The knowledge that a student’s socioeconomic status plays a huge role in their academic success has been widely accepted. When the basic needs of a person aren’t met, their education gets pushed to the side. Schools have attempted to minimize this disparity through providing food and stability, but without safe housing, access to healthcare, and even something as basic as clean water, individuals in developing countries consider education a pipe dream for many.
However, social initiatives in many developing countries have attempted to foster a change in this hierarchy of needs. By providing resources necessary to build the infrastructure from within, the hope is that more of these individuals will move beyond the basics and into the realm of further education. With the knowledge they garner through the sources and instruction given to them, entire societal reform is possible.
What Social Initiatives Drive Education?
In developing countries, everything is interrelated. Therefore, to drive academic success to its fullest potential, one must address all of the other interwoven webs that surround each student.
This means that educative social initiatives must begin with sustainable development. Only when a society is able to provide for the most basic needs of the majority of its population can its focus then turn to furthering knowledge.
Education then becomes the driving force behind change in each society’s development. To get to that level, social initiatives must address issues such as:
● Poverty in the society. Through education, students learn skills and competencies that prepare them for a role in which they can earn an income. Knowledge also teaches individuals how to lower fertility, thus reducing a population dependent on a struggling government.
● Nutritional gaps. With poor nutrition comes chronic diseases and conditions that inhibit a person from attaining a proper education. By developing social initiatives that focus on improving knowledge of nutrition and also providing food at the moment and teaching the society how to create ways to sustain themselves, people can then switch their focus from potential starvation and disease control to societal change.
● Lack of healthcare - From birth, residents of developing countries are denied access to affordable, relevant healthcare. They are frequently denied knowledge that it even exists. Social initiatives need to concentrate on providing basic first-aid materials and life-saving medications, as well as vaccines, before education becomes a top priority.
● Access to quality resources for education - Once the basic needs of nutrition, safety, and healthcare are met, the challenge then becomes providing quality resources and methods of getting the knowledge from the textbook to the student. Many times, the resources provided by these social initiatives are discarded from obsolete public school textbooks no longer in circulation. While this serves a purpose, it doesn’t make a maximum academic impact.
How Do We Know if It’s Working?
Data analyzes research that easily demonstrates how much money is donated into these countries. It breaks down where the money is spent, into categories such as clean water aqueducts, adequate housing options, and healthcare. But the impact on academic success is both qualitative and quantitative and not as easily measured.
The truth behind the scenes is that educating a village takes funding, which is frequently lacking. Social initiatives drive change, but sometimes the resources that are used to educate students is obsolete at best, irrelevant at worst. Other times, the resource material is legitimate, relevant, state of the art, and the student doesn’t consistently show up to learn.
So how do you measure statistics of academic impact when the variables are sometimes a matter of life and death as to whether a student even attends school?
Determining What Relevant Data Is
When measuring academic impact, it’s important to separate the relevant data from the important, but not data-focused, aspects. To do this, researchers focus on the factors that are consistent across the globe, such as the social value of the output and the performance of each student.
Because of the uniqueness of the situation, though, scholars understand that a different approach to relevancy is also required. By taking a holistic, integrated approach to data collection, it’s possible to weed out the variables that are mudding the results and formulate a clearer picture of the actual impact of the student’s education based on the social initiative provided.
Through this approach, other, non-academic factors are addressed. Outside influences such as the social and cultural norms of the area, the access the child has to a stable, safe home environment, and the administrative obstacles faced by the educator to provide a consistent, integrated, and relevant curricular are all accounted for.
Using Impactio to Make a Change
These social initiatives make a difference, regardless of how big or small they are. But they don’t even make it to the table until they are broken down into bite-sized, easy to digest, professional pieces.
When you’re ready to get the data you’ve collected in front of your peers or an organization driving change, you need one program that will do everything you need. Impactio seamlessly processes your information, breaks it up into text and graphs that are designed to impress and stand out, and then completes the results into PDF and web-based forms.
To make a change to those in developing countries and other academic avenues, we need you to be in the field. Take less time producing output that demonstrates your data and more time doing what you do, making a difference in the world through academics.