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Foundational Learning Action Tracker (FLAT)

In 2023, UNICEF and the Hempel Foundation successfully launched the Foundational Learning Action Tracker (FLAT) as a one-year pilot project, with the aim to drive progress on foundational learning and foster deeper collaboration and knowledge-sharing on what works to improve foundational learning.

  • Where
  • Focus area
  • Duration
    2024 - 2026
  • Economy
    DKK 6 million
Prime partner: UNICEF


Strong foundational literacy, numeracy and socioemotional skills are vital for any child to obtain further education and to have an empowered, self-determined life, leading to more prosperous, gender-equal and democratic societies. 

But the world is facing a learning crisis. In low- and middle-income countries, it is estimated that up to 70 per cent of children lack the ability to read and understand a simple text by the age of 10 – revealing an extraordinary level of learning poverty globally. This has prompted a historic movement of governments, development partners, civil society, teachers, parents and students to convene and collaborate to urgently address the learning crisis and ensure that every child obtains the foundational skills on which all future learning is built. However, many governments in low- and middle-income countries with high rates of learning poverty have yet to commit to tangible, measurable action to address the learning crisis. 

The Foundational Learning Action Tracker (FLAT) focuses on monitoring progress in terms of policy actions and system effectiveness on foundational learning in low- and middle-income countries using the RAPID framework; and secondly on inspiring, encouraging and guiding governments to commit to policy action and financing in support of foundational learning. 

The initiative

The Action Tracker, drawing on findings from a survey of 94 low- and middle-income countries, is an online tool setting out the latest data on country progress on foundational learning. It is designed to support knowledge exchange between governments and regions, helping to measure exactly where changes in policy, practice or budgets are having an impact on learning, and identify where more action is needed. The tracker features different assets, including: 

  • More than 20 tailored country scorecards looking at specific national results
  • Infographics highlighting key findings
  • Regional briefs

Progress is measured against the five key policy actions set out in the ‘RAPID’ agenda, which urges all governments to urgently:

  • Reach every child and keep them in school;
  • Assess learning levels regularly;
  • Prioritise teaching the fundamentals;
  • Increase the efficiency of instruction, including through catch-up learning; and
  • Develop psychosocial health and well-being, so that children are ready to learn.
"Thrilled to partner with the Hempel Foundation to develop the Action Tracker. It will serve as a compass, guiding us towards the realization of SDG4. Through this partnership, we cultivate an ecosystem of shared learning, nurturing every child's infinite potential and paving the way for a future where no dream is out of reach." - Robert Jenkins, Global Director of Education and Adolescent Development at UNICEF


The project has three main deliverables to be met on a yearly basis:

  1. production of a global report accompanied by regional briefs, 
  2. country scorecards for selected countries,
  3. implementation of the advocacy strategy and work plan.

These deliverables are expected to contribute to the achievement of three key outcomes:

  1. enhanced understanding of the progress on and bottlenecks to foundational learning
  2. improved knowledge regarding what works to accelerate foundational learning
  3. increased government action on foundational learning

The overall aim is that in three years, all Ministers of Education in low- and middle-income countries are aware of their country’s FLAT data and score as well as actively use it to improve foundational learning in their country. Findings and insights from countries will be shared during high-level events to drive knowledge sharing and promote increased commitment to action on foundational learning. 

The resulting progress can be tracked through the yearly update of the FLAT country ratings, which provide insight on both policy action and system effectiveness.  

Learn more about the Foundational Learning Action Tracker:

UNICEF report
Presenting FLAT at the UN General Assembly 2023