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Worldreader - Seed Funding Award

50,000 USD



Reading matters. Worldreader empowers millions of people to read and learn from early childhood through their adult lives. Our reading programs leverage relevant digital books, impactful partnerships, and appropriate technology.  Worldreader believes in a world where everyone can be a reader.

Worldreader´s Read to Kids program seeks to strengthen household level participation in reading by encouraging caretakers and parents to read aloud to their children from early childhood through age 12.  Worldreader’s Read to Kids Android application will be translated into Arabic and contain 250 quality, age-leveled digital texts in modern standard Arabic for children ages 0-12.   It will also contain a smaller collection of books for children ages 6-12 thatpromotes psychosocial recovery and allows parents to help children explore emotions through fiction.  Worldreader’sRead to Kids Jordan program will promote regular reading to children in order to increase language and literacy development in children and contribute to the psycho-social recovery of Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanian children.  The program will be be piloted in and around Amman and in refugee camps.  Digitization of content and field testing will take place in 2017 with a full launch of the program and an accompanying behavior change campaign planned at the start of 2018.


Worldreader seeks a partner that will raise awareness on the importance of reading in Jordanian and Syrian families, register users of the Read to Kids Jordan mobile reading application, and implement a set of strategies for how to get parents REGULARLY reading to their children using the Read to Kids digital application.

Our desired partner seeks to understand what strategies will be effective in getting parents to read to their children regularly.  We know real change in behavior takes more than access to a children’s reading application.  Effectively reaching and supporting parents takes understanding the cultural context, recognizing the barriers and drivers to the adoption of digital reading and thinking creatively to help this reach a tipping point in Jordanian and Syrian households; essentially normalizing digital reading to children at scale.

We seek a partner interested in really understanding how mobile technology can support behavior change.  Data is at the center of our work.  Combining both back end data from the application with qualitative and survey data from our partner(s),  we seek a partner interested in dynamic programming, evidence based decisions and quality implementation that will allow us to learn together how to support parents’ reading to children with the assistance of a reading application.    The desired partner would work closely with Worldreader to baseline of reading habits at the household level,  review the existing theory of change and design the implementation model that integrates into the partner’s programming with a focus on impact and scalability.

We are seeking a partner that can help us reach approximately 10,000 registered users of the application with at least 25% of those users regularly reading to children by February of 2018.  Targeted beneficiaries should be both Syrian and Jordanian and the partner should have a presence bothin refugee camps or in communities in and around the larger Amman area.  Our ideal partner has a large national and possibly regional presence and can expand this program to other communities in or outside Jordan as well as for Syrians in other host countries or inside Syria.

Requirements for proposals

A winning proposal/partner should:

  • Detail their existing program and how the use of the Read to Kids program will leverage their impact. Their program should detail beneficiaries, current reach, and program outcomes.
  • Propose a process for testing content, user experience and baselining reading habits of targeted communities.
  • Elaborate on outreach strategies for how to register users and then support durable behavior change in parents and caregivers making them regular readers to children. 
  • The proposal should include plans for how the data will be collected and reported. Worldreader back end data would be provided to the partner in the form of monthly user reports.
  • The proposal must include a plan for the successful monitoring and evaluation of the project in order to track the program's main KPIs (to be jointly developed by Worldreader and partner) and measure the results of the program.
  • The partner should agree to a spirit of co-design, co-creation and shared learning

Criteria for evaluation

The jury will use the following criteria to assess NLG EdTech Summit pitches/proposals:

  • Achievable (25 points)
  • Scalable (25 points)
  • Flexible (25 points)
  • Existing expertise (25 points)

Key dates

The top three pitches will be announced March 2, 2017 and can move to the full proposal stage;

  • Awards will be made by April 15, 2017
  • Award start date: August 1, 2017
  • Award length:  18 months


A jury will select the top 3 proposals from all the entries received at the NLG EdTech Summit. The jury members will have expertise in family and community engagement in literacy programming, amongst others areas.