About Us

Uwezo, meaning ‘capability’ in Kiswahili, is a five year initiative that aims to improve competencies in literacy and numeracy among children aged 6-16 years old in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. We do this through using an innovative, citizen-driven approach to social change that is accountable to the public. We enable policy makers as well as ordinary citizens – parents, students, local communities and the public at large – to become aware of actual levels of children’s literacy and numeracy, and build on that awareness to stimulate practical community and policy change across East Africa.

The idea of Uwezo is very simple. We send children to school because we expect them to learn the basic skills and competencies necessary to thrive. So Uwezo – instead of focusing on impressive numbers of classrooms built, teachers recruited, and books supplied asks the simple question ‘Are Our Children Learning?’

Uwezo has the following key components:

  1. A large household based survey covering all districts in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda;
  2. A simple tool to assess literacy and numeracy that can be easily administered;
  3. A citizen volunteer-driven approach to conduct the assessments;
  4. Instant feedback of the assessment results to parents/guardians, children and local leaders;
  5. Broad communication across the three countries to create debate;
  6. Repeating the assessments and survey each year to create and sustain momentum for change