Can't Wait To Learn

Can’t Wait to Learn is fast, effective and low-cost - and utilises custom gaming technology to deliver quality education. The evidence-based programme was developed by War Child and partners through years of testing and research.
Can't Wait To Learn Soedan

Playing educational games on tablet devices

Photo: War Child

Can't Wait To Learn Libanon

Children co-create the content and design of the games, based on their own experience and stories

Photo: War Child

More than 32 million children affected by conflict worldwide miss out on education. Can’t Wait to Learn opens up a whole new world to them - the world of learning. But the real magic? It is designed in partnership with children and tailored to their reality.

Education in the hands of children

One in six children worldwide live with the effects of armed conflict - frequently displaced and denied basic needs such as food, water and safe shelter. These children are also denied their fundamental right to a quality education - and with it the knowledge and skills to participate in their societies and fulfil their potential.

A whole generation of children - eager to learn - is missing out on the chance of a better future. Many have never been to school - and live in environments where classrooms are frequently inaccessible or dangerous. And where schooling is accessible it frequently lacks quality. These challenges have led to a critical education gap.

Can’t Wait to Learn provides a solution to close this education gap for millions of children around the world - both in formal schools and in out-of-school settings. The programme offers children affected by conflict the opportunity to (continue to) learn to read and count through playing educational games played on tablet devices.

Closing the education gap through technology

Thanks to a delivery system which can operate in resource constrained areas, Can’t Wait to Learn provides quality education to all children - no matter where they are. The programme enables children to learn even in places where formal education is not available.

Children of all abilities can learn through the programme - each game includes instruction and practice modules, as well as a learning management system. All game content is based on government-approved school curricula - forging a pathway through primary level education and beyond.

“The children are having fun and are highly motivated. Learning is a positive experience to them."
Kate Radford, project leader Can't Wait to Learn

What is Can't Wait to Learn?

Designed by children, for children

All designs and graphics used in the educational games are custom-made - and immediately familiar to children. Children’s life stories, participant feedback and drawings from local designers are all used to shape the design of the learning environments. This means children are immersed in a world that reflects their experiences - and can focus on learning right away. Research has shown that this allows for effective learning and boosts motivation.

The educational games also allow children to learn at their own pace. Each game starts simply. Children who already have some knowledge can quickly go through the games. After completing a series of exercises, the software automatically unlocks new exercises at a higher level - making it possible for children to progressively acquire new skills. Children can also go back to previous activities whenever they want.

Partnerships driving effective learning

Can’t Wait to Learn has been developed to deliver quality education in humanitarian settings in a new way. The programme draws on the power of partnerships across many sectors - including Ministries of Education, technology experts, researchers, implementation partners and international donors.

Can’t Wait to Learn already enjoys significant global recognition - and the programme coalition is made up of more than 30 global partners. These partners include two UN agencies, leading NGO and civil society actors and the Ministries of Education in the countries in which we work. Each partner brings something different to the table - from technological know-how to contextual experience.

Can't Wait to Learn is supported by:

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Cisco Foundation

The CISCO Foundation teams up with nonprofit organisations around the world to develop technology-based solutions. The CISCO Foundation supports the preparations for the scaling up of Can't Wait to Learn.

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ECHO partner logo


ECHO is responsible for the EU Commission's policies on aid and protection. ECHO supports the deployment of Can't Wait to Learn in Uganda.

Go to website supports our projects financially and through its (technical) expertise. Their support helps us develop Can't Wait to Learn into a fully scalable education project for children in conflict areas.

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Humanitarian Education Accelerator

Humanitarian Education Accelerator

In 2016, Can’t Wait to Learn was one of the first three projects worldwide chosen to join the Humanitarian Education Accelerator programme (for education innovations in emergencies), led by UNHCR, UNICEF and DFID.

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IKEA Foundation

The IKEA Foundation is one of War Child most important and strategic partners. They support Can't Wait to Learn in Sudan, Lebanon and Jordan.

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Nationale Postcode Loterij

Dutch Postcode Lottery

War Child has been able to reach thousands of children thanks to the generous contributions from the Dutch Postcode Lottery - the largest charity lottery in The Netherlands. Their continued support allows us to expand Can't Wait to Learn further.

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UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is a global organisation dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people.

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UNICEF is the children's rights organisation of the United Nations. UNICEF supports Can't Wait to Learn and is our primary implementation partner in Sudan.

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USAID leads international development and humanitarian efforts to save lives, reduce poverty and strengthen democratic governance. USAID supports the research component of the programme Can't Wait to Learn in Jordan and Lebanon.

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Results to date

Can’t Wait to Learn is evidence-based and has been extensively trialled and tested. The programme has been informed by research and evidence since its inception. Studies have been undertaken to prove that the concept works in different settings. Learning progress has been monitored and feedback from users serves to inform and improve all game content.

Research has shown that educative gaming is an effective learning tool that delivers excellent results - for both girls and boys. Our trials have indicated that the possibilities for programme expansion are significant - the model promises to be empowering, flexible and cost-effective at wide scale.

On a journey to scale

Can’t Wait to Learn has expanded significantly since it launched in 2012 as a trial project called e-Learning Sudan. The programme is active in four countries - Sudan, Jordan, Lebanon and Uganda - and is available in both Arabic and English.

Our ambition is to see Can't Wait to Learn widely adopted to provide quality education to conflict-affected children anywhere in the world. Because the needs of children living with the effects of violence and armed conflict are urgent and growing. And they can’t wait to learn any longer.