The global mid-term evaluation report on UNESCO´s Literacy Initiative for Empowerment (LIFE, 2006-2015), produced by UIL on the basis of national and regional mid-term evaluation processes and reports, is now available online. It seeks to contribute to the effective implementation of the initiative through to 2015.
The report shows mixed results with regard to progress in literacy. The majority of the 35 LIFE countries recorded an increase in adult literacy rates - by on average 3.1 percentage points compared to the global average of 1.9 percentage points over the period 1995-2004 to 2005-2009. However, 24 showed an increase in numbers of adults without literacy skills due to population growth and to the number of those passing into adulthood without having gone to school (long enough) to become literate. Much remains to do to address gender disparities in adult literacy. Only 6 out of 32 LIFE countries with available data recorded a net decrease in the number of illiterate women during the period.
The evaluation confirms the relevance and added value brought to literacy development by LIFE. Stakeholders involved in the evaluation process conducted in 2010 and 2011 believe that LIFE is an important framework that can boost their literacy efforts. Building on the results achieved so far, especially by following the recommended strategies and action points, LIFE will contribute greatly to the achievement of the ambitious goal of literacy for all.
In addition to the report, a package of national and regional reports as well as a flyer is available online. Print copies of the report (in English and French) will be available next month.