The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), has now opened its call for applications and nominations for the 2020 UNESCO International Literacy Prizes.

This year UNESCO will reward five individuals or organizations around the world for their outstanding projects that promote literacy within the theme “Teaching and learning literacy: the role of educators and changing pedagogies”.

Since 1967, the UNESCO International Literacy Prizes have rewarded excellence and innovation in the field of literacy. Over 495 projects and programs around the world have already received recognition and support for their excellent work.


This year’s thematic focus is highlighting teachers who are at the frontline of delivering literacy learning, and their contribution to promoting youth and adult literacy, linked to targeting 4.6 of the Sustainable Development Goal on Education (SDG4), where literacy is perceived as a continuum developed throughout life.

  • Through two prestigious literacy Prizes, UNESCO supports effective literacy practices and encourages the promotion of dynamic literate societies to close the literacy gap of approximately 750 million people.
  • UNESCO distinguishes between two Literacy Prizes which are given to five laureates in total.
  • Each prize winner receives a medal, a diploma, and US$20,000.
  1. Governments, non-governmental organizations, and individuals who promote literacy through projects and programs are welcome to apply.
  2. All applications should be submitted to nominating entities, such as the National Commission for UNESCO in the country of the program, or an NGO that is in an official partnership with UNESCO.
  3. National Commissions and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in official partnership with UNESCO are encouraged to nominate individuals, institutions, and organizations who are making outstanding contributions to promoting literacy and who request a nomination.
Selection Criteria

The nominations will be assessed by an independent International Jury, composed of five experts on the basis of the selection criteria. Based on the recommendations of the International Jury, the Director-General of UNESCO will select the finalists to be awarded at the occasion of International Literacy Day (8 September).

Call for Nominations

Interested candidates can submit their nominations online by clicking here.

The Deadline for candidates to submit applications to nominating entities: June 28th, 2020 (midnight, Paris time). And the Deadline for nominating entities to submit their nominations to UNESCO is July 12th, 2020 (midnight, Paris time).


Email ID: literaryprizes@unesco.org