BALID IS A VIBRANT COMMUNITY of people who are passionate about literacy. Please do join us – you will be very welcome. We’re thrilled to share the BALID Annual Report with you – you’ll find information about BALID activities in 2021 and our hopes for moving ahead in 2022. You can find the report at this link. A pdf version of the report can be requested by emailing




On December 6th, we met for a time of reflection on BALID activities over the past year and the BALID Annual General Meeting – not a dry, administrative event but an opportunity to share in small groups, hear from BALID members and learn from one another. We considered the questions:

  • How can BALID members better engage with one another?
  • What strategies can BALID implement to better bridge theory and practice on literacy?
  • What topic would you like for the first Informal Literacy Discussion in 2022?

How would YOU answer those questions? We’d love to hear from you. Write to us at and let the BALID committee know!

New research on COVID and adult learning launched!

We are pleased to share that the synthesis report and the country reports for the BAICE-funded project on COVID-19 and Adult Learning and Education in Afghanistan, the Philippines and the UK has just been published in a special tab on the BALID Website!

Since 2020, BALID (represented by committee members Ian Cheffy, Chris Millora, Newell-Jones, Tara Furlong and Naeim Maleki) has been leading this project with partners in Afghanistan (Afghan National Association for Adult Education led by Abdul Bashir Khaliqi) and the Philippines (Transformare, led by Gina Lontoc) supported by RaPAL (Tara Furlong) and UEA UNESCO Chair (Anna Robinson-Pant and BALID president Alan Rogers as critical friends). The UK team also involves Simon Fuller of Islington Council, Adult Community Learning.


18 November 2020  IT WAS OUR PLEASURE to co-host Decolonising Literacy with the UNESCO Chair at the University of East Anglia. This was the fourth Brian Street Memorial event since his death in 2017. With many international participants, this was a stimulating and informative webinar, with 250 registrants from 30 countries, and a 50/50 split between academics and policy-makers/practitioners. You can watch a recording by using this passcode F6JK4cn#

22 October 2020: ZOOMING AHEAD CREATIVELY: Virtual platforms in literacy practice and research

KATY NEWELL-JONES AND CATHERINE YOUNG led this very participative webinar. Special thanks for stimulating and informative presentations are due to our two speakers:

What was especially exciting was that the webinar showcased the ways to use open-source technology such as Jamboard and Mentimeter. This was a great opportunity to engage in small-group discussions for maximum peer-learning and sharing.


THIS ONE-HOUR WEBINAR featured key researchers from The Philippines, Afghanistan and Uganda. Thanks to our UEA partners and the wonders of technology, you can watch a recording of the webinar here. Dr Willy Ngaka, our presenter from Uganda, has very kindly shared a downloadable copy of his presentation. We suggest you’ll also enjoy reading our latest BALID blog which addresses similar issues.

ON 6 MAY 2020 CHRIS MILLORA, our incoming chair, hosted a webinar on the theme of Literacy and the Law in Rwanda. Our presenter was Louis Busingye, co-ordinator of Human Rights First Rwanda Association (HRFRA). We are very grateful to the UNESCO Chair at the University of East Anglia, UK, for making the event possible. Thanks too to our respondents Anuprita Shukla, Alice Copping and Alex Mugabo for their part in the success of the webinar, which attracted over 60 participants from all over the world.

LITERACY AS SOCIAL PRACTICE conference, 9 December 2019, King’s College, London

THIS SUCCESSFUL ALL-DAY CONFERENCE included the annual Brian Street Memorial Lecture at King’s College, London. Our guest speaker was Professor David Bloome of Ohio State University, and his talk was followed by cameo presentations by current PhD students. As you will see from our report, the day offered a great opportunity for discussion, sharing and networking, and it concluded with calls for action in the context of the SDGs and literacy. To get a flavour of the day, you can also watch this video-recording of David Bloome’s presentation, the following Q&A session, and the three afternoon presentations.

BALID 2018-19 AGM, 9 December 2019, King’s College, London

OUR 2019 ANNUAL REPORT, which was presented at our AGM, offers great insight into our multifarious activities over the past year – even we on the committee were surprised by the breadth and depth of our work, which is all voluntary.

Our long-standing chair and secretary stood down from their official positions after many years of faithful service, but we are thankful that both will continue on the committee. We are also sad to lose Lorena Sanchez, our dynamic student representative. We have now been joined by five new committee members drawn from a wide spectrum of the ‘literacy community’, including members from The Philippines, Afghanistan and the UK. You will soon be able to read their profiles on our ‘About us’ page.

Remember, it’s easy to join BALID online.