Digital Literacy Curriculum

When women in extreme poverty have the digital world at their fingertips, change happens

In 2021, with the support of the Digital Development Partnership, administered by the World Bank, and the EQUALS Global Partnership Access Coalition, Trickle Up teamed up with AVSI Foundation Uganda to test two approaches for women’s digital literacy and inclusion.

Photo credit: AVSI Foundation

The advent of COVID-19 in March 2020 sparked a digital revolution globally. We set out to reconnect the world and mitigate the negative effects of the pandemic. But as this took place, the gender digital divide—the gap between women and men’s technology access and usage—which had been shrinking for years, once again began to increase. With a clear need to ensure women can access and use essential tools to develop their businesses and cope with the economic and social shocks that the pandemic wrought, a stronger connection between the goal of women’s economic empowerment and developing women’s digital literacy skills emerged.

That’s why Trickle Up and AVSI Foundation Uganda, with support from the Digital Development Partnership, administered by the World Bank, and the EQUALS Global Partnership Access Coalition, undertook a yearlong project to test two approaches to improve women’s digital literacy and inclusion. The team worked in Uganda with refugee and host community women already on their trajectory out of poverty and sought to increase their agency, ownership and usage of smartphones to power economic and social inclusion.

Digital Literacy Skills


31% of animated video plus and 17% of animated video only participants had digital literacy skills. Compare with 5% for both groups before the project began.

Device Ownership


89% of host community and 73% of refugee women have stated that they are the primary owners of their digital devices.



Over 90% of participants informed the team that they never need to ask permission to use their smartphones.

Digital Literacy Tools

The curriculum the team developed and piloted is now available for open source use.

Please sign up to download a copy of the EQUALS Digital Literacy curriculum. 

Any questions about the EQUALS Digital Literacy Curriculum, please contact  Shoshana Hecker, Senior Director of Refugee Affairs.

Session 1 Video 1

Switching On and Off

Session 1 Video 2

Making a Phone Call, Adding and Saving a Contact

Session 1 Video 3

Sending an SMS Text Message

Session 1 Video 4

Charging Your Smartphone

Session 1 Video 5

Caring for Your Smartphone and Solar Charger

Session 2 Video 1

Mobile Money Registration

Session 2 Video 2

Replacing SIM Cards

Session 2 Video 3

Sending Mobile Money and Checking Balance

Session 2 Video 4

Buying Airtime Using Mobile Money

Session 2 Video 5

Mobile Money Savings and Loans

Session 2 Video 6

Protecting One’s Mobile Money Pin

Session 3 Video 1

Risks and Benefits of Smartphone Usage

Session 4 Video 1

Introduction to MOBIPAY

Session 4 Video 2

MOBIPAY App Login Steps and Ordering

Session 4 Video 3

Ordering for Agro-inputs Using USSD and IVR Codes

Project Partners