). They have all now gone out to train others and run accelerated learning NFE classes in their villages. Over the months, the local trainers will supervise and continue training to assist their young protégé's to gain confidence and improve their skills. CRS ( and YCDP Afghan staff will work closely with the communities and will support the Trainers and Education Facilitators to create an effective rapid learning model.

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BRIDGE - Building Responsible Interests for Developing Girls Education

BRIDGE is a community-based educational initiative that builds a BRIDGE between newcomer Russian-speaking refugee and immigrant girls and higher education. The purpose of the partnership is to provide opportunities to American higher education for Russian-speaking high school girls, while strengthening the connection between higher education and newcomer communities. BRIDGE provides igh-school girls access to information and resources designed to enhance their access to higher education by developing their academic and economic potential for success. Specifically, the project provides mentoring, tutoring, academic counseling (all in Russian), exposure to area higher education opportunities, and arranges attendance at a college class. In addition to empowering newcomer high school girls, the project provides the opportunity for college women to develop their mentoring and leadership skills.

Malawi UPIC Advanced Degree Activity

In the summer of 2001, the Center for International Education (CIE) began a collaborative partnershipChancellor College with the University of Malawi's Chancellor College, the Malawi National Examinations Board (MANEB), and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MOEST). The USAID-funded Advanced Degree Activity (ADA) is a five-year project designed to build human resource and institutional capacity to promote the planning and leadership functions of the education sector through three activities: 1) by developing Chancellor College’s capacity to offer post-graduate degree programs in Policy, Planning & Leadership and Testing & Measurement, 2) by offering advanced degree training at UMass for 22 Malawian educators, and 3) by providing technical assistance to Chancellor College, MANEB, and the MOEST.

Chancellor College
In late August 2001, CIE welcomed its first cohort of fourteen Malawian Master's and doctoral candidates to the UMass. The group was comprised of four doctoral and ten Master's candidates. A second cohort of eight Master's candidates began their studies at UMass in August 2003, while two members of the original Master's cohort were accepted into the doctoral program. In total 24 graduate degrees will be awarded through this program - 18 Master's and 6 doctorates - with 14 of them focused on Policy, Planning & Leadership and 10 focused on Testing & Measurement.

Ministry of EducationThe curriculum for both degree programs is designed to specifically address relevant educational issues in Malawi. In addition, students split their time between UMass and Malawi - they take part in intensive courses and field research in Malawi in collaboration with CIE and various Malawian institutions before returning to UMass. These 22 exceptionally motivated professionals bring to the CIE community an extensive amount of life and work experiences that have won the respect of all those working on the project and beyond.

The 14 original participants at CIE
The second cohort (with Dr. Gonzalez in Malawi)
The first 10 Master's Graduates with the Deputy Minister of Education and
the Vice Chancellor of the Univ. of Malawi


Azerbaijan Training in Participatory Monitoring & Evaluation

Training GroupIn the summer of 2000, the Center for International Education conducted training in participatory monitoring and evaluation (PM&E) for project officers in a community mobilization program in Azerbaijan. Funded by USAID through Save the Children/Azerbaijan, this program is intended to facilitate the empowerment of communities of people displaced from their homes within Azerbaijan because of the war with Armenia. These internally-displaced persons (IDPs) live in desperate conditions, aggravated by the waning prospects of peace. Save the Children's initiative focuses on building capacity and leadership within the communities to foster their health and economic well-being. CIE was contracted to train staff (project managers and officers) in participatory evaluation methods.

TrainingImplemented over two and one half weeks, the training began with a needs assessment. The master trainers interviewed all staff to ascertain their vision for strong communities, their understanding of monitoring and evaluation processes, and their current evaluation practices. From this group, we selected four officers to become co-facilitators of the full training. By preparing Azeri co-facilitators, we created a translation support base that was important for introducing new or unfamiliar concepts to the full group. This TOT training engaged participants in a short version of the full training design and focused on specific training activities to encourage participation.

The design of the full training was participatory. The master trainers had an overall design of processes and topics, but the specific issues came from the participants. The purpose was to have participants experience a participatory process that they could then use with communities. The major goal of the first three days was to create a monitoring and evaluation chart, envisioned as a living document that would be modified as the project unfolded. The elements of the chart included: objectives, indicators, data sources, baseline measures, and benchmarks of progress.

PME ChartIDP FamilyThe master trainers designed activities to elicit from project staff objectives for the community mobilization project. Through small group work, project staff identified six. Many of these were from the contract proposal: development of community leadership; capacity to work with outside agencies for support; ability to involve all community members. Others, however, were new and creative. When these objectives were identified, the trainers facilitated the group's identification of indicators for these objectives.

