Create Groundbreaking Solutions to Improve Reading Outcomes

  • Paige Dearing
  • April 9, 2014
Create Groundbreaking Solutions to Impro

Time and again, scientific, technological, and operational breakthroughs have transformed insurmountable development challenges into solvable problems. To accelerate substantial and sustainable progress towards literacy at the personal, community, and national level, we need to harness innovation and creativity across a broad range of disciplines.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), World Vision (WV), and the Australian Government, are calling upon innovative problem solvers from for-profit companies, non-governmental organizations and associations, academic/educational research institutions, faith-based organizations, civil society and foundations—together or in partnership—to take up the challenge of improving literacy for students in early primary education, by competing for the All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development (ACR GCD) Round 2 Grant Competition and/or the Prize Competitions

The global grant and prize competitions seek innovative ideas that leverage the transformative power of technology to leapfrog existing challenges that are preventing children from learning to read. These ACR GCD competitions encourage innovative thinking and design to bring new knowledge to the challenge of rapidly improving primary grade reading. Applications from and relating to developing countries are particularly encouraged. 

Grant Competition

Applicants may submit Concept Notes until 14:00 EST, April 10, 2014. - Deadline extended until 14:00 EST, April 17, 2014

The ACR GCD Partners seek applications for a Round 2 grant competition focused on technology-based innovations to achieve this Grand Challenge’s goal to improve reading scores of students in early primary education (i.e. grades one to three). Many of these students have not achieved levels where they read with sufficient comprehension to use reading to learn.

The ACR GCD Round 2 hypothesis is that technology-based innovations implemented in an education system in appropriate, sustainable and cost-effective ways can improve student reading scores, as measured by a simple reading assessment; compared to similar students in education systems not supported by technology-based innovations. The expected Outcome of Round 2 is: Improved reading scores for students which will be supported by Output: Increased use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for improved reading.

To achieve the Outcome above, Applicants must choose to address a specific problem in one of the three Focus Areas: Mother Tongue Instruction and Reading Materials, Family and Community Engagement, and Children with Disabilities; and choose one of the following strategies:

Strategy 1: Development and Innovation – This type of strategy focuses on the development of new technology-based innovations that improve student reading scores when implemented in traditional and/or non-traditional learning environments.

Strategy 2: Efficacy and Replication – This strategy focuses on testing the effectiveness of previously-piloted or existing technology-based innovations in a new focus area, environment (country, region, city), setting (non-traditional school, home, community center, library), or at greater scale for replication purposes. 

Read responses to the RFA questions & more.

Prize Competition - “Enabling Writers”

Applicants may submit their software applications until 17:00 GMT, July 18, 2014. 

All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development is also launching “Enabling Writers,” a $100,000 global prize competition to incentivize the development of software solutions that allow writers to easily create and export decodable and leveled fiction and non-fiction readers in mother tongue languages to help early primary students (i.e. grades one to three) learn to read.

Three innovators will be awarded $12,000 each and their software will be evaluated and tested in the field for these semi-finalists to compete for the $100,000 grand prize.

Learn more or enter now!

For more information about All Children Reading and ACR GCD Competitions, visit or follow us on twitter @ReadingGCD.


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