The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC works with people forced to flee from war, conflict and disaster and the host communities which support them, as well as those who remain within their homes and communities. At work today in over 40 countries and 25 U.S. cities, we improve outcomes in the areas of health, safety, economic wellbeing, education, and power.
PlayMatters (2020-2025) is an education initiative funded through a $100 million grant from the LEGO Foundation. The program reimagines childhood for 800,000+ refugee and host-community children across Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Uganda – children whose education and social development has been affected by displacement and trauma. Building on children’s amazing resilience and a growing evidence base supporting Learning through Play methodologies, PlayMatters cultivates holistic learning for children ages 3-12+. PlayMatters is led by the International Rescue Committee and includes Plan International, War Child Holland, Innovations for Poverty Action, the Behavioral Insights Team in partnership with the LEGO Foundation.
The PlayMatters consortium has committed to building the evidence base through rigorous research across the program cycle. The Research Agenda is structured around a single overarching research question focuses on children’s holistic learning outcomes and resilience and under this question are four LtP topics that mirror the four thematic pillars of the Play Matters project: Educators, Parents and other Caregivers, Communities, and Education Systems. In addition, the cross-cutting themes of gender, inclusion and protection will be integrated into the majority of studies. The four topics will be studied in different refugee and host community settings in the three countries in which the PlayMatters project is being implemented: Uganda, Tanzania, and Ethiopia. Not all studies will take place in every country, although some studies will be cross-national.