As we developed important objectives for the project, the master trainers underscored how these objectives needed to respond to Save the Children's organizational goals and strategic objectives of USAID. They also, however, needed to incorporate the communities' views for their own futures. On the second day, we took field trips in groups of three to IDP communities to learn about their desires, dreams, hopes, and concerns. These ideas were then incorporated as additional objectives–ones coming directly from the communities–into the monitoring and evaluation chart.

Group PictureGoing directly to the communities to elicit their perspectives was crucial for project staff to fully understand what "participatory" means. In the past, staff had elicited substantial evaluation information from communities but this was more instrumental, serving organizational purposes. Incorporating community members' views directly into a formal instrument validated the importance of the communities to the entire process and was, in many cases, a profoundly moving experience for project staff. For example, communities articulated the importance of education for their children; project staff had not previously considered this an objective of healthy communities. Many staff came away from the community visits with renewed respect for the communities: their courage, resources, strengths, commitments, and political savvy. Staff also learned the importance of involving beneficiaries in evaluating their efforts. As one community member said, We are the best ones to evaluate what we are doing; we know it better than anyone else.

Support for Ugandan Primary Education Reform project (SUPER)

Ugandan ChildrenThe Support for Ugandan Primary Education Reform (SUPER) Project was a collaborative project between the Center for International Education (CIE), the Academy for Educational Development and Creative Associates from 1993-2000.. The SUPER project provided short- and long-term technical assistance to the Government of Uganda in three areas of policy reform for primary education: 1) professionalization of teachers, 2) enhancement of community participation in education, and 3) allocation of resources for instructional materials. Ultimately, the project's goals were to have more teachers who spent more time at school teaching effective lessons, more instructional materials in the classroom, and a better managed flow of resources to schools.

The major project activity was the development of an integrated teacher-support system called the Teacher Development and Management System (TDMS). TDMS was an innovative method to link Core Primary Teachers' Colleges (PTCs) to schools through a three-tiered network: 1) the PTC at the center; 2) "Coordinating Centers" in the catchment areas of the PTC, specially equipped to serve as mini teacher-resource centers; and 3) outreach schools linked to the Coordinating Centers. Each Coordinating Center is staffed by a Coordinating Center Tutor (CCT) who works with a cluster of about 18 outreach schools. The CCT resides at one of the schools and daily serves the teachers, head teachers, parents, school management committee and others at his/her school and other schools in the cluster. Originally designed for implementation in 10 districts, the TDMS system was gradually expanded to cover all districts and all government-aided schools (over 9000).

Ugandan TeachersA major task of the SUPER project was to reorient teacher training away from residential, pre-service training and toward in-service, school-based support. The new PTCs, which required a different internal structure and revised staffing patterns, devoted at least half of their staff time and other resources to working with teachers already in the classroom. Pre-service trainees likewise spent more time in classrooms, observing or doing supervised practice teaching.

Programs were established for: supporting girls education, out of school pupils, mobilizing parents to undertake activities that improved pupil learning, classroom instruction, revision of the primary curriculum, training outreach tutors, revision of the teacher training curriculum and for national and continuous assessment.

Renuka Pillay in UgandaThe reform has been unusually successful and has become a model for other countries. The project consolidated the reforms and integrated them into the regular Ministry of Education structures. There are many exciting innovations in TDMS which have helped to transform the way teachers are recruited, trained and supported in Uganda's primary schools.

Renuka Pillay, a doctoral candidate in CIE, was a full-time staff member of SUPER in Uganda for three years. At the end of the project she was the project coordinator with responsibility for completing the process of transferring all responsibility for SUPER to the government of Uganda.

Strengthening the Education of Girls in India

Strengthening the Education of Girls in IndiaFunded by USAID (1996-1999), Strengthening the Education of Girls in India was a participatory development project involving teachers, government officials, and parents and community members in the design of a training module for teachers to improve the education of girls in villages in India. The goal of the project was to increase girls' enrollment, attendance, promotion, and completion of primary school through new pedagogical practices in schools. The project was implemented in the state of Uttar Pradesh in northern India, the largest and one of the most poor states in the country.

Doing PARThrough action research, a core group of teacher-researchers designed and pilot tested a teacher training module that contains four major sections: gender sensitization, pedagogy, transacting the curriculum, and community mobilization. Pilot testing of the module was conducted with 150 teachers in Maharajganj block of Rae Bareilly, resulting in substantial changes in classroom structures and pedagogical practices that are more responsive to the needs of girl children in the area.

