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Sophia Kan

Education Researcher (Innovations)

Sophia joined the UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti in 2021, focusing on applied research with the Let Us Learn Programme. She is a development economist interested in education, migration, and women’s economic empowerment. Most recently, as a postdoctoral researcher at the Chair for Development Economics at the University of Goettingen, she studied the effect of Universal Primary Education on educational outcomes in Uganda. Sophia has worked as a research consultant for the International Development Research Centre, Center for Global Development, and the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity; and has field experience in India, Sri Lanka, and Zambia. She holds a PhD in Economics with a focus on development economics from the University of Göttingen and a Master’s in Education - International Education Policy program from Harvard University.

Publications

Navigating Digital Learning: Insights into the Pasaporte al Aprendizaje Programme in Mexico
Publication

Navigating Digital Learning: Insights into the Pasaporte al Aprendizaje Programme in Mexico

In 2021, Mexico introduced Pasaporte al Aprendizaje, a localized version of the Learning Passport digital learning platform, to mitigate learning loss after widespread school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Between October 2021 and February 2023, almost 100,000 students utilized it for upper-secondary courses. This research brief explores the design, implementation and use of the Pasaporte al Aprendizaje to strengthen students’ literacy, mathematics and science skills. The research explores the key design and implementation steps undertaken for the successful deployment and use of the Pasaporte al Aprendizaje. In addition, analysis of data from the digital learning platform shows that students assessment scores improved as they progressed through courses, in subjects such as mathematics, Spanish, chemistry and physics. The overall goal of this research is to inform improvements in the Pasaporte al Aprendizaje and provide key lessons learned for other countries implementing national digital learning programmes.
Learning on Hold: The Toll of COVID-19 School Closures on Mozambique’s Foundational Literacy
Publication

Learning on Hold: The Toll of COVID-19 School Closures on Mozambique’s Foundational Literacy

In Mozambique, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in widespread school closures, significantly impacting students and schools across the country.
Lost time, Lost opportunities: Understanding teacher and school director attendance in Mozambique
Publication

Lost time, Lost opportunities: Understanding teacher and school director attendance in Mozambique

This report examines teacher and director absenteeism in Mozambique’s schools, using data from the ALDE. It seeks to understand factors related to the attendance of teachers and school directors in order to inform policies and practices to strengthen the primary education system in Mozambique.
On Call: Using Mobile Technologies to Measure Learning in Emergencies
Publication

On Call: Using Mobile Technologies to Measure Learning in Emergencies

How can we harness the power of mobile technologies to track learning in emergencies? Identifying ways to improve assessments in emergencies is incredibly important as there remains large gaps in understanding how children are learning in crisis settings. This report aims to provide practitioners with practical guidance and resources on using mobile technology to conduct learning assessments in emergency settings. It is the second of a two-part series on uses of mobile phones for education in emergency programmes and draws from a review of the existing literature as well as feedback from education in emergencies practitioners.