Books are essential to early grade reading instruction. Often times, however, when books (both textbooks and supplemental reading materials) are ordered for low-income countries, they do not end up in the hands of the students who need them. A critical step in solving this problem is the ability to track books in transit and trace them to their destination.
As such, All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development launched the Tracking and Tracing Books Prize Competition. The competition sought innovations to track books destined for early-grade classrooms and learning centers in low-income countries and allow stakeholders, ranging from parents to Ministries of Education and donor agencies, to quickly and easily access tracking information.
JSI and partner, World Education, were awarded a grant to pilot test JSI's Track and Trace health logistics system for educational materials in Malawi.
While this Logistics Management Information System (LMIS) provides critical data that can be used for operational decision making, annual forecasting of needs, advocacy, and resource mobilization by tracking and tracing the progress of books from the time the order is placed to their arrival in early grade classrooms, other elements of the logistics cycle must function effectively in order for enough textbooks and supplemental reading materials to reach the classrooms and be available for children to use.
Watch a video produced by the All Children Reading: Grand Challenge for Development on JSI's pilot test in Malawi, Tracking and Tracing Books. This pilot project is now being adapted in Cambodia by World Education with funding from the World Bank's Reach for Reading Program