Hewlett Open Licensing and Early Literacy Research Grant

NBA currently has a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to explore both the potential for open licensing to enhance the availability of mother‐tongue early literacy reading resources in the global South and the attendant risks. Through an earlier grant from the Hewlett Foundation, research covered the impact of open licensing on the early literacy ecosystem, emerging innovations, and the implications for content creation, publishing, and use of reading materials in developing countries, primarily in Africa. Our research focused on picture books that children can read for pleasure rather than ‘decodable’ texts that are used for instruction. NBA is continuing this work and carrying out both desktop case studies and action research, with participation from key players in Africa and South Asia. This research will explore whether open licensing can be employed sustainably by content producers – commercial and non‐commercial alike – in the global South. The research also examines how the development of new technologies threatens to disrupt traditional publishing chains, and how these threats might be harnessed to create sustainable new business models.