Mexican Innovation Cluster

Led by the Aceleradora de Innovación para la Primera Infancia, an initiative of Universidad Regiomontana

In 2016, the Center partnered with Universidad Regiomontana to launch the Aceleradora de Innovación para la Primera Infancia (Early Childhood Innovation Accelerator), an FOI innovation lab in Monterrey, Mexico. The “Aceleradora” supports a variety of innovative projects across Mexico, each with the potential to achieve breakthrough impacts among children and families facing adversity. Like other FOI innovation clusters, the Aceleradora employs the IDEAS Impact Framework to build capacity among members to design, test, and refine promising, science-based intervention strategies. By bringing together practitioners, program developers, policymakers, and doctors, among other specialties, the cluster is able to leverage diverse experiences and perspectives to drive an ideation process rooted in both 21st century science and the lived experiences of the communities in which they work.

Teams from the new cohort of the Mexico Innovation Cluster in a workshop
The Mexico Innovation Cluster’s new cohort of teams came together in Monterrey in December 2019 to learn and apply the IDEAS Impact Framework to their programs.

The Aceleradora launched its second cohort of projects in 2020. The cohort model has not only helped individual projects advance their own work but has also facilitated shared learning within and beyond the cluster’s portfolio, increasing the pace of science-informed innovation within the national ECD field and enhancing the initiative’s impact across the country. This movement has engaged a diverse group of leaders across sectors, communities, and professions who are eager to work together in the pursuit of transformative change.

Current Projects

DAD, GUESS WHAT I LEARNED TODAY (PAPÁ, QUIERO CONTARTE QUE HOY APRENDI) 
Program Description: With high rates of migratory work among men in these communities, this program strives to help families maintain connections while living apart. The program combines weekly ECD workshops for caregivers with weekly, playful web calls with children and their migratory parent or caregiver guided by a trained educator.
Geographic Location: Chietla & Santa Cruz Cuautomatitla, Puebla
Context: Home or Center
Host Organization: Fundación Juconi

Teams from the new cohort of the Brazilian Innovation Cluster in a workshop
A mother and baby engage in responsive interactions.

MY PARENTS ARE STORYTELLERS (MAMÁ ES PURO CUENTO Y MI PAPÁ TAMBIÉN CUENTA)
Program Description: In a community with high rates of poverty and few social supports, this project constructed a children’s library and offers monthly workshops to inspire families to visit and use the library, as well as build caregiver capacity and knowledge in social, emotional, and cognitive development. The project aims to support mother-child attachment and ECD overall, setting children up for greater success in school later on.
Location: Magdalena Jaltepec, Oaxaca
Context: Center
Host Organization: Crecemos DIJO

WE PLAY TOGETHER (JUGAMOS JUNTOS)
Program Description: Weekly virtual workshops in which caretakers build their capacity to engage in nurturing, responsive interactions with their infants through play.
Location: Mexico City
Context: Online
Host Organization: Enseña por México

Teams from the new cohort of the Brazilian Innovation Cluster in a workshop
Parents participate in Wellness in Your Pregnancy .

WELLNESS IN YOUR PREGNANCY (BIENESTAR EN TU EMBARAZO)
Program Description: A series of workshops for young pregnant women facing adversity that seeks to reduce toxic stress during pregnancy through the formation of a strong prenatal bond with their babies and a supportive, nurturing caregiving partnership with their mothers.
Location: Mexico City
Context: Clinic
Host Organization: DEI Comunidad

Completed Projects

TIME TO PLAY (TIEMPO PARA JUGAR)

Teams from the new cohort of the Brazilian Innovation Cluster in a workshop
A mother and child participate in Time to Play.

Program Description: A play-based home visiting program in a largely rural community that aims to improve the quality of caregiver-child interactions by educating caregivers on the value of play and helping families identify opportunities to incorporate playful learning into everyday routines using local resources.
Location: Ganzdá, Mexico
Context: Home
Host Organization: Un Kilo de Ayuda

VERY COOL DADS (PADRES MUY PADRES)
Program Description: Practical parenting workshops focused on infant feeding and bathing that are tailored to low-income working fathers to empower them to take a more active role in childrearing during infancy. (Read more about Very Cool Dads.)
Location: Mexico City
Context: Hospital
Host Organization: Hospital Infantil de México Federico Gómez

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