‘If we deliver radio content alongside a supportive human infrastructure and simple supplemental materials, then we can cost-effectively teach literacy in local languages and English to primary-age children when they are not in school, so that they achieve meaningful literacy competencies.’

This brief tells the story of Ubongo’s decision to switch from copyright protected licensing to Creative Commons (CC) licensing, why, and the possible ramifications for open educational resources (OER) more broadly.

Soma's Director, Demere Kitunga, has written a case study on her experimental work facilitating children to research and write original stories inspired by Tanzanian storytelling traditions.



Search this site for early literacy training materials, organizations, policies, best practices, research and open licensing strategies.


Open licensing

Understand open licensing, types of licences, issues and challenges, the impact of open licensing and digitization of intellectual property, as well as different business models associated with open licensing.


National language and book policies

This page provides links to language and book policies in developing countries, and research on the impact of national book policies for content creators and publishers.


Toolkits and resources

To support the creation of high-quality storybooks, this page contains training resources and toolkits for teachers, parents, librarians, content creators (such as authors and illustrators), publishers, and translators. Monitoring and evaluation resources will also be listed.


Teaching literacy

Information on methodologies for teaching reading and literacy skills.


Creation of reading resources

Explore the costs and processes for creating digital and print storybooks.


Access and distribution

Examine how storybooks are accessed and distributed in the global South.


Key players in early literacy

An annotated list of organizations that promote early childhood literacy, and particularly those that use open licensing.



Using open licensing to create early literacy ecosystems

The Early Literacy Resource Network portal aims to serve as an early literacy knowledge exchange to assist key stakeholders in the developing world. The website documents and disseminates information on all points of the early childhood publishing ecosystem – from policies and licenses to content creation, translation, production, distribution, and use. The goal is to assist in creating sustainable early literacy value networks that can solve the challenge of providing access to high-quality literacy materials in local languages in the global South.

The Early Literacy Resource Network portal is a resource that provides one-stop access to solutions, best practices, research, and toolkits for anyone working in early literacy. It is a space to develop and disseminate knowledge and best practices for every link in the book value chain to produce new efficiencies and expanded offerings at minimal cost.


Collaborate with commercial and not-for-profit publishers in the global South to promote alternative and sustainable publishing models.

Develop and disseminate knowledge and best practices for all components of the early literacy ecosystem.

Encourage and harness the creativity of local communities and others in support of literacy development.

Encourage content production of high-quality early literacy resources in local languages by pooling resources and providing information on alternative methods of quality control.

Encourage the use of open licensing in the creation and distribution of storybooks, while understanding the true costs involved.

Support appropriate government policies and funding for early literacy through research and engaging with key players in the field.

Promote and encourage the use of existing open licensing platforms by engaging with a wider network of users.

Share information on relevant early literacy programmes and initiatives.