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ERIC Number: EJ1169631
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0009-4056
Innovation as a Tool to Make the First Years Count: I-Lab--An Innovation Approach to Unattended Social Needs
Goettsch, Marieke; Mateo Diaz, Mercedes; Canete, Nicolas
Childhood Education, v94 n1 p17-25 2018
One of the main objectives of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is to improve the lives of people in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region by reducing inequality. In 2008, the IDB's Division of Competitiveness, Technology and Innovation (CTI) developed the Innovation Lab (I-Lab), which falls under the umbrella of a growing set of initiatives around the globe that build on the concept of "social innovation." Social innovation is needed because conventional approaches have not solved a variety of social challenges. I-Lab is based on the premise that solutions to social problems require problem-driven approaches that involve those who will know best: the beneficiaries. IDB has been partnering with governments throughout the LAC region to implement pilot projects using their social innovation methodology to work with a variety of beneficiaries on a broad range of challenges. Some of these challenges are access to early childhood care and education (ECCE) services, social and economic inclusion of people with disabilities, access to clean water and renewable energy for rural communities, and crime and violence prevention among vulnerable youth. IDB has used web platforms, mobile devices, and other information and communication technologies to allow beneficiaries to identify and prioritize their primary unattended needs. They have also used crowdsourcing to foster a multidisciplinary approach to identifying and developing innovative solutions that are, often, of a technological nature themselves. This article demonstrates how this methodology works in practice, using the concrete experience of access to ECCE services in Paraguay. After a brief overview of early education in Paraguay, the article describes the "First Years Count" initiative implemented in Paraguay using the I-Lab approach. The next section reviews solutions identified for the problems selected by the beneficiaries during the first stages of the process. The article closes with a brief discussion about pending issues and challenges to be accounted for in future implementations and research about such social innovation initiatives.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Paraguay
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A