Alif Ailaan: Shifting the Paradigm of Education

Alif Ailaan: Shifting the Paradigm of Education

White Rice x UKAID x DAI



Nearly 25 million boys and girls were out of school in Pakistan. As a nation, we are leaps and bounds behind where we should be. To transform the educational landscape of a nation, we need a higher degree of political salience for education.


Led by DAI and funded by UKAID, Alif Ailaan (Education Declaration) became Pakistan’s most far-reaching and impactful educational movement. Alif Ailaan was the response to a need for a dramatic change in the level of active political engagement on education issues.

As branding and creative Partner, White Rice built the brand of the campaign and helped support the movement through a rich and multifaceted campaign design. From grassroots organizing to policy-shaping, we developed a brand identity and campaign that resonates with stakeholders in the community and promotes political efficacy while informing systematic change.

We brought 360-degree communication to the heart of the campaign on multiple levels. Through national-level media, advocacy, grassroots campaigning, outdoor events, and guerilla marketing tactics, we built a brand identity with a shared vision of changing the education status quo among both rural and urban settings.

Now a nationwide movement, the campaign design targeted multiple fronts:

  • Building a Grassroots Movement: The campaign focused on organizing stakeholders at every end of the issue. It kicked off with mobilizing parents, teachers, community influencers, and local government representatives across Pakistan to pledge to be torchbearers in the mission for access to education. At the village level, White Rice worked closely with Alif Ailaan to design resources for the ‘Youth Champions’ to actively engage communities and key decision-makers. In addition to town hall debates and disruptive conversations on the educational landscape, a nation-wide roadshow, titled Taleem Karavan, played a huge role in on the ground awareness. We worked side by side to create an experience that attracted attention, resulting in a branded Karavan of cars and vans that went from Khyber to Karachi, touching small and big towns on its way, spreading the message of education.
  • Lobbying to Activate Political Stakeholders and Policy-Makers: The campaign launched a year before a critical election. Using the momentum of elections, Alif Ailaan got politicians to commit to taking the issue of education seriously and pledging to take action in their constituencies. Additionally, the campaign continued to partner with NGOs, local community organizations, and rural support programs to scale the effort and take the message to millions. Throughout this process, White Rice supported Alif Ailaan’s teams with strategies, content, and tools to make these initiatives come to life.
  • Mass Media to Massify Impact: A massive social media campaign played a vital role in mobilizing the privileged and digitally active middle-classes of Pakistan. By highlighting the current state of education in contrast to political success stories, we documented and organized citizens to put pressure on their policy-makers.



This community-led nationwide movement has been instrumental in reaching millions to shift the narrative of education in Pakistan. Alif Ailaan went beyond the issue of low school enrollment to make the quality of education a national question. The campaign was responsible for coining the term ‘Education Emergency,’ which has been used by the Prime Minister to discuss the state of education in the country. The bottom-up approach implemented at every level of the campaign created a participatory national movement that kept the beneficiaries–the children – at the forefront of the cause.

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