This post is by Judith Lee of the Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program. Photographs supplied by World Education and International Literacy and Development.
The Library’s Literacy Awards Program recognized World Education (WEI) and International Literacy and Development (ILAD) in 2022 for their successful practices in nurturing partnerships. Representatives from WEI and ILAD are featured guests in the January 2023 episode of the 2022 Literacy Awards 5-part webinar series.
What does it mean for your organization to “nurture partnerships?”
WEI: World Education fosters equitable, reciprocal, and lasting partnerships. For example, WEI has sustained partnership with the Ministry of Education of Mozambique for over a decade by adapting evidence-based approaches to locally identified needs, piloting a bilingual instruction approach for early literacy in over 5,000 schools. Whether in the U.S. or abroad, we bring a “strengths-based approach” and design projects collaboratively with partners that both leverage and strengthen local capacity to ensure local ownership and sustainability.
ILAD: One of ILAD’s strategies for successful project implementation is partnerships. We recognize that the communities in which we work and other agencies working toward literacy goals bring value and strength to the programs. Nurturing these partnerships means collaborating well with one another, respecting each other’s skills, knowledge, and wisdom, and openly sharing resources for the good of our clients. Each partner bringing their strengths creates better, more robust programs and outcomes that are more successful.
What types of entities does your organization partner with and how do they help your organization meet its goals?
WEI: World Education partners with governments, business and labor, philanthropists, community-based organizations, schools and universities, policymakers, and diverse stakeholders. Whether we’re developing new teaching strategies and materials or more complex innovations such as EdTech platforms or new models for closing digital divides such as training Digital Navigators in the U.S., our partners bring local knowledge and expertise to our human-centered design processes and help implement projects as trusted providers of services and technical assistance.
ILAD: ILAD partners with a variety of entities to meet our literacy goals. Local and international foundations, local community leaders, community groups, area service agencies and other NGOs strengthen ILAD’s programs in local language literacy, financial literacy, and digital literacy. We value local partnerships with community influencers who understand the needs of our participants as well as partnerships with organizations that bring skills and experience to improve our literacy programs.
Why is your literacy program important to the communities you serve?
WEI: For over 70 years, World Education has improved education across 50 countries through early-grade literacy and numeracy, digital inclusion, rural entrepreneurship, inclusion of people with disabilities, immigrant integration, prevention of HIV and gender-based violence, and other programs. We approach education as a complex system which requires restructuring from the ground up to eliminate disparities in quality and access. In Cambodia, we’ve supported early-grade reading growth through teacher and parent education and materials development and distribution.
ILAD: ILAD engages under-resourced language communities that face significant educational and economic barriers due to the languages they speak. Depending on the needs of the community, ILAD programs provide language development (orthographies) for oral languages, digital tools for low-resourced languages to bring them online, financial literacy, and more traditional reading and writing education. The goal of our literacy programs is to provide access to education and opportunities that did not exist in the community before.
Join us for a LIVE discussion with World Education, International Literacy and Development, and Room to Read on January 19, 2023, from 3:00-4:30 PM EST. Register here! A representative from Room to Read, the 2014 Rubenstein Prize and 2020 Special Response Prize recipient, will moderate this discussion.
The 2023 Literacy Awards application opened on Wednesday, January 11, 2023 and will close on Wednesday, March 1, 2023. Download the application and find answers to Frequently Asked Questions here. Applicants are invited to an applicant information session on Thursday, February 2, 2023, at 1PM EST. Register for the applicant information session.
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