Developing 21st century and socio-emotional skills among displaced youth in Colombia: EVOKE - An innovative approach to online education and skills assessment

Developing 21st century and socio-emotional skills among displaced youth in Colombia:
EVOKE - An innovative approach to online education and skills assessment

room G7-011, World Bank 'G' building, 1776 G St, NW
12:30 - 2pm; 20 April 2017 (Thursday)


Jane Treadwell
Practice Manager, Transport & ICT Global Practice, The World Bank


Barbara Freeman
Visiting Scholar, Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley

Robert Hawkins
Sr. Education Specialist, The World Bank


Hans Magnusson
Acting Director, Department of International Organisation and Thematic Support, Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) 

presentation file (pdf):
EVOKE – An innovative approach to online education and skills assessment (to be uploaded)

After more than 50 years of conflict, the peace process in Colombia is  underway and organizations are exploring ways to engage youth to help create a more peaceful future. A critical component of this process is to help youth develop skills to identify specific problems in their community, collaboratively create solutions to these problems, communicate those solutions and put them into action. More broadly, the education system is being asked to develop graduates with the '21st century' and socio-emotional skills increasingly demanded by employers. The online EVOKE Peace platform for social innovators is helping to address these challenges. 

Soacha, home to millions of working-class Colombians, many of whom were displaced by the internal armed conflict, has struggled with the poverty and alienation of their displaced population and seeks ways to empower youth to think about and start solving the challenges in their community. As a result of financial support from SIDA, through the ICT4D trust fund, and in partnership with the World Bank, local partners and  Uniminuto university have used the award-winning EVOKE initiative, an online alternative reality game that leverages ICT, game mechanics, storytelling and social networks, to provide youth with the 21st century skills needed to affect change in their communities. 

It can be difficult to evaluate the impact of the introduction of new educational technology tools, as well as projects that seek to develop 21st century skills for social change that address peace and other grand challenges, such as in areas related to e.g. clean water, sustainable energy and promoting literacy. Under the EVOKE Peace project in Colombia, an innovative approach to impact evaluation was introduced, the EVOKE Social Innovators' Framework, and the results to date have been very positive. 

The world of work is changing dramatically, and how education is designed and delivered needs to change just as dramatically. 

Come join a fascinating discussion sharing results and perspectives from this innovative initiative, which has been supported by a number of Colombian organizations, including the Uniminuto University, Ministry of ICT, Colciencias and COMFANDI, as well as international institutions such as World Vision, USAID, Arizona State University and the World Bank, and is now preparing to be scaled up for broader impact.

Additional information:

Evoke - Developing skills in youth to solve the world’s most complex problems: The social innovators’ framework
(WB Education, Technology and Innovation: SABER-ICT Technical Paper Series, no. 11)
(A first ever evaluation instrument to measure 21st century skills was created; this could be scaled up in other World Bank operations as well as in externally implemented education/youth empowerment projects – this evaluation will be the focus of a second paper in this series)

The Soacha EVOKE Peace platform
(including game mechanics, contextualized content, and skills framework used by university students and project partners)

• Examples of three youth innovations as a result of the EVOKE Peace projects: Better Solutions; Hackintosh & Metropolis

background information on EVOKE
(The World Bank’s online alternate reality game supporting social innovation among young people around the world)

about the speakers:

Barbara Freeman, Visiting Scholar, Graduate School of Education, Univ. of California, Berkeley 
Barbara Freeman EdD, MBA is the co-creator of the Social Innovators’ Framework and Chief Evaluator of the Evoke project in Colombia. She is a visiting scholar at U.C. Berkeley Graduate School of Education. Dr. Freeman has worked extensively with government and intergovernmental agencies across four continents, using her interdisciplinary experience and academic training to research and develop interventions and solutions that help address complex educational and socio-economic issues. 

Robert Hawkins, Sr. Education Specialist, The World Bank
Robert Hawkins is a Sr. Education Specialist in the World Bank working on the intersection of technology and education. Robert has over 20 years of experience at the World Bank and has worked on Education projects around the world and is currently working in the Latin America region.  Robert created the Evoke initiative while working for the World Bank Institute in South Africa and has implemented iterations of the initiative in Brazil, Mexico and Colombia. 

Hans Magnusson, Acting Assistant Director General for International Organizations and Thematic Support, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA)
Prior to his current position, Mr. Magnusson worked in SIDA as Deputy Director General for Operations, as Deputy Director General for Latin America, and Coordinating SIDA internal project on resilience and SIDA’s representation to Global Resilience Partnership. Mr. Magnusson started his professional career as Repatriation Officer for UNHCR in Guatemala, has worked for the Swedish NGO Diakonia as Regional Coordinator for Central America in El Salvador and was Counsellor and Head of Cooperation at the Swedish Embassy in Guatemala.  

Jane Treadwell, Practice Manager, Transport & ICT Global Practice, The World Bank
Jane Treadwell has enjoyed a long career in government and in consulting, spanning the areas of government transformation, service delivery and IT management in many policy portfolios. She has held senior executive roles in national and state governments in Australia. She now works for the World Bank, as the Practice Manager in Digital Services and Platforms, in the Transport and ICT Practice, having also been an adviser to other international organizations in the areas of collaborative governance, innovation, and design. She was the first CIO and Deputy CEO of Digital Business in Centrelink, pioneering a range of citizen-driven services and cross-sector collaboration; was the Government CIO of the State of Victoria; the initiator of Random Hacks of Kindness – Melbourne and in 2012, the CEO of DesignGov for the Australian Government, applying design thinking and innovative outside-in methods to wicked complex problems. The iAwards Woman of the Year in 2011, Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration of Australia and National CIO of the year in 2005 have recognized Jane’s contribution to the public sector and leadership in achieving public policy outcomes.

In late December 2013, SIDA and the World Bank established the ICT4D multidonor trust fund, to foster the use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) for Development. SIDA agreed to contribute SEK 24 million distributed in three trenches between 2014 and 2015. SIDA’s main interests were on financing activities that would have measurable impact (for instance through leveraging downstream financing), and focusing specially on leveraging ICTs to transform lives in Africa, in particular for women and girls.