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At the IDB, we believe that together we can go farther. Our partnership network is making positive differences in Latin America and the Caribbean every day, and this blog is our channel for telling that story. Stay tuned for literature on partnership perspectives, stories from the field, changing trends, outlooks for development and the region, information on ways and opportunities to partner, and more. Thanks for stopping by.

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Proving Woody Allen Wrong: When Showing Up Is Not Enough

By and - Sep 11 2014

Woody Allen“Get up, dress up, show up,” reads the poster on my gym’s locker room wall. The line gets me thinking. So many slogans tout that “showing up” is half the battle. Woody Allen quantifies this (based on what kind of research, I can’t be sure) in a line sported on countless t-shirts, coffee mugs, and probably other locker room posters: “eighty percent of success is showing up.”  Hilary Clinton nuances a bit, clarifying that “showing up is not all of life – but it counts for a lot.” Part of me likes this concept, that even when you’re having a terrible week showing up is a small victory, a few steps scaled on the ladder to your personal definition of success. Part of me, however, disagrees. How can showing up be valuable when your time spent is not?

Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) may be the biggest challenge to Mr. Allen’s belief in the power of “showing up.” According to UNESCO data, 95% of children across the region begin primary education at the appropriate age, and 75% have access to secondary education. The benefits they reap from attendance, however, are not as clear, as the quality of regional education continues to generate concern despite improved attendance. These kids are showing up, sure, but to what end?

To ensure showing up pays off for LAC’s students, a new generation of professionals is leading the education reforms necessary to improving the quality of education region-wide. We believe new leaders in education can improve quality, transforming student learning through public policy recommendations, action-based leadership, and pushing for change through strategies including parent education programs, tutoring, and more. Laboring under the belief that innovation in education is required to improve structures, policies and programs in LAC’s educational scene, these leaders promote the systemic transformation needed to address challenges and inequities in the region’s quality of education.

The IDB wants to unite these leaders to improve the capacity of national and sub-national education administrative units. They will work with these units to implement quality-focused education policies, leveraging existing knowledge in the region to address human resource capacity needs in the education sector.

We want others to join us!

We are already creating synergies between countries and uniting LAC’s private sector to promote educational change through Reduca, a network of private sector and civil society organizations working on education. However, we can still do more. We can unite, expand and strengthen stakeholder leadership capabilities, identify new leaders for educational improvement, promote social entrepreneurship, and encourage visionaries looking to engage the public policy sphere that has been captured by vested interests for too long.

For this initiative to truly get off the ground and pioneer programs that can make a tangible difference in LAC’s education, we need the support and expertise of partners like you. Together, we can ensure the region’s education leaders are creative, passionate, motivated, and committed to helping students transform their lives through education.

LAC’s education system proves Woody Allen wrong. Showing up is not enough. We need to make the most of student’s time and give them an incentive to show up every day, knowing that they will be better because of it. The region can improve the quality of education. Let’s get up, dress up, show up, and change up education in Latin America and the Caribbean for good.

Click to learn more about how you can work with us on this initiative.

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