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UIS-AIMS and Literacy Assessment

The AIMS Unit, as the Regional Office of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), is taking the lead in implementing literacy assessment tools in the region: the Literacy Assessment and Monitoring Programme or LAMP and the Household Survey-Based Literacy Module.

Literacy Assessment and Monitoring Programme
Recent advances in social survey and educational assessment methods have provided economically advanced countries with some tools to fill their needs for literacy data and information. Aware that a methodology and survey instruments are necessary to provide developing countries with a capability to produce and use such policy-relevant data on literacy and numeracy, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics has initiated LAMP.

UNESCO sees LAMP as a fundamental tool for policy development and the implementation of its Literacy Initiative for Empowerment (LIFE) programme, which aims to support the achievement of the EFA literacy goal, especially for women. LAMP will provide the relevant data upon which LIFE implementation plans and adult literacy programmes can be built.

Specifically, LAMP has been designed to achieve the following objectives:

  • To develop a methodology for providing quality data on the distribution of the literacy skills of adults and young people in developing countries;
  • To obtain high-quality literacy data in participating countries and to promote its effective use in formulating national policy, in monitoring and in designing appropriate programme interventions to improve literacy levels;
  • To build national capacities in the measurement of literacy, to develop and use LAMP data and methodologies
  • LAMP will contribute to an enhanced understanding of literacy and engage various stakeholders to take action at the community level.

Data from LAMP will serve a broad range of uses and users. It can be used as information to formulate national policy, establish priorities, allocate funds and decide on implementation methodologies. It can also be used administratively in making decisions that have a direct impact on individuals be they a student, a teacher, an administrator, a school or some larger unit. 

LAMP data can also be used as a monitoring tool to assess national and regional progress towards the achievement of the Education for All and the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) target on literacy.

UIS will extend technical assistance to countries to ensure they have all the tools necessary to produce reliable and useful literacy information, redo the LAMP survey or re-use the methodology for related purposes. The UIS will provide documentation and training as required to improve the country’s statistical capacity in measuring literacy and in using the resulting literacy data.

The AIMS Unit, as the Office of the UIS Asia Pacific Regional Advisor, will be UIS' bridge to help countries in the region develop their statistical capacities to meet LAMP data collection and reporting requirements.

Household Survey-Based Literacy Module
The AIMS Unit in collaboration with the UIS Headquarters in Montreal, and the UNESCO Bangkok Education Sector, with support from the Japanese Funds-in-Trust (JFIT) has also developed a Household Survey-Based Literacy Module to complement LAMP and LIFE.

The module, which contains a set of questions, collects information on language background, access to facilities, stock of reading materials, and use of literacy skills of household members.  It was developed to respond to the need of countries for literacy statistics for policy formulation and to assess and monitor the progress towards national and international literacy-related goals.

Rather than just asking respondents if they are literate or not, it asks a series of questions that examines the literacy level and gathers information on the literacy environment and use of literacy skills in daily life to get a better status on the literacy level of a country in a cost effective way. 

It thus provides better and more comprehensive information on reported literacy statistics, including socioeconomic factors related to literacy such as educational attainment, literacy environment, access to literacy materials, etc. Results of the Household Survey-Based Literacy Module will also be useful in understanding the literacy situation in a country for further policy formulation by relating it with results from LAMP surveys. 

The project will also provide countries the necessary technical advice and a manual on the use of household survey-based literacy module and analysis of literacy data. 

The output of this project will serve as a monitoring tool to assess national and regional progress towards the achievement of the EFA and MDG target on literacy, while providing more comprehensive information to allow for the formulation of appropriate policies and actions to address the remaining gaps. Further, the capacity built at a national level will serve to aid in future monitoring and evaluation of both formal and non-formal education systems across UNESCO Member States.

For more information, email aims.bgk[at]

Below are reference materials on LAMP:

Literacy Assessment and Monitoring Programme (LAMP) information brochure (pdf/920KB)
This brochure explains the rationale for LAMP and how it will be implemented at the country level. For more information, visit the UIS Website where Arabic, French and Spanish versions of the brochure are also available.


The Policy Origins, Attributes and Policy Yield of UNESCO’s Literacy Assessment and Monitoring Programme (pdf/1.3MB)
A presentation to prospective participants in South-East Asia made by T. Scott Murray of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics during a visit to the sub-region in February 2006.

Measuring Adult Literacy and Life Skills: New Frameworks for Assessment (pdf/1.54MB)
This report documents the key aspects of the development of the International Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey or ALL, which builds on the success of the International Adult Literacy Survey  by extending the range of skills assessed and by improving the quality of the assessment methods employed. It also introduces conceptual frameworks for understanding and assessing adult literacy and life skills. 

Literacy Assessment Monitoring Programme (LAMP) International Planning Report (pdf/194KB)
A draft prepared by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, this document details how LAMP came about, discusses its rationale, objectives, methodology, and how LAMP results can be used by countries. It also discusses how UIS can help ensure countries fully participate in LAMP by building their statistical capacities.

National Planning Report Template for the Literacy Assessment and Monitoring Programme (pdf/191KB)
A template for countries to follow when making reports in relation to LAMP. It details sections and topics that should be included in the report and what it should contain.