Global Book Fund Feasibility Study
Although there have been major strides in education enrollment over the past 15 years, 250 million children of primary school age are still unable to recognize basic letters and numbers. Worryingly, 130 million of these children attend 4 years or more of school and still leave without basic foundational skills. Evidence supports the role of books in improving learning and reading acquisition, yet many children lack access to both reading books and textbooks.
Over the past few decades, donors, including bilateral organizations and private foundations, have provided millions of dollars in funding and programmatic support to improve book provision and usage. Despite this extensive support, there continues to be an underfinancing of books, and the problem persists. Traditional approaches are not working. We need a transformative international mechanism to mobilize funding, raise awareness, and tackle issues across the book chain. Results for Development (R4D) and International Education Partners Ltd. (IEP) were contracted to analyze the feasibility and design of this proposed mechanism, referred to as the Global Book Fund. Following the finalization of our study in April 2016, the Global Book Fund was renamed The Global Book Alliance: Books for Every Child.
The proposed Global Book Alliance will be a transformative international mechanism to mobilize funding, raise awareness, and improve the provision and use of both textbooks and reading books. Its key activities will include:
- Becoming the go‐to one‐stop-shop for knowledge and best practices on the effective development, procurement, distribution, and usage of all books; Advocating and instilling the importance of reading materials;
- Bringing donors and diverse stakeholders together to coordinate around book chain issues and to foster long‐term policy dialogue;
- Helping countries make their book chains more efficient through finance, technical advice, and joint learning such that books actually reach students at a reasonable cost and are then used by teachers and students; and
- Where needed, funding reading books in mother tongue languages that correspond to languages of instruction where there is demonstrated financial need and country commitment.
For more information on this work, please contact Shubha Jayaram at [email protected].