ELAN - Enhancing Literacy and Numeracy by Teach the World Foundation

Our solution utilizes award-winning gamified digital learning games on easy-to-use tablets to give children functiontional literacy skill

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  • Yes, I fulfill all of the eligibility criteria.

Initiative's representative name

Adnan Ahmed Qureshi

Initiative's representative date of birth

25th November 1987

Initiative’s representative gender

  • Man

Which eligible market are you based in?

  • Bangladesh

Where are you making a difference?

-Dhaka, Bangladesh -Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, Pakistan -Blantyre, Malawi

Website or social media url(s)


When was your organisation founded?

July 2016

Focus areas

  • Helping people adapt to technologies of the future
  • Creating digital tools

Project Stage

  • Established (successfully passed early phases, have a plan for the future)
  • Scaling (expanding impact to many new places or in many new ways) 

Yearly Budget: How much capital do you need to accomplish your proposed project?

  • $250k - $500k

Organisation Type

  • Non-profit / NGO

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this to succeed

A large part of our world is functionally illiterate; ~2 billion according to our estimates, with 300 million children currently out-of-school. As importantly, we find that most in-school students have very poor learning outcomes. Another critical constraint is the shortage of teachers - 9 million globally - which could take 20+ years to solve even if funding were available. IN OUR VIEW, THIS CONSTITUTES A GLOBAL EDUCATION CRISIS (and must be dealt with as such). This lost potential has tremendous impact on the economies of the developing world. According to multiple studies, every dollar spent on early education leads to gains of anywhere between $8-13 of economic activity produced.

2. The problem: What problem surrounding employability or financial capability are you helping to solve?

A critical problem in Education in the developing world is the shortage of teachers - 9 million globally and 1 million in Pakistan and 0.5 million in Bangladesh alone - which could take 20+ years to solve even if funding were available. The poor quality of instruction and content being imparted, teacher and student absenteeism, the overall absence of accountability in the system, also remain huge constraints in the present system of education.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

-WE BELIEVE DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES HAVE NOT BEEN USED TO EVEN A FRACTION OF THEIR FULL POTENTIAL IN EDUCATION. This is a HUGE missed opportunity. Past ICT interventions have not tapped dramatic recent advances in technology and cognitive science -OUR TURNKEY DIGITAL LEARNING SOLUTION LEVERAGES THESE ADVANCES to provide functional literacy to the most underserved communities in a scalable and cost-effective fashion -WE USE THE WORLD’S BEST EDUCATION GAMES DEPLOYED ON LOW COST ANDROID TABLETS to teach K-5 English, Math & a local language. Games are designed for self-learning so kids don’t depend on qualified teachers. They are highly engaging, provide instant feedback and use reward incentives to motivate -OUR PROGRAM CAN BE DEPLOYED IN FORMAL AND INFORMAL SETTINGS e.g schools, refugee camps, improvised classrooms -IT IS DESIGNED FOR RAPID AND MASSIVE SCALABILITY and requires minimal sophistication to operate. Our program is run by a “facilitator” who can be trained in 5 days -WE ONLY WORK WITH ESTABLISHED PLAYERS IN EDUCATION (e.g. some of our partners run 1000+ schools). Hence, our program requires limited capital investment and leverages existing infrastructure and resources

4. How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solving the problem?

Our key innovative differentiators are: Gamification/Engagement: We use high engagement mechanisms such as educational games to power self-learning so that we are not dependent on qualified teachers Scalability: Our program is cost effective and designed for rapid and massive scalability. We maximize use of existing resources and infrastructure available & our program is run by facilitators who do not need to be a qualified teacher Real-time Data And Analytics: This allows tracking students' progress & personalized learning paths. We also use real-time tracking & data analytics to ensure effective monitoring and rigorous evaluation of the program, allowing greater accountability

5. Employability: how is your organization or project teaching people to develop the skills that they need to survive in the future job market?

Our program provides major ancillary benefits that are crucial in the 21st century, e.g. attitudes of self-learning and digital literacy skills. These skills are imperative if we want to build life-long self-learners who can use the power of the internet to continuously update their skills & knowledge

5a. Please describe which future-oriented skills your organization is focused on fostering and how you have measured / plan to measure progress

Many students joining our programs have little or no understanding of English, Maths and their native languages. Achieving Functional literacy equips them to read, write and do basic math and allows the opportunity to leverage these skills to become productive members of the economy. Our solution also equips them with 21st century digital skills necessary for participation in the modern global economy, e.g. navigating digital devices, typing, etc. This allows them to transition to mainstream education later on and help them further with their economic trajectories.

