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Zambia’s Social Cash Transfer (SCT) Programme is implemented by the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health and has been operating in Zambia since 2003. As of December 2014, the programme reached 150,000 households across 50 districts and there are concrete plans to scale it up nation-wide in the near future. The main objective of the SCT is to reduce extreme poverty and to prevent its transmission across generations. Results from the impact evaluation carried out by FAO, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the American Institutes for Research show that the programme is having positive impacts: increased food security, improved child wellbeing, improved living conditions and increased productivity and ownership of productive assets. Turning a new leaf as small entrepreneurs – the stories of Ruth and Poniso 28-year old Ruth Simutombo is one of the beneficiaries of the Social Cash Transfer (SCT) programme. She lives with her son Patrick and her sister’s son, Sichimwa, in Ng’andu Village in the Southern Province of Kazungula, which is where the programme first started in 2003. It is late afternoon and she is slowly stirring the nshima – a dish made from maize flour and water which is the staple food in Zambia – while she recounts how being part of the transfer programme changed her life. “I used to live in dire conditions. I could not afford buying my own house so we were sharing that of my grandmother’s. Now, with the money I receive every month, I moved into a new house with both children, bought them school uniforms and can pay for their school fees. Patrick wants to become a lawyer and Sichimwa a teacher… and now I can help make those dreams into reality.” Ruth is also part of a training programme that teaches families how to save and invest money. Thanks to the new skills she learned, she was able to open a small shop in the local market that sells fruit, soft drinks and veggies. Ruth is just one of many examples of the positive impacts of cash transfers in the country. Working to reduce poverty levels and its intergenerational transfer, the Government, through the SCT, targets the labour-constrained and extremely poor households. For a household to become eligible, they must meet certain criteria which include location of residence, proportion of household members of working age that are fit to work and welfare levels. “I will always be grateful for the support I receive,” says Poniso Mondandi from Makalanguza village while she waits in line for the 140 Kwacha (equivalent to some US$27) she receives every two months. “Without the help, I wouldn’t have been able to open my small shop where I sell home-made bread buns, hats and dried vegetables. I wouldn’t have hired somebody to work on my farm or sent my grandchildren to school.” An impact evaluation of the SCT, carried out by FAO, UNICEF and the American Institutes for Research, evidenced that beneficiaries increased the amount of land dedicated to crop production by 34 percent and expenditure on agricultural inputs more than doubled. Input and cultivation of land led to an almost 50 percent increase in the value of the harvest during the rainy season of 2012, which was mainly sold on local markets. The programme impacted not only the direct beneficiaries but also the communities they live in. When beneficiaries spend the money locally, the non-beneficiary households that supply goods and services also benefit from the increased cash circulating in the community. For example, for every Kwacha transferred to beneficiaries, up to an extra .79 Kwacha in income is generated, mostly accruing to non-beneficiaries. Evidence also shows that there was an important improvement in terms of food security and an increase in the share of households owning livestock such as goats, cows and chickens. Hopes for a brighter future Over the next months and years, FAO plans to expand its research programme in the country to include: i) assessing the longer-term impacts on productive activities and labour allocation of the programme; ii) undertaking a qualitative case study on the potential contribution of social protection interventions towards decent rural employment in rural areas; and iii) generating evidence on the value-added of combined agricultural and social protection interventions in improving household resilience, food security and nutrition and reducing poverty. Combined with sound policy measures, the programme will strengthen Government capacities to better coordinate between agricultural and social protection interventions. It will also deepen policy makers’ understanding of how to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty and prove that cash transfers can help households become more productive.


