The Coalition for Foundational Learning

The Coalition for Foundational Learning


The Coalition for Foundational Learning was founded in 2022 to bring together partners with a shared commitment to improving foundational learning for all and a desire to work together to drive change more quickly.

The main objective is to rapidly accelerate progress towards reducing the alarmingly high rate of learning poverty globally; by helping countries to access and use data, set ambitious targets and implement plans to achieve them.

Expected results

Reduce the global share of children unable to read and understand a simple text by age ten, by half, by 2030.

  • SDG 4.1.1: Proportion of children and young people (a) in grades 2/3; (b) at the end of primary; and (c) at the end of lower secondary achieving at least a minimum proficiency level in (i) reading and (ii) mathematics.
  • A range of process indicators such as (non-exhaustive): (i) countries set and pursue targets to reduce learning poverty; (ii) implementation of evidence-based teacher and assessment approaches.

Main activities, milestones and timeline

For each country endorser, activities will draw on the RAPID framework for learning recovery and acceleration aligned with the Commitment to Action (CtA).

The Coalition Secretariat members are progressing activities against the following three pillars: support country-led action and implementation;  improve learning data and monitoring and; enhance advocacy and communications.

These three key pillars underpin the momentum and alignment among Coalition partners at the global and country level:

1.    Coordinate support to low- and middle-income countries to implement aligned evidenced-based solutions to improve Foundational Learning outcomes at scale.

  • Map relevant offers/existing programmes of global support from Coalition partners and share with country staff. 
  • Plan joint learning and development opportunities to improve foundational learning program implementation.
  • Support local education working groups to overcome shared challenges and deliver more effective solutions.

2.    Support countries to monitor learning progress and improve availability of learning data.

  • Collate common tools as a menu of options available to countries to measure and report on learning, to disseminate and share within and between coalition partners, national governments, and education partners. 
  • Coordinate between agencies to support countries without learning data in rolling out best available resources and tools to measure progress on learning, including through shared training with ‘field staff’. 
  • Support countries to utilize data, share and amplify existing information on learning using available resources and tools. 

3.    Support strategic advocacy and communications to call for endorsement and implementation of the Commitment to Action, create an enabling environment for policy change, and help drive accountability for implementation.  

  • Support for leveraging existing and new data to strengthen the case for investment in foundational learning. 
  • Assist in identifying and building new strategic advocacy partnerships, including with business leaders. 
  • Dissemination of global communications assets with support for adaptation to local contexts, to help build public awareness and drive political will on foundational learning.
  • Support with developing and implementing national and regional level advocacy and communications strategies.

Progress to date

  • Helped to create awareness of and elevate the foundational learning crisis at the highest political levels during the TES, building on the country-level advocacy and consultations and promoted the issue through joint advocacy and communications. As of 20 April 2023, 23 countries and 30+ organizations endorsed the CtA.
  • Co-Generated and disseminated new global evidence and guidance including the Global Education Evidence Advisory Panel Report: Prioritizing Learning During COVID-19, the State of Learning Poverty:  2022 Update and the Accelerating Learning Recovery: A Guidance Note for Addressing Learning Losses during COVID-19.  
  • Hosted high-level events and secured high-level public support for foundational learning (FL). The events include the spotlight session on foundational learning at the TES, a joint panel at the Foundational Learning Exchange in Sierra Leone (see video), and a high-level meeting on foundational learning and recovery in the LAC region (in Colombia). There is another upcoming FL Conference in the MENA region from 22 to 23 May and Pakistan are also considering a similar event. 
  • Integrated new ways of working: Coalition partner staff are meeting regularly, including monthly meetings of the Convener Principals, to maximize opportunities to encourage governments to address the learning crisis and improve implementation quality and efficiency of FL programs.  A headline narrative and check-in one pager has been shared with field staff in the priority countries and a further joint field call will be held in mid-May. 
  • Helped elevate the CtA with public audiences, including a Goodwill Ambassador tweet which achieved over 920,000 views.

Target countries

The Coalition intends to have a stronger offer of support for up to 30 committed low- and lower-middle-income countries starting with 5 pilot countries, in addition to global public goods available to all interested countries.


FCDO, UNICEF, UNESCO, USAID, the World Bank and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF)