International efforts to promote literacy development for young adult readers are improving outcomes for many out-of-school youth—particularly those living in extreme poverty or post-conflict environments and with low literacy skills. But there is an urgent need for easy-to-use literacy assessment tools in many low-resource communities to help determine just how effective these programs are.

EDC is helping ministries of education document the literacy skill levels of out-of-school youth through the electronic Out-of-School Youth Literacy Assessment (eOLA), a research-based, one-on-one reading assessment that measures the functional literacy skills that youth and adults may have acquired without formal literacy instruction as well as the skills that are gained through direct instruction. The assessment can be administered using either laptops or tablets.

Key Activities

EDC partners directly with ministries of education to support the implementation of eOLA. Activities include:

  • Providing assessment data to program staff, stakeholders, and beneficiaries in implementing countries
  • Using data to support curriculum and materials development, design educator trainings, and inform policy
  • Providing professional development and capacity building on using eOLA for ministry of education officials in implementing countries


Since 2011, EDC has used eOLA to document literacy skill levels in Liberia, Rwanda, Mali, Guyana, and Ethiopia, in projects that are designed to improve the literacy and livelihoods skills of youth.

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Electronic Out-of-School Youth Literacy Assessment (eOLA)