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The Literacy Initiative for Empowerment (LIFE)


The Literacy Initiative for Empowerment (LIFE) is conceived as a global strategic framework and key operational mechanism for achieving the goals and purposes of the UN Literacy Decade.

Through LIFE, UNESCO’s strategy centres on empowering learners through country-led practice, informed by evidence-based research. Working globally, UNESCO will raise international and national awareness on the importance of literacy, rally political will and resources, oversee policy development and capacity-building through technical assistance, and develop rigorous monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to measure LIFE’s effectiveness.
As a global strategy supported and led by UNESCO, LIFE operations will be country-led, respond to country-specific needs and priorities, and correspond to national capacities.

LIFE will be implemented in 35 countries with a literacy rate of less than fifty percent or population of more than 10 million without literacy competencies. It will be implemented, over a 10-year period, through three progressive phases . The first phase will start in 2006, the second in 2008, and the third in 2010. In 2011, evaluation and assessment will be undertaken. From 2012 to 2015 the emphasis will be on ensuring the sustainability of what has been achieved in earlier phases.