Book Review: Open and Distance Non-formal Education in Developing Countries by Colin Latchem
In compiling over 180 cases of successful open and distance non-formal education (ODL NFE) interventions from across the developing world, the late Colin Latchem, author of Open and distance non-formal education in developing countries, has broken new ground. Although a few authors have taken a comparable approach (e.g., Hanemann, & Scarpino, 2016; Siaciwena, 2000), none has come close to providing such a comprehensive overview, detailing not only with the scope and quality of work being done but also the variety of providers who work in disparate cultures and societies under the banner of ODL NFE. Readers will be impressed with the wide-ranging examples of rich and often innovative ways in which ODL NFE is being used. The cases span areas such as adult literacy, gender equity, sanitation, agriculture and entrepreneurship; they address the needs of out-of-school children, the community of persons with disabilities, illiterate farmers, persons in crisis affected contexts, and prisoners; and they describe solutions which use ‘no tech’, ‘low tech’ and ‘high tech’ tools. It is in this respect that the book serves as both an inspiration and practical guide for those working in the non-formal education sector, especially in developing countries, be they practitioners or policy makers.