Organization Details

What is your organization's name?


What is your organization's classification?


In what city, town, or region is your organization headquartered?

Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia

Provide your organization’s mission and/or vision statement and list its core values.


We have been fortunate enough to have learned many languages! We can also recognize its transformative effect on a human and social level.

With this as our passion, we provide educational opportunities so that the power of language is accessible to EVERYONE.


As a cultural transfer and social impact network, our vision for 2023 is to connect different actors and reduce barriers related to languages by offering increasing amounts of educational opportunities:
  • - Equal access to basic skills (reading and writing in Spanish and Mathematics) to 1,500 boys and girls from low-income communities in Colombia.

  • - Equal access to 21st-century skills, including foreign language skills, for 500 men and women in Colombia.

Core values: 

  • Love

  • Multilingualism

  • Respect

  • Gratitude

  • Sustainability

How many products or programs does your organization operate? Please use numeric values only.


What stage of development is your organization’s product or program that is the focus of your LEAP Project?

Pilot: An organization testing a product or program with a small number of users.
Team Lead Details

Who (first and last name) is the Team Lead for your application and LEAP Project?

Diana Suárez

Describe the role the Team Lead plays in your organization. [100-200 words recommended]

The Team Lead of our organization is the founder and director of GLOT. She oversees all of the educational projects and initiatives and has done so since the very beginning of the organization. This means that Diana has an excellent knowledge of GLOT’s values, mission, and initiatives, both past and present which is an incredible asset to the team. Given that Diana is personally engaged in the process of planning and supervising initiatives she is also responsible to monitor funding and supervise budget allocation for different projects. She works closely with the organization’s auditor and financial advisor to ensure funding is being adequately distributed and oversees all budgetary allocations, including those for the Kit Literacy+ program. As the main representative of the organization, she is the main point of contact for potential funding partners and allies for different projects, who she collaborates closely with. Finally, alongside undertaking the administrative and financial responsibilities for GLOT, Diana also keeps track regularly of the key performance indicators of our projects which are vital to monitor the impact of GLOT’s interventions.

Explain how your Team Lead and supporting team members are well-positioned to effectively support the LEAP Project, given other priorities within your organization. [200-500 words - recommended]

Diana Suárez is being put forward as the Team Lead. Diana Suárez has been involved with the project since its inception. She has led the development of the earliest designs and implementation of the Kit Literacy+. Diana has also coordinated the past two program evaluations that have been undertaken by external evaluators. She has access to the historical records of the organizations and the collection of information and evidence that has been put together over the years regarding the Kit Literacy+ scheme. Therefore, Diana is in an excellent position to support the LEAP Project and provide them with any information or data they may request on the project or organization more widely. As the founder and director of GLOT, Diana also has the authority to implement the changes and take on board any of the suggestions of the LEAP Team, and since the team will be in direct communication with Diana they will be able to discuss with her freely how GLOT can best use the research outputs.  

Furthermore, Diana has also been involved first-hand with the implementation of the Kit Literacy+ in schools in Colombia. She has had the privilege to engage with teachers and students of these educational centers since the beginning of the project. Diana is originally from Colombia and is fluent in both Spanish and English which makes her an excellent communicator in diverse settings and a well-positioned liaison between the communities in Colombia and any external teams. She has worked extensively with international and domestic partners to support GLOT’s initiatives and has had at least ten years of previous experience supervising outreach and educational access programs as a project manager for a local university in Colombia and with the local government as well, namely with the Secretariat of Education. She is very familiar with project management logistics and the specific educational context of Colombia, which could be really useful for the LEAP Team. 

Supporting team members include a small team of collaborators who are available at any time to undertake small tasks related to the project that the LEAP Team may need and gather any information that could be used to supplement the work of the LEAP Team. Furthermore, GLOT employs both a legal and financial advisor for their organization that the LEAP Team could also have access to if they had any questions about budget, funding, or the particular legislation and regulations in Colombia.

