Headshot of David Kahler

David Kahler passed away in September 2015. 
His obituary can be found Here.


Before coming to CIE, David was a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal. He then moved to teaching in classrooms at the Lowville Academy in New York and afterwards in Honduras between 1970 and 1973. He began a lifelong focus on evaluating integrated literacy programs in 1974, working with the International Institute for Adult Literacy Methods (IIALM), in Teheran, Iran.


After receiving his doctorate David joined World Education, Inc. (WEI) in 1985 as a senior program officer and then became World Education’s Vice President for Asia programs. He stayed with WEI for 27 years.  With World Education he worked on training and organizational development and adapted World Education’s nonformal participatory learning approach to a range of sectors such as maternal and child health, reproductive health, integrated pest management, water management and climate change.


Characteristic of his work with WEI was the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) project in Indonesia. IPM used a literacy and numeracy program to increase yields and reduce costs for rice farmers, while protecting the environment by reducing the use of pesticides. It was a model of nonformal learning to promote development.  Subsequently the model was applied in the Philippines with school children who were learning IPM as part of their project based science learning, and to a similar project in Thailand.


When David retired from WEI in 2012 he commented: “I’ve stayed with World Education because there is always something new and challenging about the work. Even with the changes of the past 27 years, the ethos of the organization has remained constant.”


In 2013, David was one of three Founding Board Members of the organization Good Return whose mission is to enable women who are marginalized and excluded to achieve economic empowerment through responsible financial inclusion and capability development.


One example of the many studies and reports he wrote is: “Linking Nonformal Education to Development: NGO Experiences during the Education for all Decade” published by UNESCO in 2000.[10-15]


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CIE Graduate