A functional adult literacy group in Morulem, Karamoja

Bicycle repair training, Karamoja

The small village of Morulem, Karamoja

DVV International started interventions in support of adult education in Uganda as early as 1985. These interventions supported local NGO partners and the Uganda Adult Education network (UGAADEN) with various adult literacy advocacy and implementation initiatives as well as non-formal skill training interventions. A DVV International country office was established in 2010 to play a coordination role and also support the EU funded project Skills Training and Non-formal Education for Poverty Reduction in Karamoja which was implemented from 2010-2014 in 3 districts of the Karamoja sub-region. 

According to the Uganda National Household Survey (2009/2010), the adult illiteracy rate for the population aged 18 years and above is 29%. It also reveals that 39% of women are illiterate, compared with 19% of men – almost double. The majority of illiterates (93%) live in rural areas, and there is a wide regional disparity in illiteracy rates. The Ugandan government regards literacy as one of the important factors for accelerating development and social transformation. In 2014 the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development launched the Uganda National Adult Literacy Policy that provides a framework for the implementation of adult literacy programmes by various stakeholders.

Main focus of work

DVV International supports the government of Uganda to establish an adult education system from community to national level, incorporating both adult literacy and livelihoods components. This support assists in the implementation of adult literacy policy and has the following priority work areas:

Policy and Guidelines: Supporting the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) to develop practical guidelines for districts to implement a new integrated adult literacy programme.

Service Delivery Optimisation: Work with the MGLSD and targeted districts to optimise service delivery of adult literacy and education. This will address adult education structures and processes in order to create a well-functioning adult education system.

Capacity Building: Build the capacity of both technical as well as system managers in the delivery of a comprehensive, integrated adult education programme. This includes training of trainer workshops, development of materials, etc.

Model District: Work in selected model districts to pilot the new approach and programme and learn lessons for upgrading and replication.


DVV International’s main partner is the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and its corresponding offices at district and sub-county levels. Other government sector offices are involved through adult education structures.

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