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ChildFund Netbook Project Helps Brazil’s Children

Brazil NotebooksFor the past several weeks, ChildFund team members have been working in Brazil to implement two pilot projects testing the use of netbooks at the local level as a tool for streamlining sponsorship processes. We are collaborating with NetHope and partner companies Intel and Agilix on these projects.

The first pilot is taking place in Diamantina, where we’re using netbooks to assist with collection of data on children who are sponsored and enrolled in ChildFund programs in the area. This pilot is called CPR/CSI, since we will use both the Child Progress Report and the Child Status Index — a broad measurement of a child’s well-being, e.g., health, nutrition, care — to capture data on a selected group of children.

ChildFund’s community mobilizers initially used the netbooks for a CSI training session, learning the theory behind the index and then practicing case study evaluation. Our staff developed all training materials using a software program called BrainHoney, which allows remote users to train on preloaded modules and then send assessment results or ask questions via the Internet. When the training was complete, community mobilizers began using the netbooks to efficiently collect data during visits to children’s homes.

The second pilot project is being deployed in two locations — in Vespasiano, an urban setting outside Belo Horizonte, and in Turmalina, a rural community 150 kilometers from Diamantina. In both settings, the goal is to use the netbooks to deliver educational lessons to children at a ChildFund community gathering, and to streamline sponsorship administration by electronically collecting enrollment updates and facilitating letter writing to sponsors.

Once again, we used the netbooks to first train community mobilizers and facilitators on how to plan community activities and deliver ChildFund-designed lessons to the children. The lesson plans include opportunities for children to produce art, plays and music that we will electronically scan or videotape.

Everyone on the ChildFund team is excited to test these innovative solutions with our partners in the United States and Brazil and, ultimately, to enhance children’s learning opportunities. Stay tuned. To learn more about these projects and the people involved, visit ChildFund’s blog.