UNESCO-Pearson Initiative for Literacy


© PEARSON/Sudipto Das

Improved Livelihoods in a Digital World

Information and communication technology (ICT) is fundamentally changing the way people live and work, learn and socialise. But 758 million adults in the world, including 115 million youth, still lack the basic literacy skills needed to enjoy the benefits of increasingly digitised economies and to participate fully in modern society.

A joint project by UNESCO and Pearson, an international education company, will explore new ways to enable low-skilled and low-literate youth and adults to profit from inclusive digital technologies, which in turn will strengthen their literacy and basic skills.

By investigating, documenting, and sharing a number of innovative case studies from around the world – outside of the traditional education contexts and linked with livelihoods, work and social participation – the project will develop guidelines for creating more inclusive, accessible and usable digital solutions and policies with the ultimate goal of helping close the global literacy gap by 2030 and meeting a major commitment of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Planning of project outcomes

  • 3rd batch of case studies: 26-30 March 2018 (Mobile Learning Week)
  • Guidelines for inclusive digital solutions: 8 September 2018 (International Literacy Day)


Mobile Learning Week workshop

UNESCO-Pearson invite practitioners and researchers to workshop during Mobile Learning Week in Paris

‘Designing Digital Solutions for the next billion’
26 March 2018 from 4:30 pm to 6 pm
UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, room VIII
MLW programme

Based on the case-studies, UNESCO will be developing a set of guidelines for the development of inclusive digital solutions. This workshop will be of interest to practitioners and researchers wanting to develop more inclusive digital solutions, especially for low-literate and low-skilled users, and allow them to provide their input and help shape this important UNESCO work.

The participants will learn and discuss about the skills needs of low-literate and low-skilled users, how digital solutions can meet those needs and increase inclusion, especially for women and girls, and what participants need to do to increasingly reduce the inequalities and gender divides.

More information

Contact us at ICTliteracy@unesco.org