Solution Details

One-line solution summary: In 20 words or less, summarize your organization's product or program that is the focus of your LEAP Project.

Kit Literacy+, an accelerated learning program to assess and improve foundational skills in Colombian children by using learning-through-play.

Define the problem that your solution seeks to solve. [200-500 words recommended]

Educational performance in rural Colombia is disproportionately low compared with their urban counterparts. The Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA) undertaken in 2015 by the OECD found that rural students in Colombia scored on average 38 points below the students in urban centers of Colombia. This difference is equivalent to more than 1 year of schooling. Results in Latin America and the Caribbean in particular are falling short of reaching the goal of primary school students who pass a minimum proficiency threshold in foundational skills. Furthermore, COVID-19 has exacerbated inequalities relating to access to quality education. Leaders and organizations worldwide have made an urgent call to tackle educational challenges at different levels to ensure adequate learning outcomes following the pandemic (Save Our Future, 2020). Since limitations on accessing adequate schooling and poor educational opportunities contribute significantly to the prevalence of high poverty levels in rural Colombia we believe that education is a powerful vehicle to gradually improving community wellbeing and living standards.

The lack of educational opportunities and infrastructure such as primary and secondary schools disproportionately affects children from low-income families and in rural communities. In these regions in Colombia, the low number of schools and their highly sparse distribution makes it difficult for children to access these educational facilities. Girls, Indigenous children, refugee children, and those from families which have been displaced, such as refugees from Venezuela coming to Colombia in recent years or those internally displaced, are just some of the groups of children who are disproportionately affected by poor educational outcomes. Many children within these groups have specific educational needs and capacities which are not commonly being met. The lack of financial resources and educational facilities, in general, are often cited as reasons why a ‘one size fits all’ educational model ought to be adopted over more tailored approaches that take into consideration children’s individual needs and priorities. It is for this reason that GLOT is putting forward an education program designed to make learning more enjoyable and accessible in Colombia based on evidence-based methodologies. 

Describe your solution and how it works in simple terms. [200-500 words recommended]

The solution is the Kit Literacy+, which is an accelerated learning program to assess and improve children's literacy and numeracy skills using different types of play. The differential value of the KIT is the combination of two evidence-based methodologies into one: 1) It takes the materials of the KIT to use learning-through-play as the learning methodology in our context. 2) The program is inspired by Teaching at The Right Level (TaRL) developed by Pratham Education Foundation in India. With this methodology, children are taught according to their learning levels and not their age or grade. Both child-centered approaches have been widely studied worldwide and have positive learning effects on vulnerable children. 

The program was selected in 2020 as a consolidated innovation in the first contest for Educational Justice in Latin America and the Caribbean by SUMMA and the International Development Bank.

The kit is designed for children between the ages of 7 and 14, grades 3rd to 5th, in rural schools in Colombia. The program includes a training process for teachers, personalized mentorship, and colorful material with more than 12 items to teach children according to their abilities. Those items were designed to be multi-functional and can be used for different games and learning objectives. To facilitate teachers' implementation in the classroom, there is a guide with learning activities and prompts to create new ways of learning and play. At the implementation stage, children are grouped according to their literacy and numeracy skills, not age or grade as is usually the case, allowing a more tailored education approach. This helps us avoid a ‘one size fits all’ approach to education. 

In addition, the kit has an open-source application to collect and generate data and analytic reports in real-time without the need for an internet connection to gather data. This feature allows us to access remote areas with weak or no internet connection and have actionable data to report learning outcomes. The project involves partnering with schools and collaborating closely with teachers during the training process so they are comfortable using the Kit Literacy+ methodologies in their classrooms. 

Hence, the Kit Literacy+ provides an early and vital stepping stone for children in rural Colombia to improve their education levels. This is a novel teaching approach since the Teaching at the Right Level methodology, despite having been already adapted in a number of countries across the world, has not been implemented at a large scale in Colombia yet. However, through the Kit Literacy+ program, learning levels have been adapted to the national curriculum.

