The Mali USAID/ PHARE program (Programme Harmonisé d'Appui au Renforcement de l'Education) supported the Malian Ministry of Education's efforts to improve the quality of elementary education, with an emphasis on literacy. This five-year program worked nationally, reaching over 40,000 classrooms and 500,000 students. Known as "Road to Reading" in English, the program produced and broadcasted Interactive Radio Instruction (IRI) programs for grades 1–6 with dual instructional objectives for teachers and students. The program also strived to improve the Ministry's evaluation systems, particularly around reading and writing. Further efforts improved pre-service and in-service teacher training and supervisory practices. Pilot programs helped develop a model for reaching nomadic populations and children with mild to moderate special needs. New technologies, such as smart phones and mini-computers, were adapted to the Malian context and those that proved most effective scaled up through public-private partnerships.
United States Agency for International Development