Focusing on girls’ education in the time of COVID 

In the last year, school closures have affected approximately 90 percent of children worldwide, with 1.5 billion students out of school at the peak of the pandemic, according to the United Nations Development Program.

We are feeling the effects of those closures now, and will continue to feel them for years to come. When schools cannot reopen after a natural hazard, there are long-term impacts on students’ learning. For instance, in Pakistan children in areas affected by the 2005 earthquake experienced nearly three months of school closures. Four years later, those students remained one-and-a-half to two years behind. The impact of school closures affects some students more than others, with younger students being most affected. Additionally those who lived closer to the fault line scored significantly worse on tests — unless their mother had completed primary school education. Children whose mothers completed primary education did not experience that gap.

With the Covid-19 pandemic, school closures can create a multiplier effect on learning losses for millions of children. Girls and young women are particularly vulnerable — to early pregnancy, child marriage and gender-based violence.

What can we do to help children, especially girls, develop key capabilities so that they are able to thrive in these complex times? We can work together and share what we know, and what we learn.

Technovation will convene experts, leaders, educators and researchers to share their work, hard-earned findings, mistakes, secret tips and strategies so that we can better support children develop the skills they need to thrive now, and in a post-COVID world. We will continue to run the Global Education Taskforce and are excited to introduce a new livestream conversation series with Taskforce members.

Join us every Friday for short, informal, Field Notes conversations on our Twitch Channel.
We usually start around 8AM PT — wondering what time that is for you? Use this time zone converter to find out!

Catch up on previous Field Notes episodes: 


Upcoming Field Notes Conversations:


February 24, 7:30am PST

Amir Banifatemi, Chief Innovation and Growth Officer at XPRIZE

Amir Banifatemi is the Chief Innovation and Growth Officer at XPRIZE. He is also a co-founder of AI Commons, and co-founder and curator of the AI for Good Global Summit with the ITU and UN Agencies. He has managed two venture capital funds and continues to support and advise companies and initiatives with a focus on exponential technologies and transformation of humanity and society. He advocates democratic access to innovation for all. Mr. Banifatemi holds a Master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Technology of Compiègne, a Doctorate in System Design and Cognitive Sciences from the University Paris Descartes, as well as an MBA from HEC Paris.

Join Us

March 5, 8am PST

Teresa Drew, Director of STEM Next Opportunity Fund

Teresa is the Deputy Director of STEM Next Opportunity Fund. In this role, Teresa oversees and manages complex multi-stakeholder projects that build systems of support for STEM learning opportunities in all 50 states. She also manages STEM Next’s grantmaking portfolio.

Teresa is currently directing the Million Girls Moonshot, a transformative nationwide initiative from STEM Next that will re-imagine who can engineer, who can build and who can invent. This project, which applies her expertise in and personal passion for gender equity and prosperity, aims to close the gender gap in STEM over the next five years by providing opportunities for 1 million girls to become innovators and inventors.


March 8th, 8am PST

Alicia Hammond, Gender Specialist at the World Bank Group

It's 2021 — why are women still underpaid? Alicia Hammond is a Gender Specialist at the World Bank Group, where she leads on innovation and technology for the Gender Group. She conducts research on women and girls in STEM and advises on the design of innovative projects focused on enhancing digital skills and facilitating women’s economic opportunities through technology. She has worked on research and analysis across a range of gender equality issues, including human endowments, economic opportunities, and voice and agency. Alicia joined the WBG from the Women and Public Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School. She has also worked with UNICEF, UN Foundation, and UN Women on many gender equality topics, such as education, innovation, and data. Prior to that, she worked on social development, gender equality, and human rights programs in her home country, Jamaica.

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Previous Field Notes Speakers

Shivani Nayyar, co-author of the UN Human Development Reports

Shivani joined us on January 28, 2021 to discuss How to improve learning outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic based on the UN Human Development Reports from 2020.

Replay the conversation

Justine Sass, Chief of the Section of Education for Inclusion and Gender Equality at UNESCO

Justine joined us on February 8, to discuss How the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting girls' education and what we need to do in the years ahead to keep girls learning.

Replay the conversation

Gilberto Duarte, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

Gilberto joined us on February 19 to discuss Education and Justice.

Replay the conversation

About Technovation

Technovation is a technology education nonprofit with a mission to empower vulnerable groups (especially girls and women) to create technology-based solutions to problems in their communities. Over the past 14 years, Technovation has engaged ~50,000 mentors and educators to support more than 250,000 participants across 100+ countries, to tackle pressing problems ranging from climate change to substance abuse, and most recently, COVID-19. Students and adults learn about technology entrepreneurship through a 12-week curriculum. Learners are equipped with 21st century skills of problem identification, complex systems thinking and real-world problem solving.