Select the key characteristics of your target population. Select all that apply.

  • Primary school children (ages 5-12)
  • Rural
  • Peri-Urban
  • Poor
  • Low-Income
  • Refugees & Internally Displaced Persons

In which country or countries does your solution currently operate?


Upload your solution's Theory of Change or Logic Model.

Where would you place your solution on Nesta's Standards of Evidence?

Level 2: You capture data that shows positive change, but you cannot confirm you caused this.

To date, what research/studies has your organization conducted that have helped demonstrate the effectiveness of your solution? [200-500 words recommended]

As we understand the importance of data and evidence to scale a program, since 2019 we started the literature review and adaptation of the program to the Colombian context. We take into consideration the existing evidence and information of the Teaching at The Right Level approach, pioneered by Pratham. That year we conducted a pre-post test on literacy levels on a small group of children, and found an improvement among those who attended the most. However, the sample size was not large enough and the evaluation was not designed to conclude that there was a statistically significant correlation between our intervention and the higher literacy results from the children in the schools used for the initial pilot intervention.  

In 2020, due to Covid-19 restrictions across Colombia and the evident health risks that prevailed at the time, we were not able to continue with the implementation of the Kit Literacy+  in the field. For this reason, we instead dedicated our efforts to building on the learning materials for children. 

A year later, in 2021, we partnered with a researcher from the University of Sussex (UK) and conducted qualitative research on the developments so far. The aim of the data collection process and its analysis for this project was to test user experience in the training of trainers process. In particular, it evaluated the experience of educators using the technological component of the training process and identifying any significant challenges or limitations with this method. This process followed the “Implementation and process evaluation (IPE) for interventions in education settings: An introductory handbook” by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and the University of Manchester (2019), and the criteria to answer the research questions were categorized by evidence of promise, feasibility of delivery and readiness for trial. The final result of this research was a final report outlining the methods, program design, data analysis, and main findings regarding the learning and user experience. 

The latest research on the Kit Literacy+ initiative took place in 2022, as part of the Global Trial Fund supported by the EFF, BHP Foundation, and SUMMA. The external evaluator of the implementation was the organization Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA). As part of this study, a pilot implementation of the Kit Literacy+ was developed as well as the mechanisms to undertake regular monitoring which would then allow for a full process evaluation. The objective of the pilot evaluation was to update the design of the Kit Literacy+ program in such a way that it is adjusted to the Colombian context and its theory of change is adjusted for the evaluation of intervention processes. It considered the relevance, activities, and results of the theory of change and determined the aspects that will allow the program to be replicated and scaled in other contexts.

What has the research/studies you have conducted revealed about your solution and how did it inform your work moving forward? [200-500 words recommended]

Following the first implementation of the Kit Literacy+ in 2019, an informal review session was held with students and parents to assess the effectiveness of the program so far and whether it was being well-received in the community it had been implemented. Early results did show improvements in reading abilities of children and we could confirm that the program was well received by parents and other members of the community, which was a vital stepping stone in the path to continue improving the product. 

The review that took place in 2021 focusing on user experience was particularly useful for GLOT to re-evaluate the online platform it had been using until then. The Kit Literacy+ included access to a virtual channel for training that could be used offline. The tool used was Kolibry, an open-source platform by Learning Equality. Despite the advantages that this brough with regards to delivering course material without the need of internet connection, the study identified clear limitations in the use of this virtual platform. The channel required a large amount of computer storage which was simply not adequate for the teacher’s computers and GLOT did not have the means to provide new devices to all educators. Furthermore, the study found that a lot of the more senior teachers, which made up the largest proportion of educators in the schools GLOT were working with, had troubles learning to use the platform so would end up not using it at all. As a result of these findings we decided to temporarily shift to Google Classroom as an alternative with the idea to phase out the virtual component of the Kit Literacy+ in its later implementations. These findings led to several changes in the structure and implementation of the Kit Literacy+ training process which were applied in the pilot program of 2022.

