Beyond Access

  • Beyond Access logo with the tagline "Making Information Work for Everyone."

Beyond Access


IREX’s Beyond Access project worked with local partners in nine countries  to transform libraries into modern community information hubs.

Quick Facts

  • In Myanmar, 11,500 people accessed the internet for the first time through partner libraries.
  • In the Philippines, Beyond Access libraries saw a 30% increase in users in just one year.
  • In Bangladesh, 1,700 people accessed tablets in libraries for the first time.
  • In Peru, we transformed 70 of the country’s libraries into information hubs so citizens could access information and services.
  • In Georgia, we equipped over 160 Georgian libraries with new technology and provided internet access for rural communities. Staff trained 50,000 people in digital skills and on how to access services online.
Beyond Access


  • Expand the role of libraries in meeting community needs, especially to help communities access information, increase their literacy, or strengthen livelihoods.
  • Partner with local institutions, governments, and donors in nine countries to make libraries hubs for economic and social change.
  • Expand access to information and technology for all, including girls and women.
  • Mobilize local tech communities, nongovernmental organizations, and institutions to respond to early literacy needs.
Earlier, students didn’t have anything to do after school. Now they come to the library to read and use the tablets. They are spending quality time in reading, which has improved their knowledge and reading comprehension. Emran Ahmed Jaygirdar, head teacher of a school in Ahmednagar, Bangladesh

Project Activities

  • Access to information: We worked with governments, local organizations, and the private sector to maximize existing resources and extend inclusive access to information and technology to those who needed it most. Together with our partners, we provided guidance, matching funds, and training through community hubs like libraries to make sure everyone could participate in the 21st-century information society.
  • Literacy: Through our partnerships with governments and experts in literacy, community engagement, and technology, we mobilized communities to drive local support for reading and literacy outside of schools.
  • Employability: We supported governments and the private sector in connecting their existing employability initiatives to the people who stood to benefit the most. At the same time, we helped existing information hubs provide new services, like job training and digital skills training. Employment requires changing over time, so we worked with partners who would continually reassess and adapt.



Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation