This report presents a review of relevant literature and an analysis of 25 programmes selected from across the world that have used innovative information and communication technologies (ICTs) in literacy and education for refugees, migrants and internally displaced persons (IDPs).
It answers the following three questions:
- What are the main literacy issues refugees, migrants and IDPs face?
- How do different approaches that use ICTs affect the literacy teaching and learning of youth and adult refugees, migrants and IDPs?
- Which strategies are used by ICT-supported literacy and education programmes for youth and adult refugees, migrants and IDPs to overcome common implementation challenges?
Generally, the global population of non-literate youth and adults remains a major challenge. There is evidence of persistent inequality in realizing the right to education for all. Existing literature reveals that national and global data on the literacy of youth and adult refugees, migrants and IDPs are extremely limited, possibly due to a lack of prominence in international legal and policy instruments, and national education agendas.
While ICTs, from radio to computers, have long been used in education, there is limited evidence to show how effective they have been in supporting literacy and education programmes for refugees, migrants and IDPs; however, the 25 programmes analysed in this report reveal that ICTs play an important role in overcoming barriers to learning for these target groups. The strategies followed by these innovative ICT-supported literacy and education programmes are elaborated across six thematic areas:
- Access and inclusion
- Capacity-building for teachers and educators
- Relevant content and innovative andragogy
- Monitoring and evaluation
- Strategic partnerships
- Recognition, validation and accreditation (RVA) of learning
This report offers four major insights for governments, providers and learners.
- There is a significant gap in our understanding of literacy and literacy provision for youth and adult refugees, migrants and IDPs.
- Technological innovations that combine established, low-cost, non-digital technologies and methods – such as interactive radio instruction (IRI) – and advanced technologies offer encouraging possibilities to scale-up literacy and education programmes.
- Learners need to be central to the design, implementation and improvement of ICT-supported literacy programmes, which should address their specific learning needs, personal experiences and learning environment – including their community and commute to and from learning instruction.
- Local, national and international cross-border strategic partnerships are critical for developing effective ICT-supported literacy and education programmes.
At the global level:
- Collect comprehensive and disaggregated data on literacy rates of youth and adult refugees, migrants and IDPs.
- Improve recognition, validation and accreditation (RVA) mechanisms, including for prior and independent learning achievements.
- Expand existing research agendas to include the ICT and literacy practices of youth and adult refugees, IDPs and migrant learners in low- and middle-income countries as well as the vulnerable populations within these groups, such as those with disabilities.
At the national level:
- Improve ICT infrastructure to increase coverage where refugees, migrants and IDPs reside.
- Ensure quality and affordable access to ICT devices and internet connectivity for the learning, communication and information needs of refugees, migrants and IDPs.
- Integrate monitoring and evaluation into literacy and education programmes to respond to feedback from learners, educators and other stakeholders, and to demonstrate impact and efficacy.
At the programme level:
- Provide continuous professional development for educators, facilitators and teachers in the use of technologies for effective literacy instruction with learners from refugee, migrant and internally displaced backgrounds, including training in socio-emotional and trauma support.
- Include educators, facilitators, teachers and other education personnel in the design of technology-supported programmes to ensure instructional effectiveness.
- Consult with and involve target learners in the design of ICT-supported literacy programmes and throughout programme implementation to ensure relevance.
- Develop and adapt content to learners’ needs, taking into consideration their everyday experiences; their literacy, numeracy and broader education levels; their knowledge of different types of ICT; and their diverse cultural backgrounds and languages.
- Document the impact of programmes not just on the target groups’ literacy but also on other aspects of their well-being.
- Harness strategic partnerships to enhance the strength and mitigate the challenges of programmes that use ICT for literacy and education.
- Integrate Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles when developing programmes to ensure that all aspects of content; teaching approaches; ICT modalities; and assessment, monitoring and evaluation recognize, accommodate and assist learners who are at risk of exclusion.
Below and for download is the English version of the report. It is also available in French, Spanish, & Arabic.