UIL building in Hamburg

At the institutional level, UIE underwent another major change in 2006, when it went from operating as a foundation under German civil law to a fully-fledged international UNESCO institute. A host country agreement was negotiated between the German Government, UNESCO, and the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, the latter of which now provides the Institute with its premises at the historic Albert Ballin Villa at Feldbrunnenstrasse 58 in the city centre. This change of legal status was preceded by a name change, from UIE to the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), reflecting the Institute’s long-standing focus on adult learning as well as out-of-school and non-formal education within a lifelong learning perspective.

With the fifth International Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA V) in Hamburg, Germany in 1997, and the adoption of the Dakar Framework for Action, it became apparent that a global monitoring of adult learning and education (ALE) was needed. Consequently, ahead of CONFINTEA VI, held in Belém, Brazil, in 2009, UIL prepared its first Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE), which has since been produced every three to four years. GRALE monitors whether UNESCO Member States are putting their international ALE commitments into practice. It combines survey data, policy analysis and case studies to provide policy-makers and practitioners with sound recommendations and examples of good practice. The first GRALE provided CONFINTEA VI participants from 144 countries with sound evidence for their discussions, and led to the adoption of the Belém Framework for Action (BFA), a commitment by UNESCO Member States to promote ALE and to monitor and report on national progress on a regular basis.

Global Report on Adult Learning and Education

In the same year, UIL established its Effective Literacy and Numeracy Practices Database (LitBase), which provides literacy stakeholders with successful examples of literacy and numeracy programmes and remains a valuable resource until today.