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Profile Your Digital Literacy Solution with UNESCO

By Steve Vosloo on February 1, 2017

Do you have an innovative digital solution that focuses on, or is applicable to, serving low-skilled, low-literate youth and adults, or those who cannot read or write? Does it improve the livelihoods of its users and include them in the digital economy and society?

Would you want it to inform the future work of UNESCO, be profiled in their upcoming, “Initiative for Literacy: Improved Livelihoods in a Digital World” publication, and be considered for inclusion in policy documents for governments?

Then apply now for the UNESCO-Pearson Initiative for Literacy.

UNESCO and Pearson have partnered to explore how taking a more inclusive approach with technology can contribute to helping all youth and a substantial proportion of adults achieve literacy and numeracy by 2030 – a Sustainable Development Goal.

An Inclusive Digital Economy is a Global Effort

There are 758 million illiterate adults in the world, including 115 million youth. Low skills and low literacy levels are not just issues in developing countries: in Europe, 20% of adults lack the literacy skills they need to function fully in a modern society.

The study is looking beyond traditional education initiatives to link the use of inclusive digital solutions with improved livelihoods and lifelong learning.

Inclusive digital solutions could allow for voice instead of text interaction, ranging from simple IVR to the latest advances in audio computing and natural language processing. Their interfaces could use icons and emojis to provide support for low-literate users. They could leverage artificial intelligence chat bots to provide first line support to low-skilled users.

The five focus areas are:

  • e-Health services;
  • Agricultural extension services;
  • e-Administration/e-government services;
  • e-Services for migrant people;
  • Green/environmental services.

Who Can Apply?

The eligibility criteria are very inclusive. Any organization can apply – NGOs, corporations, start-ups, government and even individuals from any country, regardless of income level. Any interactive digital solutions will be considered, in fact a mix showing the range of possibilities is desired.

However, the digital solutions needs to be currently active, with at least a year of live usage, and have future growth potential.

Application deadline is 19 FebruaryApply Now!

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Written by
Steve Vosloo is passionate about using technology in education. He's worked at UNESCO, Pearson South Africa, Stanford University, and the Shuttleworth Foundation on the use of mobile phones for literacy development, how technology can better serve low-skilled users, and the role of digital media for youth. All opinions expressed in this post are his own.
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