Haitian Creole (“Kreyòl”) Resource Library for STEM Education

Origins
MIT linguistics professor and native Kreyòl speaker Michel DeGraff directs the MIT-Haiti Initiative, launched in 2010 in collaboration with Vijay Kumar (now associate dean of open learning), other MIT faculty and staff, and leaders in Haitian education. The main objective is to enhance STEM education in Haiti with active-learning pedagogy and technology and through the use of Kreyòl as language of instruction. In 2013, MIT-Haiti established a major agreement with the Haitian government.

The need
In 2015, Haiti’s government, through an agreement between the Ministry of Education and the Haitian Creole Academy (of which DeGraff is a founding member), announced that it would promote Kreyòl as language of instruction at all levels of the school system. This represents a major break with a tradition whereby French has long been the exclusive language of formal education—a tradition that has impeded the learning of generations of Haitian students, the vast majority of whom are fluent in Kreyòl only. However, the availability and quality of educational resources for STEM in Kreyòl has not yet caught up to the new policy and will be critical to its implementation.

How it works
The initiative’s website showcases a growing body of educational materials—particularly in STEM fields—in Kreyòl, ranging from digital learning tools to lesson plans to evaluation instruments. DeGraff and colleagues in the US and Haiti have also developed a glossary of new STEM-oriented coinages in Kreyòl to help extend the scope of the language in technical fields, and recently teamed up with Google to add these terms to the Kreyòl module of Google Translate.

Banking Reform Clearinghouse (BRiC)

Origins
BRiC was launched in summer 2017 by MIT Sloan School of Management’s Golub Center for Finance and Policy (GCFP), developed by research associate Kyle Shohfi SM ’16 and research assistant intern Chris Lange MBA ’18 under the leadership of the center’s director, Sloan Distinguished Professor of Finance Deborah Lucas, and executive director Doug Criscitello.

The need
Financial regulatory reform is a hot topic with the recent passage of the Financial CHOICE Act of 2017 in the US House of Representatives and the current Administration’s interest in amending the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (2010). GCFP created BRiC as a nonpartisan educational tool for researchers, practitioners, and the general public.

How it works
BRiC organizes information related to the current debate on banking regulations, representing viewpoints from across the regulatory reform spectrum. Users can launch an interactive search by issue area (e.g., the Volcker Rule, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) or source. Each document is linked to its original site. Currently, BRiC’s five main sources are the provisions of the Financial CHOICE Act; key recommendations from the US Department of the Treasury’s June 2017 report; statements, speeches, and research reports from the Federal Reserve; articles, research papers, blogs, videos, and policy letters from think tanks and other academic institutions; and proposals pending in Congress that address key aspects of regulatory reform.

CITE Evaluation Report Library

Origins
The Comprehensive Initiative on Technology Evaluation (CITE) was founded in 2012 by Bishwapriya Sanyal, Ford International Professor of Urban Development and Planning. Supported through 2017 by grants from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the cross-departmental initiative is now exploring structures for self-sustaining operation.

The need
One of CITE’s main goals is to provide data and analysis that will guide limited funding in the global development space toward the methods and products that work best. Its library of reports support data-driven decision making by development workers, donors, manufacturers, suppliers, and consumers themselves. Areas of focus include health (malaria rapid diagnostic tests, wheelchairs) and water and food (postharvest storage, food aid packaging, water test kits and filters).

How it works
Consumer Reports was an early partner and inspiration for product evaluation techniques. CITE has evolved its model to address three criteria for the developing nation context: suitability (does a product perform its intended purpose); scalability (can the supply chain effectively reach consumers); and sustainability (is a product used correctly, consistently, and continuously over time). Reports organize findings and recommendations by stakeholder. For example, CITE’s newest report evaluating solar-powered water pumps on the market in India pointed consumers toward two lower-cost products that outperformed more expensive counterparts, while suggesting the use of government policies—subsidizing the cost of solar equipment, paying for excess electricity production—to enable farmers’ adoption of the technology.

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