The Early Grade Reading Assessment Applications and interventions to improve basic literacy

By Amber Gove, Anna Wetterberg

The Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) measures students' progress towards reading. EGRA gauges early literacy skills through a 15-minute individual oral assessment of five fundamental reading skills. RTI worked with education experts to develop the EGRA in 2006, and it has been piloted and implemented in more than 40 countries. This volume aims to take stock of the substantial amount of information and experience generated through the use of EGRA, and to share this knowledge with practitioners, policymakers, and international donors. Chapters cover not only particular applications of the instrument but also put EGRA in the context of broader issues and developments in literacy and education.


Gove, A., & Wetterberg, A. (Eds.) (2011). The Early Grade Reading Assessment: Applications and interventions to improve basic literacy. (RTI Press Publication No. BK-0007-1109). Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI Press.

© 2019 RTI International. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


“This volume describes the substantial progress and potential of EGRA, from its conceptual underpinnings to its practical potential—all in the service of enhancing learning around the world. It is critical reading for those at the forefront of trying to improve children’s literacy in the world’s poorest countries.”

—Dan Wagner, UNESCO Chair in Learning and Literacy, and Director, International Literacy Institute, University of Pennsylvania

“A promising approach, simple yet, properly done, rigorous. Foregrounds a core piece of the education quality puzzle early in the schooling process, before so many children drop out.”

—Colette Chabbott, Adjunct Faculty, George Washington University

“The approaches described are practical, experience-based, and designed to build on existing capacity within countries. . . . As the movement towards ‘all children reading’ gains momentum, books such as this one, offering case studies of what works, are a needed and very welcome addition to the literature.”

—Robert Prouty, Head, Global Partnership for Education

“The often shocking results from EGRA and EGRA-like assessments continue to fundamentally alter how education quality is viewed. Appropriately used, these tools have remarkable power to support improved literacy for millions of learners around the world.”

—Patrick Collins, Acting Basic Education Team Leader, Economic Growth and Trade, Office of Education, USAID

“Building solid foundations of learning at the right time is essential for every child’s future educational success. Reading is a key element for this foundation. This book is a must for all those who want to help children get off to a right start.”

—Rukmini Banerji, Programme Director, Pratham


Amber GoveAmber Gove is the team leader for Teaching and Learning with RTI’s International Education Group. Much of her recent work has centered on the development of the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA), which has been used in more than 50 languages and countries to inform policy and improve teaching and learning. She has worked closely with government counterparts in Latin America, Africa, and South Asia in project design and evaluation, research and data analysis, and policy dialogue. Her research and policy interests include measurement and improvement of student learning, education finance, conditional cash transfer programs, and factors affecting achievement, enrollment, and attendance.

Anna WetterbergAnna Wetterberg, PhD, works as a social science research analyst in RTI’s International Development Group. Dr. Wetterberg has more than 10 years’ experience working on research and operations in international development. In Indonesia, she managed a research and training program at the Ministry of Agriculture, led research on local-level institutions for the World Bank, and contributed to the monitoring and evaluation framework for the country’s largest poverty alleviation and participatory planning program. Dr. Wetterberg’s current research interests include state-society relations, corporate social responsibility, and international labor standards.

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