The Cuban Adult Literacy Campaign (Yes, I Can) in Aboriginal Western NSW, 2012-17: Has it Worked?, A Report on Preliminary Findings Related to Campaign Governance and Organisation

A School of Education seminar presented on August 30th, 2017 by Associate Professor Toni Schofield (USyd) and Associate Professor Bob Boughton

This presentation focuses on findings from one of a combination of studies - an ARC Linkage Project - designed to investigate the impacts and efficacy of an adult literacy campaign (Yes, I Can) developed in Cuba and rolled out in Aboriginal communities in Western NSW. The Project is conducted by a team of researchers from UNE, the Lowitja Institute and the Literacy for Life Foundation. It began in September-October 2016.

The particular study from which the findings in this presentation are drawn involves the governance and organisation of the campaign since its commencement in 2012 until the present, 2017. Over this time, Aboriginal communities in Wilcannia, Bourke, Enngonia and Brewarrina have hosted and introduced the campaign, collaborating with campaign agencies and workers to encourage local people to get involved and improve their literacy. In investigating governance and organisation, the study sought to identify how the campaign worked: who were included and excluded? who did what? in what sorts of relationships with one another - collaborative/consultative/hierarchical? according to whose authority? with whose consent? towards what ends and purposes? for whose benefit? with what sorts of resources and provided by whom? within what sorts of public policy frameworks? within what sorts of public administrative structures? within what sorts of Aboriginal decision-making structures?

The overarching purpose of the study was to determine whether the governance and organisation of the campaign generated opportunities for, and barriers to, significant and sustained local participation in the campaign; and possibilities for ongoing literacy development and community advancement.