The Pakistan Reading Project (PRP) was a $165 million, seven-year initiative launched in July of 2013. The project aimed to improve the quality of early grade reading instruction for 1.3 million public and private primary school students across Pakistan by focusing on three components:
- Classroom learning environment
- Policies and systems
- Community-based support
The Project worked closely with the Government of Pakistan at the provincial and regional level to support the development and adoption of reading improvement strategies. A total of 55 policy changes were implemented across regions during the life of the project.
The intervention was implemented in 2015, and data was collected pre-intervention (in 2013) and during-intervention (in 2017) in order to evaluate the program. Looking at the regional-level data on the Early Grade Reading Barometer, we are able to explore PRP’s outcomes.
For example, the Balochistan data for Cohort 1-2 Grade 3 pupils show an improvement in Oral Reading Fluency outcomes from 2013 to 2017. The Results report presents us with a histogram of scores where we are able to see a large drop in zero scores (42% in 2013; 22% in 2017). Similar trends are observed in other regions, as well.
PRP also conducted a cost effectiveness analysis in order to examine returns on investment, helping inform stakeholders which methods delivered the highest return on investment. For their years of successful work, the Pakistan Reading Project won the 2020 International Prize of the Library of Congress’ Literacy Awards Program.