This is a book for development workers who have no formal training in adult education or literacy, but find themselves having to respond (as planners, trainers, or teachers) to requests for "literacy". Most of Adult Literacy is essentially practical: it describes the different stages in planning and teaching a small-scale literacy programme and offers suggestions for the assessment of needs, the evaluation of progress, the use of available materials and the design of new ones for specific situations. Its main purpose, however, is to explore some of the central issues in the debate about the role of literacy in development. The authors draw on their own wide range of experience, and that of Oxfam and VSO, for case-studies from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean to illustrate the consequences of introducing literacy – a far from simple technology – to individuals, groups or communities.
All development workers should have a copy of this strikingly helpful resource book, whether they are policy makers or field staff, working for official or voluntary agencies. It is written with authority and common sense, and draws on the authors' tremendous fund of knowledge and practical experience. Lalage Bown, Professor Emeritus, University of Glasgow.