Cottingham, S.

Action research report on REFLECT : Regenerated Freirean Literacy through Empowering Community Techniques : the experiences of three REFLECT pilot projects in Uganda, Bangladesh and El Salvador

This document is an ACTIONAID report on the two-year REFLECT program that was piloted in villages in Bangladesh, El Salvador, and Uganda. The REFLECT program is founded on the principles of Paulo Freire's philosophy of conscientisation and was aimed to promote active dialogue and empowerment among the participants. The report discusses the theoretical roots of the program, the methods that were used with REFLECT, and evaluations of the various projects in the previously mentioned countries.


The bulletin starts with an introductory article on the evolution of REFLECT (Regenerated Freirean Literacy through Empowering Community Techniques), which combines the Freirean approach to literacy with PRA. The teaching methods used in what is called a REFLECT circle (class) are described. Based on the result of the pilot projects, the article claims that REFLECT approach has been proved successful and cost-effective in teaching people to read and write and in enabling people to link literacy with wider developmental issues.

Reflect and gender: can the new literacy methodology contribute to women's empowerment?

This short article discusses the gender implications of the REFLECT adult literacy methodology. In REFLECT literacy circles provide a space where a topic of interest to both women and men is analyzed in an open-ended but well focused discussion, rooted in their own experiences. An evaluation of the three pilots of the REFLECT methodology which are being carried out in Uganda, Bangladesh and El Salvador found encouraging first results. Women reported being treated with more respect by men because they are attending literacy circles.