VROOM-AKDN Partnership

Improving ECD Outcomes in Pakistan

About Us​

Vroom is a global programme launched by the Bezos Family Foundation, aimed at promoting the science of early brain development. The programme provides free, science-based 1000+ tips and creative tools to help parents and caregivers give children a great start in life. By inspiring families to turn everyday moments into brain-building moments, Vroom aims to create positive connections between caregivers and children’s brains and help grow life skills like focus, self-control, problem-solving, and taking on challenges in their early years. Vroom has so far reached out to 1.4 million families in 37 states in the U.S and six countries worldwide, The Vroom tips help individuals share the joy of learning with their children while preparing them for the future.

About the Funding Agency 

The Bezos Family Foundation is a philanthropic organization, founded in the United States in 2000 by Jackie and Miguel Bezos. Its primary focus is supporting early learning and adolescence by funding a diverse range of researchers, educators, and nonprofits. The foundation aims to promote critical relationships that aid learning, using the latest research as its guiding principle. Through a combination of grantmaking and their programmes, they strive to address systemic inequities by partnering with the people and communities that are most in need.

Adaptation and Contextualization of Vroom Project in Pakistan 

The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) and Bezos Family Foundation (BFF) are collaborating to improve Early Childhood Development (ECD) outcomes in specific operational areas of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) in Pakistan. The project phase 1 duration was from June 15, 2021 to December 15, 2023, and has been implemented in the Ghizer district of Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan. The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), the Aga Khan University (Aga Khan University Human Development Programme [AKU-HDP] & Institute for Educational Development [AKU-IED]), and Aga Khan Rural Support programme (AKRSP) are partnering to empower caregivers with ECD tips and tools to create enjoyable everyday moments for their children to grow, develop, and learn. The lessons learned will inform the scale-up of Vroom in Pakistan and similar contexts to reach more parents/caregivers for strengthening relationships and children’s development and learning outcomes.

The insights gained from this project will guide the expansion of Vroom in Pakistan and similar areas, to reach more parents and caregivers. This will help to strengthen relationships and improve children's development and learning outcomes. 

About the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF)

The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) is a leading global development organization working to tackle the root causes of poverty. By combining local knowledge with global best practices, the organization strive to bring about transformative and long-lasting improvements to quality of life. AKF strengthens parent’s and caregivers’ knowledge and skills on holistic child development and responsive caregiving. AKF focuses on gender-responsive parenting, fathers’ engagement, caregivers’ mental health and well-being, and developing contextually relevant and accessible play and learning resources for parents and caregivers. The AKF, Pakistan in Vroom project partners with the AKU and AKRSP to improve caregivers’ knowledge and confidence in applying brain-building science and to develop positive and responsive relationships with children. 

About the Aga Khan University Human Development Programme [AKU-HDP] & Institute for Educational Development [AKU-IED]

Aga Khan University has two programmes dedicated to strongly supporting human development and improving education quality in Pakistan and other developing contexts. The Human Development Programme (AKU-HDP) focuses on early childhood, while the Institute for Educational Development (AKU-IED) develops transformative educational professionals, influences policies, and models reforms in under-served areas. AKU-HDP and AKU-IED are important contributors and play significant roles as technical partners for the Vroom Project in Pakistan. They have developed innovative and creative material for 269/1000+ filtered, translated, adapted, and contextualized Vroom tips. Both entities are working closely with AKF and AKRSP in the District Ghizer to undertake research and capacity development activities. Human Centered Design (HCD) was employed to carry out the understand, empathize, synthesize, prototype and testing of all the material developed under this project. AKU also provides  support to the ground-facilitating partners in carrying out household-based material testing, implementation, and dissemination.

About the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP)

The Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) is a non-profit and pioneering rural development programme in the mountain districts of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral in KP. Our mission is to enhance the quality of life for rural mountain communities through institutional and economic development initiatives. With a focus on youth and women development, creating micro-economic opportunities, education, and Early Childhood Development (ECD) health, and nutrition, as well as natural resource management, AKRSP aims to reduce food insecurity, eliminate absolute poverty, and improve overall rural quality of life. In the Vroom project, AKRSP leads the implementation of activities at the field level, collaborating closely with families and communities, households, caregivers, children, and other stakeholders to achieve project objectives.