Community involvement in the design and implementation of the project resulted in several jathas -- community events that raise awareness and build commitment for girls' education. Activities associated with the jathas include holding parades through villages, painting placards and signs depicting girls in a variety of roles, forming mothers' groups, and inviting village elders and leaders to commit to girls' education.

Dr. Sahni and Dr. RossmanWhere implemented, the project had considerable impact on the attitudes and practices of primary school teachers. This success was due, in large part, to the commitment of Teachers' Union officials from the state, district, and block; their endorsement and support of the project were crucial. Because of her commitment to the education of Indian children living in villages, through this project and several others, the Project Director, Dr. Urvashi Sahni, has been awarded the prestigious International Haas Award from the University of California at Berkeley.

Guatemala: Comunidades Mayas Alfabetizadas (COMAL)

Woman and Child in COMAL trainingCOMAL is a USAID-funded collaboration between Save the Children, USA, the Center for International Education (CIE) and The Associacion de Desarrollo Juvenil Comunitario (ADEJUC). The COMAL Project is a bilingual literacy project that targets indigenous women and youth in five departments of the ZonaPaz of Guatemala: Quiche, Quetzaltenango, Totonicapan, Suchitepequez and Solola.

The COMAL Project is promoting bilingual literacy in the K'iche and Spanish languages through the methodology of Integrated Community Literacy (ICL). Integrated Community Literacy (ICL) refers to an approach of literacy learning programs that intentionally integrates community development topics and community issues into the literacy learning content, materials and activities. ICL seeks to build on the activities that community members are already engaged in or want to engage in by adding writing, reading and numeracy skills to their current activities.

COMAL teacherDuring the year 2000, COMAL is working with fifteen partner NGO's in the five departments who have been implementing projects such as micro-credit, women's communal banking, health education, small enterprise development and women's leadership training. Partner organizations receive on-going training in innovative literacy teaching methods, support and supervision from the Technical Unit and participate in workshops that help them create literacy learning materials appropriate for ICL.

COMAL StaffCIE has oversight of the entire technical component of the project. The Technical Unit of COMAL includes Rosa Zapeta who is our Community Literacy Specialist, and Tony Savdie who is our Materials Development Advisor. Joanie Cohen-Mitchell, doctoral candidate in CIE (2nd from right in photo) works as the Training and Research Coordinator and divides her time between Guatemala and Amherst.

By the end of the project in 2003, the overarching goal for COMAL is to have created, through its partner organizations, 250,000 new literates who are using their literacy and numeracy skills in the daily activities of their homes, families and their community.

CIRCLE - Center for Immigrant and Refugee Community Leadership and Empowerment

CIRCLECIRCLE is an innovative statewide partnership between newcomer communities, the University of Massachusetts and the Office of Refugees and Immigrants. The center in Amherst offers a wide range of community development programs as well as training and support services for leadership development. The overall aim is to promote collective initiatives benefitting the larger community while engendering an increased sense of responsibility, pride and cultural identity. The approaches are based on participatory action research and participatory evaluation outcomes from working with Cambodian, Vietnamese, Tibetan and Russian communities for more than five years. An integrated program has been evolved to include and link established community leaders, newcomer youth and undergraduate/graduate students at UMass.

Azerbaijan Community Mobilization and Leadership Development Training

Phase I Meeting in AzerbaijanThe Center for International Education (CIE), in collaboration with the Department of Continuing Education of Tuskegee University, Alabama conducted a Community Mobilization and Leadership Development training program in the Republic of Azerbaijan. Funded by USAID and administrated by the Academy for Educational Development office in Baku, this project seeks to prepare training personnel for strengthening community leaders in their work within refugee and IDP (internally-displaced) communities, as well as Meskhetian Turk and other minority communities in predominantly rural areas. NGOs working in Azerbaijan seek to support these communities by providing relief on the one hand, and by encouraging community-based initiatives for socio-economic advancement on the other

IDP communityThe project was implemented in three phases. In the first phase, staff from CIE and Tuskegee University conducted a two-week needs assessment in Azerbaijzn to determine the components of the curriculum of a three-week leadership and community mobilization-training program to be held in the United States (Phase II). In Phase III, selected participants conducted community leadership training programs for Azerbaijan participants under the supervision of CIE and Tuskegee training personnel.

Phase II Training at UMassAt the end of the Phase II, the participants produced training designs based on the needs assessment that was carried out in Phase I. Phase III also provided the opportunity to revise their training curriculum with the help of the training consultants.The training conducted in Azeribaijan in August, 2000 had three components: (1) a thorough needs assessment about the leadership structures as well as economic and social issues faced by refugee/IDP communities; (2) the leadership training and (3) a practice session where the trainees were expected to prepare their own training sessions to be delivered to the communities.

