Brazilian Innovation Cluster

Led by the iLab Primeira Infância, a Núcleo Ciência Pela Infância initiative

In 2015, Frontiers of Innovation and Núcleo Ciência Pela Infância (NCPI) jointly launched the iLab, a Brazilian social innovation laboratory, to design and test strategies with the potential to transform the lives of children facing adversity. Like other FOI innovation clusters, this initiative aims to advance an innovation agenda within the local ECD field and leverage the latest science to develop innovative program models with the potential for impact at scale in Brazil.

Teams from the new cohort of the Brazilian Innovation Cluster in a workshop
The Brazilian Innovation Cluster’s new cohort of teams came together to learn and apply the IDEAS Impact Framework to their programs.

Since its inception, iLab has supported two cohorts of Brazilian innovators, bringing together practitioners, researchers, and other professionals from the social, business, and government sectors to form multidisciplinary teams, leveraging the diverse experiences of each member to co-create novel solutions based in both the latest science and the lived experiences of the communities with which they work. Two teams from the initial cohort are now implementing later-stage studies with a larger sample. In 2019, the iLab launched a new cohort of projects in its continued effort to develop new innovative solutions for the millions of children facing adversity in Brazil.

Current Projects

The team from ADOPTION: The Beginning of New Bonds poses together, smiling
Team members from Adoption: The Beginning of New Bonds, with Center staff member Evan Roth-Howe (far right).

Program Description: The online program entails a psycho-educative intervention for families that have adopted children from zero to six years within the past year. Video modules related to early childhood development and adoption-relevant themes (such as managing adoption expectations and challenges) are sent to families, who also partake in videoconference therapy sessions with a psychologist specialized in adoption
Location: Rio Grande do Sul and São Paulo, Brazil
Primary Organization: Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Project Type: Pilot

The Bot.Dom project team
The Bot.Dom project team, with iLab staff member Christina Kirby (second from left).

Program Description: The program provides educational information and materials for preschool educators to support play-based learning and early language development, via an interactive chatbot (WhatsApp and Web), in accordance with Brazil’s National Curricula Standards (BNCC – Base Nacional Comum Curricular) and the National Literacy Plan (PNA). Teachers will be able to converse and pose questions to the chatbot, as well as access an archive of curated content, relevant to their needs, within the interactive and engaging platform.
Location: Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil
Primary Organization: Domlexia
Project Type: Pilot

Program Description: An intervention committed to reducing sources of toxic stress arising from racism and discriminatory practices within early childhood education settings, negatively impacting in particular black children in Brazil. The program involves a training module for daycare, preschool and kindergarten teachers, available through a cell phone application that provides content and concepts about race relations, with practical suggestions for their work with children in everyday life (representativeness, games, stories, etc.).
Location: São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
Primary Organization: Centro de Estudos das Relações de Trabalho e Desigualdades (Center on the Study and Relationship of Work and Inequality)
Project Type: Pilot

Program Description: The home-visiting program aims to guide mothers with infants (1 to 4 months) in using maternal singing as part of their daily care routines using positive feedback strategies, in attempts to strengthen responsive behaviors during mother-baby interactions. The interventions will be performed by a multidisciplinary team during home visits, utilizing the musical repertoire of mothers based on maternal episodic and positive childhood memories.
Location: Bujari, Acre, Brazil
Primary Organization: Federal University of Acre
Project Type: Pilot

A mother and daughter play together as part of Programa BEM.
A mother and daughter play together as part of Programa BEM.

Program Description: A play-focused online program designed to develop adult capabilities to interact with children in support of healthy child development. Caregivers receive video classes, and text and audio messages via WhatsApp to demonstrate opportunities to integrate play into daily routines, using resources available. The program is designed to be a low-cost, scalable resource. (Read more about Programa BEM.)
Location: São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
Primary Organization: Tempojunto
Project Type: Later-Stage Study

Program Description: A universal remote video coaching parenting program to strengthen positive mother-child interactions and to enhance mothers’ awareness about the power of positive interactions during play situations in the home setting. The program utilizes personalized videos sent via WhatsApp that combine animation with clips of the mother and child engaging in a positive play dynamic.
Location: Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil
Primary Organization: Ribeirão Preto Medical School of the University of São Paulo (FMRP-USP)
Project Type: Later-Stage Study

Completed Projects

These projects have received consultation in the IDEAS Impact Framework and/or financial support from NCPI.

A mother and daughter play with a home visitor from Forming Bonds in Adversity.
A mother and daughter play with a home visitor from Forming Bonds in Adversity.

Program Description: A program aimed at improving the quality of bonding and affection between fathers and mothers up to 25 years of age and their children (from zero to three years old) by combining home visits and counseling, using videos and text messages via cellphone and illustrative leaflets. The program is based on positive reinforcement of parenting from video footage of the interaction between mothers and children during visits. The images are captured by a mediator who offers immediate feedback on the scenes filmed, focusing on positive interactions. The participants are from environments with many adversities. (Read more about Forming Bonds in Adversity.)
Organization: Instituto Primeira Infância (IPREDE)
Location: Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil
Project Type: Pilot

Program Description: The Mosaico FACIL Project (FACIL stands for Family, Affection, Coexistence, Childhood, and Playfulness – in Portuguese) promotes home visits to enhance the parenting skills of families in rural areas. The program, which was implemented in Aranaú, Ceará, with families with children under six years of age, uses podcasts and videos as instruments of guidance and reinforcement regarding hygiene care and prevention of domestic accidents and domestic violence.
Organization: Instituto da Infância (IFAN)
Location: Aranaú, Ceará, Brazil
Project Type: Pilot

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