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About the database

The exchange of experience and transfer of knowledge are crucial to the promotion of literacy and numeracy efforts. In order to encourage all key actors to share their experiences, pass on the lessons that they have learned and gain inspiration from innovative approaches in the field of literacy, this website provides a selection of effective adult literacy and numeracy programmes from across the regions. Further programme descriptions will be added on an ongoing basis.

This online platform will support UNESCO’s role as a clearing house in adult literacy and numeracy, and will complement the efforts of the UNLD and LIFE by responding to the demands of UNESCO Member States for innovative and state-of-the-art programme evidence that can inform and improve their literacy policies, strategies and practices.

Its main objectives are to:

  • facilitate access to pertinent information on adult literacy and numeracy programmes for all literacy stakeholders, including policy-makers, researchers and practitioners;
  • encourage synergies and cooperation through the sharing of experiences and lessons learned;
  • identify current trends, challenges and information gaps in literacy in order to provide a global overview of the field; and
  • promote adult literacy and education as a means of enhancing lifelong learning.

This database lists programmes that are of interest to a global audience. These programmes were selected according to the following criteria:

  • Outreach (number of participants covered by the programme)
  • Accessibility and relevance (for highly vulnerable groups in particular)
  • Quality of outputs
  • Clearly demonstrated innovative approaches and methods
  • Impact on learners, their families and communities
  • Proven sustainability and
  • Evaluative data from independent sources.

After the selection process, programme information was carefully compiled, edited and – where possible – translated by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), which will also administer the database. Links to contact persons and additional information are provided according to availability. As the information on the programmes is drawn from a variety of sources, UIL cannot assume responsibility for the content. However, it welcomes necessary updates, corrections and amendments, so please contact us if you have any new information to add to the programmes presented here.

NB: Entries on effective practice were compiled on the basis of available information in consultation with the project organizers. However, UNESCO cannot be held responsible for the quality and content of project description, as these programmes have not been subject to external evaluation. The choice and presentation of the programmes do not represent any commitment on the part of the Organization.