Washington, D.C, May 18, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Experts from the American Institutes for Research (AIR) will present on public opinion and survey research topics at the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) 72nd annual conference, being held May 18-21, 2017, at the Sheraton New Orleans in New Orleans, Louisiana. This year’s conference, focused around the theme of “Embracing Change and Diversity in Public Opinion and Social Science Research,” will feature presentations highlighting new approaches, perspectives, and voices to perennially popular conference topics. AAPOR is the leading professional organization of public opinion and survey research professionals in the U.S. Session E3: Methodological Brief: Remind Me Again? Prompting and Reminding to Increase Response Rates Session G3: Driving Them to the Web: Strategies, Techniques and Innovations Learn more about the conference at http://www.aapor.org/Conference-Events/Annual-Meeting.aspx. About AIR Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of health, education, and workforce productivity. For more information, visit www.air.org. A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/af1628f2-c14f-4ed2-9b19-4ce52ec46609


Washington, D.C, May 18, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Experts from the American Institutes for Research (AIR) will present on public opinion and survey research topics at the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) 72nd annual conference, being held May 18-21, 2017, at the Sheraton New Orleans in New Orleans, Louisiana. This year’s conference, focused around the theme of “Embracing Change and Diversity in Public Opinion and Social Science Research,” will feature presentations highlighting new approaches, perspectives, and voices to perennially popular conference topics. AAPOR is the leading professional organization of public opinion and survey research professionals in the U.S. Session E3: Methodological Brief: Remind Me Again? Prompting and Reminding to Increase Response Rates Session G3: Driving Them to the Web: Strategies, Techniques and Innovations Learn more about the conference at http://www.aapor.org/Conference-Events/Annual-Meeting.aspx. About AIR Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of health, education, and workforce productivity. For more information, visit www.air.org. A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/af1628f2-c14f-4ed2-9b19-4ce52ec46609


Washington, D.C, May 18, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Experts from the American Institutes for Research (AIR) will present on public opinion and survey research topics at the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) 72nd annual conference, being held May 18-21, 2017, at the Sheraton New Orleans in New Orleans, Louisiana. This year’s conference, focused around the theme of “Embracing Change and Diversity in Public Opinion and Social Science Research,” will feature presentations highlighting new approaches, perspectives, and voices to perennially popular conference topics. AAPOR is the leading professional organization of public opinion and survey research professionals in the U.S. Session E3: Methodological Brief: Remind Me Again? Prompting and Reminding to Increase Response Rates Session G3: Driving Them to the Web: Strategies, Techniques and Innovations Learn more about the conference at http://www.aapor.org/Conference-Events/Annual-Meeting.aspx. About AIR Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of health, education, and workforce productivity. For more information, visit www.air.org. A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/af1628f2-c14f-4ed2-9b19-4ce52ec46609


