For over three decades has provided leadership in research, development,and training in the field of literacy, with a focus on adult basic education and international literacy and development. We have completed a variety of major projects, contracts, grants, and events on time and within budget. We invite you to explore our current and recently completed projects below.

Bridges to the Future

Bridges to the Future Initiative™

Bridges to the Future Initiative (BFI) addresses the Digital Divide of education and technology in emerging economies by improving literacy, basic education, and technological literacy, thereby assisting the world's poorest peoples to better determine their own social and economic future. With funding from multilateral agencies and private foundations, BFI has major projects underway in India and South Africa, with projects in other countries under development. The BFI focuses on assisting poor, disadvantaged, and marginalized children, youth and adults in developing countries to take advantage of new information and communications technologies (ICTs) for improving basic literacy and technological literacy skills as a means to participate in the global information and economic marketplace. A selection of videos about the BFI project can be found on our media page.

Global Taskforce on Learning Research

Global Taskforce on Learning Research


The GLTF was established by the Brookings Institution Center for Universal Education at ILI in 2010 to inform the next learning goals of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Composed of 16 top global specials, and with inputs from many others, the GLTF produced a major working paper for Brookings that may be found at:, and a published volume including the full findings at:


ILI Summer Literacy Training Program (SLTP), Philadelphia

The SLTP program was open to mid-career professionals as well as younger specialists involved in literacy work in developing countries. The program, with ran for about a decade up until 2000 included several weeks of training, including workshops and seminars, and a number of informative visits to local literacy centers and institutions. Topics included literacy policy and planning, child and family literacy development, literacy assessment and evaluation, nonformal and distance education, and literacy innovations and the use of technology. While the SLTP is no longer running, some of the materials (listed below) will be of assistance to others who wish to run literacy training programs.

Learning Connections

Without the foundation of basic skills, neither access to nor success in higher education - or, for that matter, in employment or other aspects of adult life - is possible for the estimated 40 million illiterate and low-literate adults nationwide. With the support of Lumina Foundation for Education, is addressing this social and economic challenge. Through a web-based platform accessible to low-literate learners, Learning-Connections facilitates individualized self-advising as both a motivational and directional tool, offering career advice, encouraging basic and post-secondary education, and providing progress tracking tools and instant-feedback rewards. By providing a flexible, context-sensitive tool to help learners identify pathways and potential outcomes, Learning Connections helps individual learners aspire beyond basic skills, and empowers them to make their own choices and understand the impact of those choices on career and educational aspirations and opportunities. More information and the main site can be found at:

Literacy Link


With funding through the U.S. Department of Education and in partnership with PBS Adult Learning Service, Kentucky Educational Television, and the Kentucky Department of Education, (and NCAL) led the development team to create an integrated learning system using online, video, and print media to provide instruction, assessment, and teacher training for GED and workforce preparation skills for adult learners. LiteracyLink delivers instruction for adult learners in GED preparation and Workplace Essential Skills, offers training in instructional and technology issues, and crafts an individual learning plan for each participant. It also provides professional development opportunities and resources for adult educators and administrators. To access LiteracyLink, go to:

Mobiles for Reading

In 2014, the ILI was commissioned to undertake a review of current projects by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on behalf of its support for the Mobiles for Education (mEducation) Alliance ( and the All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development (ACR GCD) ( This review was led by a group of faculty and students, with support from USAID staff and additional outside experts. The report, Mobiles for Reading: A Landscape Research Review, may be accessed at:


Moocs for Development.

The MOOCs4D International Invitational Conference will bring together scholars, policy makers, program officers, administrators, and technologists from the education and international development sectors. The main goal is to better understand the dynamics surrounding this situation, and deliberate on solutions and action plans that will enable MOOCs to serve the development needs of resource-poor communities of learners – those at the "bottom of the pyramid." The initiative was sponsored by o-sponsored by the Office of the Provost of the University of Pennsylvania, Annenberg School for Communication, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Perelman School of Medicine, School of Nursing, The Wharton School and Penn Libraries. Additional support provided by Microsoft, Coursera, United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organization (UNESCO), International Council for Open and Distance Education, Organisation International de la Francophonie, and Commonwealth of Learning. More information may be seen at:<a href=“”></a>


Professional Development Kit (PDK): Multimedia Resources for Instructional Decision-Making

Professional Development Kit (PDK) was funded by the U.S Department of Education in collaboration with SRI, International, to create professional development tools for adult educators. Employing case-based instruction in the context of facilitated adult education teacher professional development, PDK can adult educators explore and develop their practice in new ways and to investigate new materials and strategies for instruction. With video case studies of adult education classrooms; online tools for practitioners to structure their own cases; resources that include a knowledge database, digests, portfolio, group discussion and class products; and staff development and user guides; PDK provides resources and a framework to support participants’ efforts to generate questions and brainstorm solutions to challenging professional situations. PDK is available on CD-ROM, and some of its tools may be accessed online at A selection of videos from PDK is available on our media page.

Smaller, Quicker, Cheaper: Improving Learning Assessments for Developing Countries

The SQC project was a collaboration between IIEP (UNESCO) and ILI, funded by the Fast Track Initiative (now GPE)/World Bank to review and synthesize a set of policy options for assessment methods of basic skills learning in developing countries. The review focuses on school-aged children (5-12 years), but also considered out-of-school children, youth and adults. It included an inventory of key indicators and learning measurement methodologies (especially reading assessment) that have been used over the past decade or so, and up to the present (including on-going projects). Costs and benefits were seen in terms of fiscal investments and policy outcomes, time to completion, size and nature of human resources inputs, technical complexity, and other aspects of the assessment burden. The review began in 2009, and was published by UNESCO in 2011. A French language edition was produced in 2015. These volumes may be found at:, and


TECH21: National Technology Laboratory for Adult Education

TECH21 was a decades long-effort, funded initially by the U.S. Department of Education(OVAE) to develop IT tools that offer to assist adults in achieving their adult education and life goals. Through collaboration with direct services providers and online systems, TECH21 provided a hands-on and virtual research-to-practice and dissemination system, developing state-of-the-art technology learning environments that enabled those learning and working in practice-based adult education settings to access technology and to fully integrate it into their practice. The follow up to TECH21 may be seen in other projects at