6. Financial capability: how is your organization or project creating innovative solutions that arm people with ability to optimize their current and future financial health


6a. Please describe what aspect of financial capability your organization is focused on fostering and how you have measured / plan to measure progress.


7. Marketplace: Who else is addressing the same problem? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

While we’re not sure if our project has been replicated by others; however, similar programs are being launched elsewhere and are producing promising results. Pratham Digital in India, with around 18,000 tablets in informal learning centers Google Xprize winner OneBillion ran a Randomized Control Trial (RCT) in Malawi, found significant learning gains and since have impacted over 30,000 students Can’t Wait to Learn conducted a study with a similar program in Sudan, have documented learning gains.

8. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

Our model has shown significant learning gains in a short time. Nielsen and other renowned third-party evaluators found our students outperforming the control group across by a significant factor, using the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) and Early Grade Math Assessment (EGMA) literacy frameworks. In our deployments, we have seen average learning gains of 2x for the intervention group vs. the control group. We expect results to be even better going forward, considering the exponential rate at which technology and gamified learning applications are improving

9. Financial Sustainability Plan. Can you tell us about you plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

Considerable funding is being provided by our deployment partners, who fund people, infrastructure, etc. both in-kind and in real expense terms for each on-the-ground deployment. We have just begun to receive corporate sponsorships as well. For the next 3 years (2020-22), we have a commitment of $320,000 from the Dawood Hercules Group, one of the leading industrial conglomerates in Pakistan and $35,000 from The Resource Group (TRG) for 2020. The chairmen of both these companies are on our Board of Directors. In view of our excellent scaling prospects with existing partners, we have just begun to reach out for external institutional funding. This grant application is an early step in this direction, as are some others.

10. Team

-Our HQ is in the US with resources in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Malawi. -We have a lean CORE TEAM of 10+ people with expertise in management, digital transformation, assessments, learning science etc. and strongly supplemented by our IMPLEMENTATION PARTNERS. -We also work with RESEARCH AND ACADEMIC partners to help us with research design, data collection and analysis -CONSULTANTS are also hired on a need basis for different aspects of the project.

Help Us Support Diversity! Are you a member of an under-served , under-represented, or marginalized group in your country of residence? (yes/no) (this question is optional – if you choose to fill it out, the response will not be shared with your fellow contestants)

  • This does not apply to me

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Search engine

Evaluation results

1 evaluation so far

1. OVERALL Evaluation:

Yes, absolutely! - 100%

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2. Is this entry INNOVATIVE?

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3. Does this entry have SOCIAL IMPACT?

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4. Is this entry VIABLE financially and operationally?

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6. FEEDBACK: Highlights

IMPACT POTENTIAL: You use specific numbers and evidence to describe what your project has achieved so far (or plan to achieve in the future) – and you have a concrete plan for future impact. You have specific tools for measuring impact. - 0%

QUALITY OF INNOVATION: You have a great understanding of the problem, have researched existing solutions, and have developed unique, thoughtful solutions - 100%

FINANCIAL AND OPERATIONAL SUSTAINABILITY: You have given a great deal of thought to not just the idea itself but how to make it work operationally and financially in the present and future; your plan is specific and you value sustainability. - 0%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: You have a good plan on how to activate changemakers and empower them to innovate through your product or programming - 0%

Other option - 0%

7. FEEDBACK: Areas for Improvement

IMPACT POTENTIAL: make sure to provide specific instances of your social impact (or how you plan to measure impact) – it may be helpful to describe the beneficiaries, the main activities/products, and provide evidence of (or plan for) impact evaluation - 0%

QUALITY OF INNOVATION: make sure to describe how your solution is unique and innovative – it is helpful to include the research you have done on past solutions and how your solution is different from (and/or builds upon) these. - 0%

FINANCIAL AND OPERATIONAL SUSTAINABILITY: make sure you have provided descriptive information about your financial sustainability plan. Where do the funds come from now and do you have a concrete plan for future sustainability? - 100%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: make sure you describe your plan for how to empower others to become changemakers through your programming, service, or product - 0%

WRITING STYLE. Try to be concise, descriptive, and specific. Avoid jargon. - 0%

Nothing stands out! I thought it was great. - 0%

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