News Article | May 9, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

FULLERTON, Calif., May 09, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Fullerton School District (FSD) today announced a pilot program encouraging students to create their own augmented reality (AR) challenges for their peers. The School District has partnered with Agents of Discovery, a leading educational technology platform that specializes in web, mobile, and AR gaming. A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/a777e138-1469-4a6f-b262-65305a8be8a5 With the explosive trend of Pokemon GO evidencing the clear capacity of mobile gaming to get young people moving, forward-thinking educators are utilizing similar technological concepts to engage kids with everything from historical sites to flora and fauna in parks. “FSD continuously works to empower students’ voice and choice, and the use of technology helps students work toward their goals,” said Superintendent, Dr. Robert Pletka. “As educators, we strive to find new resources and opportunities to reach students.” Over the last month, three 8th grade science classes at Robert C. Fisler School have used the Agents of Discovery platform to create their own “Missions” with unique geo-triggered “Challenges” specific to West Coyote Hills in north Orange County. Today, these same students will head outdoors to play the Missions their peers have created. “It’s been an amazing experience watching my students get excited about the curriculum and become species experts,” said Cynthia Rounds, 7th & 8th Grade Science Teacher, Robert C. Fisler School. “Game-based learning is incredibly effective, and I’m glad we are using it as another one of our tools to educate kids.” Studies have shown that schools that use outdoor classrooms and other nature-based experiential education activities report significant gains in students’ academic performance (American Institutes for Research, 2005). “What makes this platform ideal for schools is that it engages kids with active learning in the world around them,” said Mary Clark, CEO, Agents of Discovery. “It gives teachers a tool to easily deliver STEM curriculum in a way that’s fun for students.” About Fullerton School District The Fullerton School District is located in northern Orange County, California and serves 14,000 students in grades TK – 8th.  The Fullerton School District includes 20 schools, 15 elementary schools, two K-8th grade schools, and 2 middle schools.  The mission of the Fullerton School District is to work collaboratively with the community to provide an innovative, high-quality educational program for all students in a safe learning environment. The District motto, “Great Schools - Successful Kids” exemplifies the belief that all students will achieve academic excellence, acquire interpersonal skills, and develop technological expertise to contribute as productive citizens in a democratic society.  For more information, call 714/447-7400 or visit www.fullertonsd.org. About Agents of Discovery Agents of Discovery, winner of the 2016 Best App-Based Game at the European Conference on Game Based Learning, is an innovative educational tech platform that utilizes web, mobile, and the latest in augmented reality technologies to get kids active and learning about the world around them. Agents of Discovery provides educators with a unique way to gamify STEM curriculum, incentivizing kids to be engaged in their education. The easy-to-use Mission Maker allows educators to pull Challenges from their extensive Agency Library or to create customized content specific to their site. Educators can then easily publish Missions for kids to complete on tablets or their own smart devices. For more information, please visit www.agentsofdiscovery.com.


News Article | May 9, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

FULLERTON, Calif., May 09, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Fullerton School District (FSD) today announced a pilot program encouraging students to create their own augmented reality (AR) challenges for their peers. The School District has partnered with Agents of Discovery, a leading educational technology platform that specializes in web, mobile, and AR gaming. A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/a777e138-1469-4a6f-b262-65305a8be8a5 With the explosive trend of Pokemon GO evidencing the clear capacity of mobile gaming to get young people moving, forward-thinking educators are utilizing similar technological concepts to engage kids with everything from historical sites to flora and fauna in parks. “FSD continuously works to empower students’ voice and choice, and the use of technology helps students work toward their goals,” said Superintendent, Dr. Robert Pletka. “As educators, we strive to find new resources and opportunities to reach students.” Over the last month, three 8th grade science classes at Robert C. Fisler School have used the Agents of Discovery platform to create their own “Missions” with unique geo-triggered “Challenges” specific to West Coyote Hills in north Orange County. Today, these same students will head outdoors to play the Missions their peers have created. “It’s been an amazing experience watching my students get excited about the curriculum and become species experts,” said Cynthia Rounds, 7th & 8th Grade Science Teacher, Robert C. Fisler School. “Game-based learning is incredibly effective, and I’m glad we are using it as another one of our tools to educate kids.” Studies have shown that schools that use outdoor classrooms and other nature-based experiential education activities report significant gains in students’ academic performance (American Institutes for Research, 2005). “What makes this platform ideal for schools is that it engages kids with active learning in the world around them,” said Mary Clark, CEO, Agents of Discovery. “It gives teachers a tool to easily deliver STEM curriculum in a way that’s fun for students.” About Fullerton School District The Fullerton School District is located in northern Orange County, California and serves 14,000 students in grades TK – 8th.  The Fullerton School District includes 20 schools, 15 elementary schools, two K-8th grade schools, and 2 middle schools.  The mission of the Fullerton School District is to work collaboratively with the community to provide an innovative, high-quality educational program for all students in a safe learning environment. The District motto, “Great Schools - Successful Kids” exemplifies the belief that all students will achieve academic excellence, acquire interpersonal skills, and develop technological expertise to contribute as productive citizens in a democratic society.  For more information, call 714/447-7400 or visit www.fullertonsd.org. About Agents of Discovery Agents of Discovery, winner of the 2016 Best App-Based Game at the European Conference on Game Based Learning, is an innovative educational tech platform that utilizes web, mobile, and the latest in augmented reality technologies to get kids active and learning about the world around them. Agents of Discovery provides educators with a unique way to gamify STEM curriculum, incentivizing kids to be engaged in their education. The easy-to-use Mission Maker allows educators to pull Challenges from their extensive Agency Library or to create customized content specific to their site. Educators can then easily publish Missions for kids to complete on tablets or their own smart devices. For more information, please visit www.agentsofdiscovery.com.


