OLA was developed in 2011-12 by literacy experts in collaboration with EDC’s International Development Division, to meet the need for a youth-focused assessment of reading skills in post-conflict and under-resourced environments. The initial version of the assessment was developed in English and field tested in Liberia, with subsequent adaptations and field tests in Rwanda (in Kinyarwanda) and Mali (in Bambara).
In the summer of 2013, EDC convened a panel of international reading and assessment experts to review the instrument and the data. Their overall finding was that OLA shows great promise as an instrument for measuring gains in basic reading skills in the most challenging environments. The panel made a number of helpful suggestions aimed at strengthening OLA’s literacy assessments and the demographic questionnaire, some which will be implemented in the short-term and others that will be used to guide OLA’s future development.
OLA is part of EDC’s toolkit for early reading programs for children and youth. For more information on ReadRightNow!, go to http://rrn.edc.org/.