LCEP is the first step in a larger, more ambitious long-term initiative to create sustainable literacy and community development opportunities for Afghanistan’s rural population. LCEP first began with a two year timeline in 2004. By nesting literacy instruction within a broader community development context, designers hoped that villagers would be better able to recognize—and thus more willing to support and help sustain—literacy’s critical role in the overall development process. Such village level support is essential if adult literacy opportunities are to become widespread in Afghanistan. While in the future the government and NGOs may provide important resources such as teacher training and materials, only those communities that recognize literacy as an aid to overall development—and have the local governance and economic empowerment structures in place to support it—will be able provide the day-to-day sustenance that can help village teachers and learners to thrive.
The initial phase of LCEP is being funded by the US Agency for International Development, and implemented by Education Development Center, Inc. and UN Habitat in 190 communities in the provinces of Parwan, Herat Bamyan, Kandahar and Farah, using a cohort format, with 70 communities reached through cohort one (begun in April 2005) and an additional 120 communities reached through cohort two (begun in September 2005).
Although LCEP activities in literacy, governance and economic empowerment are highly integrated at the village level, they are presented separately in this website to aid the reader’s understanding of each component. The Literacy, Governance, Economic Empowerment sections provide an overview of each component . In addition, a table presents the component’s main activities in terms of sustainability phases.