The Localization Alliance


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Partner with the Trust



The Localization Alliance

for Integral Human Development


The Bad News: 3 billion people are at risk

Experienced development practitioners in all sectors will tell you that if programs and projects aren't inclusive and participatory, then they won't be sustainable.

Yet many of the world's most at-risk people are not able to participate in the most basic processes of their own development.  The majority of these are women and children in ethnic and linguistic minority communities.

Globally, the bulk of education -- as well as development and humanitarian services -- are provided in 126 'official' languages. But the most marginalized people are among the 3 billion whose mother-tongue is one of the world's other 6,979 minority languages. Many of these don't have adequate functional fluency to learn effectively in the official 'language of education' where they live.

This situation is compounded by the need for age, grade, and gender-appropriate teaching and learning resources for communities within each of these languages. And the most at-risk are individuals marginalized still further by a disability or traumatic life experience of some sort such as sexual abuse, conflict, and/or physical displacement from their home area.

$Billions are spent each year by governments, international agencies and multilateral donors to help these very people, but with only marginal impact, thus far.

The Good News: localization through cocreation

The good news is that promising approaches for decentralizing the cocreation of localized teaching and learning resources have emerged in recent years. And the potential is growing rapidly with the accelerated pace of educational technology development. If these could be combined, enhanced and facilitated efficiently, somehow, the potential for every person to be dynamically involved in the processes of their own development would be assured.

But building and maintaining the infrastructure necessary to support such local efforts – globally – will require cooperation and partnerships amongst a host of public and private agencies.

To that end, The Localization Alliance for Integral Human Development was chartered and launched in September 2012 during the 2nd Annual mEducation Alliance International Symposium in Washington, DC. The Alliance will function as a public-private partnership along the lines of USAID's Global Development Alliance model, and welcomes government, public, private, and faith-based development agencies, universities, independent researchers, companies, foundations, and all who will join us in the affirmation that:

All people – regardless of their ethnicity, gender, age, creed, tongue, education, disability, social status or locale – have the right to be dynamically involved in the processes of their own development, and should have access to life-crucial information in the language, cultural perspective, and forms of communication that serve them best.

Yours for access to life-crucial information for all people,
Mike Trainum

Life Access Technology Trust

'How Mobiles Can Help Localize Integral Human Development for 3 Billion at the Bottom' is the storyboard and voice-over text for the 6 minute video at the top of this page. The video was the introduction for a keynote panel discussion at the mEducation Alliance symposium. Here's the session abstract and speaker biographies for the panel. Please note that The Localization Alliance is looking for "academic, corporate, government, development agency, and community-based organization partners." Please contact me with questions or to discuss your interest.

This World Vision documentary on localization in a Nepali community is from 2008.