Project Literacy Community of Practice


Despite decades of efforts, the literacy gap remains staggering. Today, 750 million adults are still unable to read and write (UNESCO, 2017). Illiteracy is a global challenge that spans geographic, racial, gender, and status boundaries. Project Literacy, a global campaign founded and convened by Pearson, aims to eliminate illiteracy by 2030 through partnerships and action. As part of this effort, Project Literacy teamed up with R4D in 2018 to establish a global community of practice, convening over 100 literacy practitioners in 20 countries to collectively tackle core barriers to closing the literacy gap.


After guiding a collaborative process to define key topics and objectives, R4D kicked off the Community of Practice through five co-designed working groups. Working groups centered around key levers for tackling the challenges of illiteracy. They include:


Measuring the impact of literacy programs
Parent engagement in literacy
Technology for literacy 
Teacher training for literacy
Communications for literacy 


Each of the five working groups are comprised of program implementers, researchers, and funders of literacy programs, including partners from Project Literacy and programs from R4D’s Center for Education Innovations (CEI). The working group structure was flexible and participant-driven. Each of the five working groups identified common challenges across literacy programs and are co-creating solutions to support their own work and others’.


Explore the co-developed tools and resources below:

Parent Engagement Needs Assessment: A Guide for Literacy Practitioners
The Parent Engagement Needs Assessment guides literacy practitioners in understanding attitudes and constraints of parents, allowing them to design more context-specific programs to increase parental involvement in children’s education. This tool will be pilot tested in 2019. 


Global Literacy Assessment Dashboard
The Global Literacy Assessment Dashboard (GLAD) is a crowd-sourced inventory of literacy assessments from around the world.


Storytelling Roadmap: A Toolkit for Literacy Partners
The Storytelling Roadmap seeks to support partners to learn and master the art of storytelling, so they can become more powerful advocates of literacy. This tool will be pilot tested in 2019.


Teacher Resource Inventory: Practical Tools for Adapting Literacy Curriculum to Local Contexts
The Teacher Resource Inventory is a crowd-sourced database of open educational resources that offer practical tools and guidance to adapting literacy curriculum to diverse cultural and classroom contexts around the globe.


A Literacy Practitioner’s Guide to Education Technology Guidance
This Guide seeks to add a practical, practitioner-informed literacy lens to existing education technology guidance in three key areas: accessibility, adult literacy, and low resource and connectivity settings.


These tools and resources are still in draft form. They will continue to be revised based on feedback and contributions from the literacy community.To learn more, please contact Kavita Hatipoglu, Program Officer at R4D (, Sonaly Patel, Program Officer at R4D (, or Laurel Schmitt, Senior Program Associate at R4D (


*Photo courtesy of Room to Read (

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