IPA’s external evaluation report from the implementation during 2022, has the results organized into three main categories: 1) The relevance of the program, 2) Early changes in knowledge and behavior among participants (teachers and students), and 3) Considerations for scaling the program. In general terms, Directors and teachers find the program "very pertinent" and the learning methodology through play is innovative in the classroom. The methodology is relevant for children in the intervention schools because students perform poorly on national tests. The training process must be changed since the teachers did not appropriate key knowledge to implement the methodology. And a more active mentorship must be ensured during the implementation.

As an additional result, IPA identified the presence of migrant families from Venezuela among participants. And crossing data, it observed that the initial and final levels in Spanish and Mathematics are lower for students of migrant parents in grades 3, 4 (with the exception of the initial results in Spanish in 5th), compared to the results of the total sample.

With these results, GLOT is going to adapt the program during 2023 with direct support from Pratham International.

LEAP Project Details

Describe your organization's need to strengthen the evidence base of your solution. [200-500 words recommended]

Our organization’s need to strengthen the evidence base of our solution currently stems to a large extent from the finding of the IPA evaluation report. In this report, as previously mentioned, there were a set of findings and recommendations for future courses of action. Most noticeable, adapting the teacher training process so that it would transform into a more intensive and immersive multi-day workshop experience. Given that we are currently in the process of thinking about how best to take on the report’s recommendations and make the necessary changes, we are also aware that when doing so we ought to simultaneously collect evidence of any changes being made and what impacts this is having on the children’s literacy outcomes. 

Currently, we are in the process of adapting Pratham’s TaRL methodology to the Colombian context and following conversations with Pratham International about the best practices and challenges to adapting this methodology they stressed the need for a strong evidence base. Specifically, we noticed that there is a knowledge gap when it comes to adapting the methodology to other country contexts, in particular that of Colombia. To date, we have found no successful example of the implementation of the TaRL methodology being implemented in Colombia and Pratham is not aware of this process taking place either. Since we are the first organization hoping to implement and scale up this project in Colombia it is vital that we document the process and its outcomes along the way so that we can undertake regular evaluations and identify specific best practices and limitations that apply to the Colombian context. 

Strengthening the evidence base of our product will be crucial before we decide to scale up its implementation. Not only are we hoping to continue implementing Kit Literacy+ in rural schools across Colombia but also in different community levels such as community centers and spaces for displaced children. Colombia currently hosts one of the largest refugee populations from Venezuela and there is currently little to no information about how to best adapt our product to children who have faced forced displacement for example. According to the International Data Alliance for Children on the Move (IDAC, 2020), globally there are an estimated 36.5 million forcibly displaced children. This phenomenon has become more salient across Latin America and in Colombia in particular. Estimates suggest that Colombia has the highest number of internally displaced children in Latin America, up to 2 million children and youth had fled their homes and moved to Colombia by 2022 (Internal Displacement Monitoring Center, 2022). So far, there is information about the methodology at the school level in Colombia with our recent pilot implementation. However, there is a lack of information on how this initiative may be implemented at the community level and how it may be adapted to meet the needs of the contemporary communities in Colombia, in particular with regard to the needs of refugee and internally displaced children in the country.

What are 2-3 research questions that you would like your LEAP Project to help you answer? [100 words recommended]

Our suggested research questions are:

  1. How can we build on the recommendations from the IPA report to better implement the TaRL approach in the Colombian context with children on the move, internally displaced children, and migrants?

  2. As the project was implemented in school settings during 2022, which considerations must be taken into account to implement the program at the community level in Colombia? 

We would greatly appreciate the opportunity to work with the LEAP Team to help us answer these questions or help us adapt and enhance them in order to have evidence for the next stages of the project.  

What type of research/studies do you think will help answer your stated questions? Select all that apply.