News Article | May 9, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

FULLERTON, Calif., May 09, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Fullerton School District (FSD) today announced a pilot program encouraging students to create their own augmented reality (AR) challenges for their peers. The School District has partnered with Agents of Discovery, a leading educational technology platform that specializes in web, mobile, and AR gaming. A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/a777e138-1469-4a6f-b262-65305a8be8a5 With the explosive trend of Pokemon GO evidencing the clear capacity of mobile gaming to get young people moving, forward-thinking educators are utilizing similar technological concepts to engage kids with everything from historical sites to flora and fauna in parks. “FSD continuously works to empower students’ voice and choice, and the use of technology helps students work toward their goals,” said Superintendent, Dr. Robert Pletka. “As educators, we strive to find new resources and opportunities to reach students.” Over the last month, three 8th grade science classes at Robert C. Fisler School have used the Agents of Discovery platform to create their own “Missions” with unique geo-triggered “Challenges” specific to West Coyote Hills in north Orange County. Today, these same students will head outdoors to play the Missions their peers have created. “It’s been an amazing experience watching my students get excited about the curriculum and become species experts,” said Cynthia Rounds, 7th & 8th Grade Science Teacher, Robert C. Fisler School. “Game-based learning is incredibly effective, and I’m glad we are using it as another one of our tools to educate kids.” Studies have shown that schools that use outdoor classrooms and other nature-based experiential education activities report significant gains in students’ academic performance (American Institutes for Research, 2005). “What makes this platform ideal for schools is that it engages kids with active learning in the world around them,” said Mary Clark, CEO, Agents of Discovery. “It gives teachers a tool to easily deliver STEM curriculum in a way that’s fun for students.” About Fullerton School District The Fullerton School District is located in northern Orange County, California and serves 14,000 students in grades TK – 8th.  The Fullerton School District includes 20 schools, 15 elementary schools, two K-8th grade schools, and 2 middle schools.  The mission of the Fullerton School District is to work collaboratively with the community to provide an innovative, high-quality educational program for all students in a safe learning environment. The District motto, “Great Schools - Successful Kids” exemplifies the belief that all students will achieve academic excellence, acquire interpersonal skills, and develop technological expertise to contribute as productive citizens in a democratic society.  For more information, call 714/447-7400 or visit www.fullertonsd.org. About Agents of Discovery Agents of Discovery, winner of the 2016 Best App-Based Game at the European Conference on Game Based Learning, is an innovative educational tech platform that utilizes web, mobile, and the latest in augmented reality technologies to get kids active and learning about the world around them. Agents of Discovery provides educators with a unique way to gamify STEM curriculum, incentivizing kids to be engaged in their education. The easy-to-use Mission Maker allows educators to pull Challenges from their extensive Agency Library or to create customized content specific to their site. Educators can then easily publish Missions for kids to complete on tablets or their own smart devices. For more information, please visit www.agentsofdiscovery.com.


