|Overview : |
The Second Chance Education and Vocational Learning (SCE) Programme (2018–2021) aims to develop context-specific, affordable and scalable learning and employment pathways for empowering the world’s most disadvantaged women and young women. The programme is being piloted in Cameroon, Jordan, India, Mexico, Chile and Australia and aims to directly benefit 67,000 women and young women from indigenous, refugee, displaced, and low-income groups.
These marginalized women and young women face a combination of key barriers and vulnerabilities that prevent access to relevant educational programmes, including geographic and cultural barriers; gender-based violence, low income, early marriage and childhood pregnancy, conflict and displacement, and poverty and migration.
In terms of content curation and development, the first phase was completed during the first year of the programme (June 2018–June 2019) when the SCE global and country teams worked with the partner Learning Equality to undertake a survey of existing open source content to complement initial content mapping completed by country teams. As expected, available content suitable for the SCE target group is limited. As a result of the initial curation, 11 content sources (a group of courses and resources from one website/content partner) have been selected and uploaded to Kolibri, a learning platform developed and managed by Learning Equality that provides offline access to learning resources.
As examples of the content curated in this initial phase, resources include entrepreneurship courses from the HP Foundation called HP LIFE, maths and science video lessons from Khan Academy, and videos on practical skills from Sikana. Content is available in English, Spanish, French, Hindi, and Arabic. It falls into four broad categories: life skills (‘learning to be’); foundational skills (‘learning to learn’); vocational skills (‘learning to earn’); and leadership skills (‘learning to lead’).
The second phase involves the development of digital content by implementing partners at the local level. So far:
- in Mexico, 13 courses have been designed based on the training needs identified in each location. Topics include digital skills, business and financial literacy, reading skills, study and learning methods, family well-being, life planning with a gender perspective, and leadership, communication, and networking skills.
- in Cameroon, resources on entrepreneurship, financial management, ICT, agriculture (beans, cassava, maize), poultry, and tailoring have been developed by the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and the Family (MINPROFF).
- in Australia, the partner in Melbourne has created five courses in different handicraft skills and life skills, with a further 70 course topics planned.
The third phase, running until June 2021, will focus on the adaptation of local partner content (where available) and the development of new content. For this, UNW will engage a learning institution as a content development partner to pilot an approach to course development by producing and supporting the production of a selection of high-quality targeted courses for the SCE programme, building on the local partner content and high priority gaps in content.
The need for new content
Country programmes are testing the resources that have been collated thus far, while UNWOMEN Geneva continues negotiations on the use of other relevant, multi-lingual, open content. However, the need for more contextualised content is already clear. Much of the globally sourced content is unsuitable for SCE beneficiaries as it does not relate to their cultural, social or economic contexts, and is targeted at people with higher educational attainment. The SCE programme requires contextualised learning material that directly meets the needs of the women it serves.
UNWOMEN therefore seeks to partner with an institution, university and non-profit organization with expertise in developing learning content for this target audience across the six pilot countries. Given that this is a pilot programme, the primary aim of this phase (until June 2021) is not to create as many courses as possible but to develop and test out the approach to course development and content format, in preparation for scale-up post-June 2021.