About ALVAINA

Welcome

Thank you for visiting ALVAINA. ALVAINA is an acronym for A Leadership & Learning Venture Accessible Internationally and Nationally for All. 

The Problem

We are concerned about communities affected by problems rooted in social polarization and economic inequality. We believe education is an ingredient that can be used to address these problems through school, family, and community participation and cross-sectoral collaboration. We work with youths as catalysts for change. Thus...

Our Mission

...our mission is to bridge the socio-economic development gap through research-based education programs, advocacy, and technical assistance.

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We are a think-and-do tank. We identify unusual, yet critical problems within and across communities. We think of access and equity issues without compromise. We do not arrive at a solution until we have thought through its sustainability plan. To achieve sustainability, community participation is inevitable. Therefore, we approach and solve problems in ways that will make a lasting impact,—community engagement.


ALVAINA started as an independent study project during the founder's graduate studies. Since its inception, ALVAINA’s board members have been women. This has been a conscious decision to join the global effort in closing the gender equity gap by having more women involved in decision-making processes.


Similarly, we make a conscious effort to involve youths as volunteers or project staff members. We believe this is important in ameliorating the problem of youth un-/under-employment.  

Values

 

Youth: ALVAINA is committed to bringing about socioeconomic change by supporting youth participation at all levels of development. 


Access: ALVAINA stands for A Leadership & Learning Venture Accessible Internationally and Nationally for All. Thus, issues around barriers to access are at the core of our thinking. 

Instruments

– Maintaining a support network with local and international Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs) for community mobilization and participatory planning.

 

– Building partnerships with higher education institutions to harness their hard & soft infrastructural capacities for research and implementation.

Our Vision

To bridge the gap of social polarization and economic inequality amongst local, national and international communities  

Our Framework

Community Engagement | "Demand-side" Education Accountability


ALVAINA's conceptual framework promotes youth-led and citizen-led data collection on schools. We collect both qualitative and quantitative data from community members on their success stories, needs/barriers and solutions to accessing a quality PreK-12 schooling experience and share the findings with relevant stakeholders. The community includes every person or entity in-/directly affected by the schooling process (e.g. the general public, concerned residents/parents, students, PreK-12 school/higher education staff members, community/youth leaders, nonprofits/funding partners, government staff and elected officials). These data insights support school leaders and government in making evidence-based decisions and sharing effective practices or resources. 


LEADERSHIP: 

Youths disseminate data findings among stakeholders (e.g. principals, district leaders, and community members) for the purpose of school improvement, resource allocation, and mutual accountability.  They organize convenings to hold conversations on status, progress, and plans in response to the research findings at our Quarterly Principals Roundtable and Bi-annual Public Forum events. 


LEARNING:

Youths collect school-level data through multiple channels. Quantitative data is collected through surveys and social media while qualitative data is collected through podcasts in the form of focus groups and interviews. We collect data on community members' success stories, needs/barriers and solutions to accessing a quality PreK-12 schooling experience.


ALVAINA is a conceptual framework that other organizations or districts can adopt. Please contact us to collaborate and scale.


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YOUTHS AS CATALYSTS FOR CHANGE

Our Supporters | Partners | Collaborators

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Frequently Asked Questions

Will this approach make schools look bad?

No. ALVAINA's framework aims to enhance evidence-based decision making and resource sharing for schools. We have consulted with school leaders and they are excited about this opportunity! It is also worth noting that ALVAINA's logic framework includes MySchoolDC - the Districtwide school quality rating as an indicator. We are not duplicating efforts but introducing a unique approach to school reform that connects with our ecosystem.

Why are we talking about accountability?

Accountability is a simple term to make sure all stakeholders (as a community) take responsibility for school and public education reform. Demand-side just means that it is heavily driven by the community.  


Our biannual forum creates the opportunity for all stakeholders to come together to discuss the purpose of schooling and the progress made on school improvement and systemic education reform.  

Is ALVAINA's framework replicable or scalable?

Yes. ALVAINA is a pioneer in this approach to demand-side education accountability. We intend to start with a pilot in DC and expand to other schools and districts. 

Our Team

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REBECCA 'TOYIN DOHERTY 

Founder | Director


EdM, Interdisciplinary Studies, Harvard University • MA, International Education, The George Washington University • BA, English Howard University  

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ELIZABETH SHANG

Director


EdM, Global Competence & Curriculum Development, Harvard University • BA, Theater, Middlebury College 

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EFE OSAGIE-ODELEYE

Director


MPA, Government Administration, University of Pennsylvania • BA, Journalism, Rutgers University 

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OREOLUWA ABIMBOLA

Research Associate


Graduate Student, Public Administration, The George Washington University • BA, Communication Studies, Texas Christian University 

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SHANNON LOONEY

Social Media Coordinator


Certificate in Media & Marketing, Duke University • BA, Communication & Media Studies, Ohio State University 

Stay Connected

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