UNESCO International Literacy Prizes 2017 (Up to US$20,000 for Winners)

UNESCO International Literacy Prizes 2017 (Up to US$20,000 for Winners)

Deadline: May 31, 2017 (Application) / June 14, 2017 (Nomination)

UNESCO is calling for applications and nominations for its two prestigious International Literacy Prizes for the 2017 edition. This year’s theme is ‘literacy in a digital world’, which will also set the focus for International Literacy Day, celebrated on September 8. Since 1967, UNESCO International Literacy Prizes have rewarded excellence and innovation in the field of literacy. Over 475 projects and programmes undertaken by governments, non-governmental organizations and individuals around the world have been recognized. Through these prestigious Prizes, UNESCO seeks to support effective literacy practices and encourages the promotion of dynamic literate societies.

Currently there are two UNESCO International Literacy Prizes:

  • The UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize (2 awards): Established in 1989, with the support of the Government of the Republic of Korea. It gives special consideration to the development and use of mother-tongue literacy education and training.
  • The UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy (3 awards): The UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy, established in 2005, with the support of the Government of the People’s Republic of China. It gives special consideration to literacy amongst adults in rural areas and out-of-school youth, particularly girls and women.


  • Each of the five prize winners receives a medal, a diploma, and US$20,000 for their project or programme. The UNESCO International Literacy Prizes are awarded at an official ceremony at UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris on the International Literacy Day.


Application is open to:

  • Institutions, organizations and individuals promoting literacy through effective and innovative projects or programmes;
  • Eligible programmes or projects who have a proven record of innovative work in the field of literacy for at least three years;
  • Programmes/projects that have not been awarded the UNESCO International Literacy Prizes in the past five years.

Application/Nomination Process

Read application guidelines before proceeding to the apply

  • Candidates should take into account this year’s theme – literacy in a digital world – and also consider the special focus of each Prize;
  • Applications should be submitted to the Director-General of UNESCO through appropriate governments of Member States and non-governmental organizations in official partnership with UNESCO;
  • Each government or non-governmental organization can nominate up to three applications for the UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy, and up to two applications for the UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize.

Application Timeline

  • May 2017: Launch of Call for Applications and Nominations 2017
  • June 2017: International Jury Meeting
  • August 2017: Announcement of the Prize Winners
  • September 2017: Award Ceremony

For more information, visit UNESCO International Literacy Prizes.