News Article | May 9, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

FULLERTON, Calif., May 09, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Fullerton School District (FSD) today announced a pilot program encouraging students to create their own augmented reality (AR) challenges for their peers. The School District has partnered with Agents of Discovery, a leading educational technology platform that specializes in web, mobile, and AR gaming. A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/a777e138-1469-4a6f-b262-65305a8be8a5 With the explosive trend of Pokemon GO evidencing the clear capacity of mobile gaming to get young people moving, forward-thinking educators are utilizing similar technological concepts to engage kids with everything from historical sites to flora and fauna in parks. “FSD continuously works to empower students’ voice and choice, and the use of technology helps students work toward their goals,” said Superintendent, Dr. Robert Pletka. “As educators, we strive to find new resources and opportunities to reach students.” Over the last month, three 8th grade science classes at Robert C. Fisler School have used the Agents of Discovery platform to create their own “Missions” with unique geo-triggered “Challenges” specific to West Coyote Hills in north Orange County. Today, these same students will head outdoors to play the Missions their peers have created. “It’s been an amazing experience watching my students get excited about the curriculum and become species experts,” said Cynthia Rounds, 7th & 8th Grade Science Teacher, Robert C. Fisler School. “Game-based learning is incredibly effective, and I’m glad we are using it as another one of our tools to educate kids.” Studies have shown that schools that use outdoor classrooms and other nature-based experiential education activities report significant gains in students’ academic performance (American Institutes for Research, 2005). “What makes this platform ideal for schools is that it engages kids with active learning in the world around them,” said Mary Clark, CEO, Agents of Discovery. “It gives teachers a tool to easily deliver STEM curriculum in a way that’s fun for students.” About Fullerton School District The Fullerton School District is located in northern Orange County, California and serves 14,000 students in grades TK – 8th.  The Fullerton School District includes 20 schools, 15 elementary schools, two K-8th grade schools, and 2 middle schools.  The mission of the Fullerton School District is to work collaboratively with the community to provide an innovative, high-quality educational program for all students in a safe learning environment. The District motto, “Great Schools - Successful Kids” exemplifies the belief that all students will achieve academic excellence, acquire interpersonal skills, and develop technological expertise to contribute as productive citizens in a democratic society.  For more information, call 714/447-7400 or visit www.fullertonsd.org. About Agents of Discovery Agents of Discovery, winner of the 2016 Best App-Based Game at the European Conference on Game Based Learning, is an innovative educational tech platform that utilizes web, mobile, and the latest in augmented reality technologies to get kids active and learning about the world around them. Agents of Discovery provides educators with a unique way to gamify STEM curriculum, incentivizing kids to be engaged in their education. The easy-to-use Mission Maker allows educators to pull Challenges from their extensive Agency Library or to create customized content specific to their site. Educators can then easily publish Missions for kids to complete on tablets or their own smart devices. For more information, please visit www.agentsofdiscovery.com.


To complement a nursing home resident survey, the team developed a survey asking family members about their experiences with nursing homes. Although a family member does not receive care directly from a nursing home, their experiences at the nursing home and with staff can contribute to understanding nursing home quality. To describe how the nursing home family member instrument was developed, refined, tested, and finalized. The team developed a draft survey using information from a literature review, 12 focus groups with family members involved in choosing a nursing home for someone, review of nursing home surveys, and expert/stakeholder input. The survey went through 2 rounds of cognitive interviews (n=54) and revisions and was fielded in 15 nursing homes. Data from the pilot survey (n=885) were subjected to psychometric analyses to evaluate the measurement properties of items as well as the reliability and validity of the resulting composites. On the basis of these analyses and input from experts, the survey was finalized. Focus groups and experts provided input into discerning important indicators of quality, although in some cases family members were not the best sources of information. Cognitive testing refined the survey and eliminated some of the proxy items. The field test analysis and input from experts eliminated 10 items. The final survey included 21 items organized into 4 composites. This survey measures family members' experiences of nursing home care, and the results contribute to the understanding of quality of care in nursing homes.


Patent
American Institutes For Research | Date: 2014-09-19

A construction and display of speech commands system that allows a user to simply read what is on an application that involves visual elements with which the user interacts, and in doing so, gives the appropriate commands to the speech recognition system for the task at hand. The construction and display of speech commands system may include a speech recognition system, a grammar builder module, and a speech enablement module. The construction and display of speech commands system may automatically generate a speech enabled application from generated speech grammar.

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