Participatory Training ActivitiesThe first part familiarized participants with different leadership philosophies that have emerged in different cultural contexts (Freire, Ghandi, Nyere, Booker T. Washington and Margaret Wheatley). In order to carry out a needs assessment in different refugee and IDP communities, participants developed research strategies based on the newly introduced concept of "triangulation". They also engaged in an analysis of their own community mobilization experiences, prior to determining learning needs to be addressed in upcoming training events.

The second part consisted in a participatory workshop which provided the opportunity to participants to familiarize themselves with a variety of topics such as adult learning methodologies, participatory research, conflict resolution, strategic planning, proposal writing etc. In addition, they were asked to prepare action plans of how they would convey the learning acquired during Part II to community leaders in the field.

Azeri ChildrenThe third part provided an opportunity for the trainees to facilitate training sessions for a group of participants composed of newly invited professionals and colleagues who also worked for NGOs in Azerbaijan. It was a test whether trainees were capable of presenting relevant community mobilization topics in an andragogically appropriate manner. [Updated Oct 2000}


The Literacy Support Initiative (LSI)

The Literacy Support Initiative (LSI) at CIE was established in 1986 by a group of graduate students who wanted to focus on issues related to adult literacy teaching and learning. Through the years, LSI has developed expertise implementing projects in the areas of nonformal adult literacy, family literacy, alternative supervision, research, evaluation and staff development for adult educators. For over a decade, LSI has been offering a "Summer Institute for Literacy Professionals" in Massachusetts (1988-1993 and 2000) and with sponsoring institutions in other countries (Thailand, 1994; Nepal, 1995; and 1998; El Salvador, 1994; and Namibia, 1995).

Past projects include: the development of tutor training materials for the Massachusetts Coalition for Literacy; staff development for adult educators with SABES (The Massachusetts System for Adult Basic Education Support); partnership in the Amherst public schools family literacy program facilitating parent and children's literacy activities with Cambodian families; a five-year USAID funded Literacy Linkage Project with Tribhuvan University in Nepal to strengthen literacy staff development; a participatory research project with a disabled women's leadership and literacy program in El Salvador; staff development and training in Mali and staff development, literacy materials development and research in rural Guatemala.

Building on its experiences, LSI has published a series of manuals for grassroots community development workers focusing on literacy teaching and learning.

Currently, LSI along with Save the Children and ADEJUC are implementing the COMAL project, a four-year bilingual literacy program in five departments of Guatemala and is working locally in Amherst on a family literacy program.

Even Start

Even StartThe Literacy Support Initiative (LSI) has been working in collaboration with the federally funded Amherst Even Start Family Literacy Program since 1999. This family literacy program has four components that focus on literacy and language learning skills: Adult education (GED and ESOL), Early-Childhood education, Parenting education and Parent-and-Children Together (PACT) time. LSI staffs the PACT component.

PACT time is the heart of the Amherst family literacy program. PACT time creates opportunities for parents and children to learn new skills and also learn from each other. We create opportunities for our families and our staff to learn various new and fun educational activities in a way that supports multiple literacies. These activities incorporate reading, writing and other skills like music and art that we can use in our daily lives. We encourage family members to share knowledge, skills and experiences from their lives in our activities so that we can learn from one other and we can validate our participants’ varied experiences. During PACT times, all staff members as well as the adults take part in and model simple parent-children activities that can be adapted at home. This helps reinforce the notion that parents can spend time engaging in fun, educational activities with their children at home.

Chizu at PACTWe hold 15 minute in-class PACT times on every Thursday and a one-and-a half hour PACT on Wednesday afternoons once a month in the Jones Library in Amherst, usually featuring a community member teaching the Even Start families a fun learning activity. The afternoon time allows families with school-aged children to participate in fun, informal learning activities, thus creating a true intergenerational learning program.

From an organizational point of view, PACT times helps to strengthen Even Start families’ sense of community by building non-classroom relationships within our families and with other resources in the community.

David Kinsey Dialogue Series

David Chapin KinseyThe David Kinsey Dialogue Series was established in memory of our beloved colleague, David Chapin Kinsey. David touched countless lives in the course of his 40 years as a dedicated, brilliant and outstanding educator, helping people everywhere to inquire, explore and discover the world and themselves. Since 1975, David Kinsey served as a faculty member of the School of Education in the Center for International Education at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. It is our hope that the Kinsey Dialogue Series will uphold his legacy, keeping alive his passionate vision for a better world.

Click here to link to the Kinsey Dialogue Series page.


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