SUMMA, the Research and Innovation Laboratory in Education for Latin America and the Caribbean, and ProFuturo, the digital education program promoted by Fundación Telefónica and the La Caixa Foundation, have established a strategic partnership with the aim of improving knowledge production and promoting the dissemination of innovations in the educational digital transformation field in the region.
Two lines of work: evaluation and knowledge production and dissemination
The cooperation between the two organisations is based on two lines of work. Firstly, strategic evaluation to develop the knowledge production of the ProFuturo programme. This approach will be able to identify any room for improvement and reinforce digital educational practices in vulnerable environments in Latin America.
Secondly, the collaboration focuses on the dissemination of innovations, pieces of knowledge and evidence in the field of the digital transformation in education. Content and stories about innovative initiatives and practices in the region are being published via the ProFuturo Observatory. These regular online publications highlight the work of different players and organisations that promote digital inclusion solutions in vulnerable educational environments. Webinars and interviews related to educational innovation will also be conducted.
Valentina Ríos, the Head of Strategy and Evaluation at ProFuturo, highlighted the need for this cooperation “in a challenging world, one in which collective well-being depends on all children receiving education, support and the opportunities they need to develop skills enabling them to create a better future for everyone. This collaboration with SUMMA forms part of our shared interest in knowledge generation and incentivising a critical reflection that calls our educational community to action”.
As for Dante Castillo, SUMMA’s director of innovative policies and practices, he underlined the importance of digital inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean. “Our students’ universal access to devices and securing sufficient levels of connectivity are basic conditions for children and young people in the region when it comes to improving their learning opportunities. Effectively developing digital skills among the teachers and students to enrich the educational processes remains unfinished work on the region’s educational agendas. This collaboration with ProFuturo seeks to help to identify and recognise how the different actors in the region are promoting this digital transformation agenda”.
Collaboration at a key moment for the post-Covid recovery
The cooperation between SUMMA and ProFuturo has come at a crucial time, when educational innovation is becoming even more relevant in the post-Covid recovery. It also represents an important step in the process of fostering innovation in education and closing the education gap in Latin America and the Caribbean. Despite the fact that the educational systems have advanced towards the promotion and use of technological and digital tools in the region, it appears that they haven’t been effectively integrated into the teaching and learning process. It’s therefore a priority to move forward in building inclusion systems of higher quality, particularly for students in the most vulnerable sectors of the population.
SUMMA’s collaboration is led by the LAB-ED Educational Innovations Laboratory, whose purpose is to identify innovative solutions to address the main educational gaps and shape innovative processes designed to guarantee the right to quality education and reduce educational inequalities.
At ProFuturo, the strategy and evaluation department and the ProFuturo Observatory will be tasked with implementing the collaboration through their research and analysis.
Both organisations share the view that access to quality education in complex environments is essential in reducing the poverty and inequality in the region. Through this strategic cooperation they hope to promote knowledge generation and innovative practices and enhance the educational digital transformation in Latin America.