Many adult learning stakeholders, UIE’s partners and Governing Board, and UNESCO have repeatedly stressed the need for a strategic plan for the work of the Institute. Priority issues, major areas of concern and requests for intervention in the search for sustainable solutions have emerged from a systematic needs assessment carried out by UIE and other partners. They have emerged also from demands expressed strongly in various ways by Member States and representatives of NGOs and CSOs. All of this has resulted in a clear mandate for UIE from UNESCO and the international community. The UNESCO Medium Term Strategy (C/4 document) and the current biennial programme and budget (2002-2003) stress the important role which UNESCO must play in adult, non-formal and lifelong learning.

Download: Nurturing the treasure: vision and strategy 2002-2007 (PDF 292 KB)

Learners, facilitators and managers of Kominkan (Community Learning Centres in Japan) and Community Learning Centres (CLCs) and other institutions that promote community-based learning, governments, civil society organisations, United Nations (UN) agencies, development partners, members of academia, the private sector and media from 29 countries, gathered in Okayama City, Japan at the Kominkan-CLC International Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) – “Community-Based Human Development for Sustainable Society” – commit to continuing and expanding Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) through community-based learning.

Okayama City is a place where several exchanges have already taken place between Kominkan and Community Learning Centres during the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD), including the Kominkan Summit in Okayama in 2007; moreover, support for Kominkan and community-based learning has a long history in Japan. In recognition of the principles of ESD, we have actively participated in an open and transparent process of drafting these commitments and share in the ownership of this outcome.


Okayama Commitment 2014: promoting ESD beyond DESD through community-based learning (PDF 171 KB)

Also available in Japanese:

岡山コミットメント(約束) 2014 〜コミュニティに根ざした学びをとおして ESD を推進するために、「国連ESDの10年」を超えて〜 (PDF 1.32 KB)


The human body is widely perceived as a spectacular master-piece that it is difficult to represent and describe in terms of a single scientific discipline because of the astonishing multiplicity of its facets. It is more rarely seen as a living museum of the history of life. The goal of this project is to offer everyone the chance to explore their body as a source of knowledge of evolution, to identify the results of past changes that have gradually led to homo sapiens sapiens and to its present diversity.

Download:Our body: a living museum of the emergence of humankind; project proposal (PDF 2,67 MB)


We, the representatives of 33 countries in the UNESCO Pan-European Region at this preparatory conference for CONFINTEA VI, declare our commitment to strengthening learning and education as a priority for all adults in the region. We meet at a time of financial crisis across the region and the wider world, and in the context of continuing conflicts, accelerating demographic change and environmental changes. We reaffirm the importance of adult learning in enabling people to deal with economic and social change, to participate actively in civil society, to foster cultural action and to enrich their lives. We note the trend in many countries in the region to concentrate increasingly on vocational education for employability and on developing skills at work, and we ask how far the present crisis invites a review of this trend. We believe that adult learning is now more important than ever and has a larger role to play, both to support people in making a living, and for their wider lives.

Download: Pan-European statement on adult learning for equity and inclusion in the context of mobility and competition (PDF 89,5 KB)
Available in Russian: Общеевропейское заявление по вопросам обучения взрослых в интересах справедливости и инклюзивности в условиях мобильности и конкуренции (PDF 179 KB)


The Education for All Global Assessment Report pointed out that only 5% of primary school students in Africa have attained the minimal level of competency which should be acquired by the end of primary school. Based on this, the need for creating and sustaining alternative education systems and approaches is painfully evident. However, funding for alternative forms of education is dismally low. In most countries, government funding for “out-of-school” education programs is usually less than 1% of their education budget. This is the niche for non-formal education and literacy programs. This paper focuses on how non-formal education programs are innovating in order to meet the needs of this population.

Download: Pedagogical innovations in literacy programmes: lifelong learning as both a method and a goal (PDF 447KB)

The purpose of this guide is to affirm the policy stance that multilingual and multicultural education should be chosen as the general education system in African countries, with a view to the transformation of African societies. The aim of this transformation, in tur, is to reduce poverty through sustainable development based on African languages and cultures. For this reason, it should be pursed through the programs of existing institutions, whose capacity needs to be strengthened accordingly. Such an education system not only offers equality of opportunity and success to all children, it raises the quality of the education provided because the learner’s own language is used as the medium of instruction, with the opportunity of learning other national and foreign languages. It also releases people’s creativity and strengthens social cohesion. In employing African languages, the education system helps to consolidate the decentralization policies adopted by some countries.


Download: Policy Guide on the Integration of African Languages and Cultures into Education Systems (PDF 3,3 MB)

Following CONFINTEA a meeting was held at the UNESCO institute for Education bringing experts on adult learning and work to discuss and debate issues on work, education and the future, and to come to a joint statement. It was also at this meeting that proposals were made for UIE’s round table on adult learning and the future of work. The aim of this round table was to contribute to the debate on vocational and technical education in the context of lifelong learning.

The present UIE working paper reports on the results of this round table which addressed several issues such as highlighting the relationship between adult learning and poverty eradication, pro-promoting a new vision of functional literacy, emphasizing the role of adult basic education in vocational development, recognising the economic and socio-cultural reality of the informal sector in adult learning, as well as discussing the implications of new discourses in adult vocational education for developing countries.

Download: Poverty alleviation, work and adult learning: report of the UIE Round Table, Seoul, 1999 (PDF 2,02 MB)

We, the 150 participants from seven countries in the Workshop on National Policy Frameworks for Lifelong Learning in the ASEAN Countries, which was held in Ha Noi on 10 and 11 January 2013, co-organised by the Viet Nam Ministry of Education and Training, the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning and UNESCO in Viet Nam with the support of the UNESCO Asia and Paci­c Regional Bureau for Education in Bangkok and the Institute for International Cooperation of theGerman Adult Education Association (dvv international), considering the following, wish to propose to the Ministers of Education of Southeast Asian countries the below recommendations.


Download: Promoting lifelong learning for all (Advocacy brief) (PDF 1,85 MB)

To raise awareness of policy makers on key issues on lifelong learning, adult education and literacy, UIL has started developing a series of policy briefs. The theme of the Policy Brief No.1 is Quality Matters: Improving the Status of Literacy Teaching Personnel, and is based on the discussions of experts and practitioners from more than ten countries during the “International Workshop on Strategies for the Improvement of the Status of Literacy Teaching Personnel” (held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in March 2013). In this brief it is argued that to harness the potential of the world’s illiterates, policy-makers and practitioners need to focus their attention on improving the status of literacy facilitators, because teaching personnel are vital to ensure quality in education. Based on the experience from a various countries, it suggests possible elements for reflection and action.

Download: UIL Policy Brief No. 1 – Quality Matters: Improving the Status of Literacy Teaching Personnel (PDF 201 KB)

This document is an attempt to open a dialogue among educators working in the area of complex emergencies. It recognizes that most of the newly tested educational interventions lack a long-term perspective. Education, whether for peace and reconciliation or in the reconstruction of human resources, is hardly addressed at present. The case studies described here provide a vivid account of an approach using kits. Clearly, different contexts and levels of emergency warrant different kinds of response. Thus, there is the need for further research from field experiences, especially at the levels of rehabilitation of formal education systems and curricula and of adult learning.

Download: Rapid educational response in complex emergencies: a discussion document (PDF 1,19 MB)