Applications Invited for ICT in Education Prize

Applications Invited for ICT in Education Prize

Organization: UNESCO

Apply By: 18 Dec 2021

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About the Organization

UNSCO represents the Secretary-General and leads the UN system in all political and diplomatic efforts related to the peace process, including in the Middle East Quartet. UNSCO also coordinates the humanitarian and development work of UN agencies and programmes in the occupied Palestinian territory, in support of the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian people.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres is deeply committed to peace in the Middle East. The UN works for the creation of an independent State of Palestine living side-by-side in peace with the State of Israel, and a just, lasting and comprehensive resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, in accordance with relevant UN resolutions and international law.

The first United Nations Special Coordinator was appointed and the office of UNSCO established in June 1994 following the signing of the Oslo Accord. The aim was to enhance the involvement of the United Nations during the transition process, and to strengthen UN inter-agency cooperation to respond to the needs of the Palestinian people, mobilizing financial, technical, economic and other assistance.

In 1999, UNSCO's mandate was enhanced. It became the Office of the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, as well as the Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the PLO and the Palestinian Authority. The Special Coordinator was charged with boosting United Nations development assistance in support of the peace process. Additionally the Special Coordinator represented the Secretary-General in discussions relating to the peace process with the parties and the international community.

Since 2002, the Special Coordinator has been the Secretary-General’s envoy in the Middle East Quartet, comprising the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the United States of America, the European Union and the Russian Federation. The Quartet launched the Road Map in 2003.

The integration of UN work was further strengthened in 2006, when a Deputy Special Coordinator, Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator was appointed to lead the United Nations country team, consisting of 21 UN organizations providing humanitarian and development assistance to Palestinians.

UNSCO is a field office under the auspices of the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and works in close consultation with its relevant counterparts.

Structured to respond in a rapid, effective and coordinated manner to requests by the parties, the office is mandated to assist in all issues related to the humanitarian situation and development challenges facing the Palestinian people. In addition, the office supports negotiations and the implementation of political agreements. UNSCO provides a well-recognized focal point within the United Nations system vis-à-vis the parties to the peace process, regional and international actors, and international and multilateral institutions.

About the Grant

The theme of the 2021 edition of the Prize is the use of technology to enable inclusive crisis-resilient learning systems.

The disruptive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have revealed the urgent need for governments to reimagine the future of schooling models and leverage technology to build crisis-resilient learning systems. Inclusive and crisis-resilient learning systems not only include connectivity and access to digital devices, but also the provision of age-appropriate digital content and digital skills training for teachers, students, and caregivers. In addition, the digitalization of learning systems must be guided by humanistic principles to ensure that technology protects human rights, and ensures inclusion and equity. Technology should be in the service of human interactions and capacity development.

During the pandemic, successful learning systems, built on progressive adoption of continuously upgraded technology in education have emerged, which have allowed countries to minimize the scale and scope of educational disruption during the crisis.

The 2021 edition of the Prize will award projects that have built and implemented technology-enabled public learning systems and programmes that effectively ensured the continuity and quality of learning for all. The projects must ensure the data privacy and well-being of students, teachers, and caregivers. They should also consider the adoption of greening strategies to mitigate or neutralize the negative impacts of the technological solutions to internet connectivity and digital devices in education.

Eligibility criteria

  • The project should be ongoing for at least for 1 year
  • The project and its organization should not be affiliated to UNESCO or receive any funding from UNESCO
  • The technology tools used by the project should be open and free

Selection criteria

  • Relevance to the Thematic Focus: The project is in line with the objectives of the Prize and is relevant to the specific theme of the year
  • Innovation: The project applies innovative technologies to provide affordable and inclusive tools
  • Evidence of Impact: The project should provide evidence of impact
  • Potential for Replicability and Scalability: The project should show evidence that it can be replicated in other contexts or have the potential to further optimize and scale its impact
  • Inclusion and Equity: The project should use innovative technologies to advance inclusion and equity in education, while taking into account marginalized groups, leaners in crises and emergencies contexts and learners with disabilities.

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