Luminos Webinar on Proximate Leadership: Critical in the Fight Against Learning Poverty

Luminos Webinar on Proximate Leadership: Critical in the Fight Against Learning Poverty

On April 2, 2024, the Luminos Fund convened leading education experts to discuss how to build effective global-local partnerships that improve children’s learning outcomes and strengthen the roles of proximate leaders.

The webinar is part of an ongoing series highlighting the Luminos Method–a collection of best practices that are fundamental to the success of our program and equally relevant to organizations and governments helping children achieve foundational learning worldwide.

Speakers:

Dr. Una Osili, Associate Dean for Research and International Programs, Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

Armando Ali, CEO, PAL Network

LeAnna Marr, Deputy Assistant Administrator and Acting Senior Coordinator of U.S. International Basic Education Assistance, USAID

Caitlin Baron, CEO, Luminos Fund

Watch the webinar for valuable reflections:

Local Leadership and Innovation

“The people closest to the problems are often the ones who have the most innovative and relevant solutions.”

“As funders… building in flexibility is key because, especially in this fast-changing environment, unrestricted giving has enormous advantages as far as innovation and creativity are concerned.”

Dr. Una Osili, Associate Dean for Research and International Programs, Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

Echoing Dr. Una Osili’s emphasis on the importance of proximate leadership, Luminos prioritizes working with locally rooted, non-governmental organizations (NGOs). In our experience, these community partners approach the challenges of their country’s education system as their own, serving as stewards for the children of their communities. They provide a deep and nuanced understanding of national, regional, and local contexts. 

Community Engagement and Active Participation 

“The PAL Network is a movement of unsatisfied parents, mothers, fathers, and caretakers who started going from household to household, trying to find out if children could read a very simple story… what brings us together is this idea of finding ways to make citizens as active participants in the search for solutions to improve learning outcomes for all our children.

Armando Ali, CEO, PAL Network

Just as Armando Ali describes the PAL Network’s grassroots efforts to identify solutions to improve children’s learning outcomes, the Luminos model is built on active collaboration with community partners. This spans the entire partnership experience and nearly every aspect of the program, combining international best practices with deep local expertise and creativity. In addition, Luminos works alongside our community partners to engage parents and guardians in their children’s education by inviting them inside the classroom to witness their children’s progress and organizing monthly parent engagement group meetings. 

Learn more about how Luminos works with and supports our Community Partners element of the Luminos Method!

Local Leadership in Program Design 

“The first goal is that a quarter of USAID’s funding should be directly awarded to local partners. This is a big shift for us. I did, however, want to emphasize that our localization efforts are about more than just funding, though I know that funding is incredibly important. So the second goal is that at least half of USAID programs will be locally led, which for us means they create space for local actors to exercise leadership over priority setting, activity design, implementation, and defining and measuring results.”

LeAnna Marr, Deputy Assistant Administrator and Acting Senior Coordinator of U.S. International Basic Education Assistance, USAID

In line with USAID funding and program leadership goals, Luminos could not achieve our education mission as effectively, efficiently, and joyfully without the proximate leadership of our community partners. As of 2023, Luminos has helped over a quarter of a million children learn to read, write, and do math using this model, setting children on the path to lifelong learning. 

“The challenge before us is not to bring a local voice into the tent, it is to bring the cacophony of local voices into the tent: government, teachers, parents, and the children themselves who also very much deserve a voice in their education.”

Caitlin Baron, CEO, Luminos Fund

To learn more about how Luminos works with and supports our community-based partners, download the Community Partners element.

Explore additional elements of the Luminos Method here.

To view the webinar on LinkedIn and read the commentary from event participants, click here.

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The Luminos Fund is a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt charitable organization registered in the United States (EIN 36-4817073).

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