International Jury

The Jury for the UNESCO International Literacy Prizes meets once every year to assess nominations and make recommendations on the annual prizewinners. It consists of five independent members of different nationalities and both genders, appointed by UNESCO’s Director-General for a period of three years.
The Jury sends an assessment of nominations and accompanying recommendations to UNESCO’s Director-General no later than seven days after the completion of its deliberations.
The working language is English.
The current Jury members are:

The Jury Meeting, 9-11 July 2014

Jury Members

YOUNG-JIN KWAK (Republic of Korea)

Dr Kwak is the Former Vice Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea, with a PhD in Public Administration from Yonsei University. With abundant experience in Culture and Education, Dr Kwak also had teaching experience in university. Besides publications, such as International Convention on the Protection of Copyrights (1997) and Research on Performance Management of Cultural Services (2009), Dr Kwak has been awarded Presidential Citation of Merit (1991) and Order of Service Merit (2008).

- Appointed in 2013


HONG-WEI MENG (China). Dr Meng holds a PhD in Educational Evaluation from the University of Hong Kong. Currently, he is acting as advisor to UNESCO INRULED (International Research and Training Center for Rural Education), where he recently co-authored the “Education and Training for Rural Transformation” report (INRULED, 2012). Throughout his extensive thirty year career, Mr Meng has worked with several governments and international agencies on educational monitoring and evaluation programmes. Some of the countries he has covered include: China, DPRK, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. In addition Mr Meng has been acting as President of the Asia-Pacific Association of Educational Assessment (1995-2000), has been a member of the Governing Board of the UNESCO Institute of Statistics (2000-2003) and was Vice-President of the Cultural and Education Commission of the Central Committee of China Democracy League (1998-2005).

- Appointed in 2012


NORBERT NIKIEMA (Burkina Faso) is Professor of linguistics at the University of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, where he got a B.A. in English before getting a M.A. and a Ph. D. in linguistics from Ohio University, Athens, and Indiana University, Bloomington, respectively. Besides descriptive linguistics (focusing on Moore among the Gur languages), he has been actively involved in workshops, seminars, consultancy and publication on language-in-education issues (the use of African languages in non formal and formal education, mother tongue and multilingual education), the empowerment of languages for new functions (writing dictionaries and practical grammars, the development of orthographies, the creation of neologisms) and the creation of synergy between adult literacy, non formal and formal education. The focus of his research and applications has been on Burkina Faso among the so-called francophone countries and includes a long list of academic publications and articles. He is a co-author of the History of Adult Education in Africa, to appear in the African Perspectives on Adult Learning book series of UNESCO and DVV international.

- Appointed in 2009 and renewed in 2012


Dr Radwan has a PhD in MIS Department, Claremont Graduate School (USA). Dr Radwan is a co-founder of the Cabinet Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC), and acted as Executive Director, and Chairman for the center between years 1996 and 2005. In 2005, he became the head of the Adult Education National Agency (AEA). Dr Radwan has been awarded the UNESCO literacy prize for 2010 for his innovative project “Females For Families: 3F”. In 2011, Dr Radwan moved to the Ministry of Education as the Senior Advisor to the Minister for Technology Development. He is a National, Regional and International consultant with more than 35 years of public and consultative career in different areas including ICT, Education, Literacy and strategic planning, and at present he is a Senior consultant to the Arab Labor Organization for human development.

- Appointed in 2013


SYLVIA SCHMELKES (Mexico). Sociologist, she is the newly designated President of the National Institute for Educational Assessment. Ms Schmelkes has over thirty years experience in educational research, and particularly in quality of basic education, rural education, intercultural education, and adult education. She has worked as the General Coordinator of Intercultural and Bilingual Education, at the Ministry of Education in Mexico, she also chaired the Governing Board of the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation of OECD 2002 to 2004 and worked for a number of international agencies. In 2008 her work was rewarded with the Comenius Medal from UNESCO and de Education Ministry of the Czech Republic.

- Appointed in 2009 and renewed in 2012

Back to top