  • Foundational research (literature reviews, desktop research)

Please elaborate on your selection above by describing your desired outputs of the 12-week LEAP Project sprint. [200 - 500 words recommended]

Considering our organization’s need to strengthen the evidence base around how best to continue adapting and implementing the TaRL methodology in the context of Colombia we consider that foundational research, through literature review and desktop research, should be the focus of this project. 

In particular, we believe our organization would benefit most from research in the following areas which revolve around internally displaced children in Colombia. 

  • Displaced children: research on the context of refugee children in Colombia. Updated information on how many refugee children currently reside in Colombia and what is their geographical distribution like within the country and the organization that attends to their needs while on the move. What kind of specific educational challenges are they experiencing? What kind of educational interventions are developed in the national territory for them? 

  • Learning-through-play: What are the particular benefits of learning through play in the Colombian community context? Is this methodology suitable for children who have experienced violence and forced displacement? How may the learning-through-play methodology be adapted to meet the specific needs of these children?

  • TaRL implementation: What are the best practices for the implementation of the TaRL methodology in particular considering the needs of refugee children and those affected by conflict? To what extent has the TaRL methodology been applied in regions that feature a large proportion of children which may be classified as displaced, refugees or victims of conflict around the world? How did these children benefit from the initiative and whether the methodology had to be tailored in any specific ways to meet their needs?

As suggested here, our desired outputs revolve around strengthening our knowledge around the specific context of the state of education and TaRL in Colombia, in particular with regard to refugee and forcibly displaced children and how we can best adapt our project to their needs. In addition to these suggestions, we understand that the foundational research undertaken by the LEAP Team may point out different aspects of the educational context in Colombia that we may not have considered in our review. If this were the case, we would be very interested in knowing about this and we welcome any further research suggestions from the LEAP Team.

How will your organization put these outputs into action? [200-500 words recommended]

Once we have the results from the foundational research we want to use these findings to continue adapting our Kit Literacy+. We want to build on the suggestions from the IPA program evaluation report and the findings from the LEAP Team on the knowledge gaps identified by the IPA report on specific aspects of Colombian communities such as displaced children and how best to adapt the TaRL for them. Once we have this information we will return to the schools and communities that were first involved with the use of the Kit Literacy+ and consult with them about the changes and adaptations we are intending to make based on the evidence.  Following this, we will proceed to make the necessary changes and adapt the Kit. In particular, we will focus on enhancing the learning through play component based on the research and communicate this through the workshops of the teacher training process. This is a crucial step before we start planning the implementation and scaling up of our program.

Describe your desired short-term and long-term outcomes of the 12-week LEAP Project sprint for both your organization and solution. [200-500 words recommended]

Our short-term objectives revolve around closing the information and knowledge gaps that we have identified based on previous research and program evaluations for the Kit Literacy+. In particular, our short-term goal involves gaining a better understanding of the best practices and challenges with regard to implementing the TaRL methodology of our program at the community level in a way that meets the needs of refugee and internally displaced children in those communities. 

In the long term, our objectives revolve around implementation. The long-term outcome will be the final adapted product that can be distributed to communities across Colombia, including those facing educational challenges with refugee and internally displaced children. This final product will involve the actual Kit with a series of adapted games and activities for teachers to use in their classes as well as an enhanced teacher training program to ensure they feel comfortable and happy using the TaRL methodology adapted into the Kit Literacy+ initiative. Alongside the implementation process, we will continue to gather evidence on advances and challenges in the implementation of the program and the results we obtain from children’s abilities. This will allow us to monitor processes in the long term and have a strong evidence base for future program evaluations. 

Given that we have been in conversation with Pratham International recently about our initiative and how best we can implement the methodology they had developed originally into our own context in Colombia, another long-term outcome will be establishing closer collaboration with them and other organizations who are working to implement the TaRL methodology in their own contexts. This will be an incredibly useful outcome in order to continue learning from each other and supporting our common efforts in improving the literacy abilities of children and youth across the world.

Solution Team

  • Diana M. Suarez Founder & Strategic Advisor, GLOT Inc
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