UNESCO is conducting a comparative analysis of effective initiatives on the development of literacy and life skills through mobile phones for women and girls’ empowerment. The purpose is to identify practices that ensure the sustainability of programmes and offer opportunities to scale-up particularly promising approaches. These findings will be consolidated in a report comprised of two regional reviews, including on Africa and on Asia & the Pacific (regions with the highest levels of female illiteracy and where most initiatives of this type are implemented), as well as eight case study papers on specific examples, and a global comparative analysis. The report will contribute to the knowledge base for the formulation of appropriate policy recommendations and will provide practical project initiative information for future planning, action and implementation endeavours. The eight initiatives selected for analysis include the following:
- MILLEE Project (Carnegie Mellon University) - India
- Mobile-Based Post Literacy Programme (UNESCO Islamabad, Bunyad Foundation, Mobilink, Nokia) - Pakistan
- Mobile Literacy Program (AIL- Afghan Institute of Learning, Creating Hope International and Georgetown University) – Afghanistan
- Pink Phone Revolution Project (Oxfam, Women for Prosperity) - Cambodia
- Jokko Initiative (Tostan International, UNICEF) - Senegal
- Project ABC – Mobiles 4 Literacy (Tufts University, University of Oxford, Catholic Relief Services) - Niger
- Somali Youth Livelihood Program (Souktel, EDC) - Somalia
- AlfabeTIC (IBERTIC, OEI) - Argentina
In addition, in late 2012 and early 2013, three Regional Consultation Workshops were organized for Asia & the Pacific region (co-organized by UNESCO Bangkok), for Africa, and for Latin and North America and the Caribbean (co-organized by the Organization of American States, in Washington D.C.). The workshops convened authors, invited mobile learning, literacy and gender experts, and governmental representatives to review working documents, provide their feedback, submit new ideas to inform the global comparative analysis and to contribute preliminary recommendations.
The project will culminate with the launching of the publication. For ways forward, providing sufficient funding, UNESCO hopes to launch Phase II of the project, which would develop scaling-up activities for implementation at the country level, based on the findings and lessons learned from the global report.