2016 UNESCO International Literacy Prizes


8 September 2016

This year marks the 50th anniversary of International Literacy Day (September 8), first proclaimed by the General Conference of UNESCO in 1966. The overarching theme of the 2016 event is ‘Reading the past, writing the future’.

UNESCO has worked to ensure that literacy remains a priority on national and international agendas, as well as to make available knowledge on effective literacy policies and programmes around the world. To promote excellence and innovation in the field of literacy, the organization recognizes the work of institutions, organizations and individuals whose efforts contribute to the promotion of dynamic literate societies. The thematic focus of the 2016 UNESCO International Literacy Prizes is ‘Innovation in Literacy’, which emphasizes the importance of innovation in literacy in the rapidly changing societies, economies and environments of the contemporary world. The award ceremony for UNESCO’s International Literacy Prizes honours programmes that have demonstrated innovative approaches in literacy in the context of Sustainable Development Goal 4, Education 2030 and the Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) through the UNESCO’s Effective Literacy and Numeracy Practices Database (LitBase), offers more than 200 comprehensive case studies on effective youth and adult literacy programmes from more than 70 countries. Many of the educational programmes featured on LitBase focus on developing literacy and numeracy. LitBase was created in response to the demand for examples of effectively designed and executed programmes to serve as models for the development of new and improvement of existing literacy initiatives and showcases the literacy programmes of the 2016 UNESCO International Literacy Prize winners.