Since independence, Timor-Leste has taken initiatives to improve adult literacy and successive governments, international NGOs and donor agencies have been involved in literacy programmes. This paper explores the non-formal literacy programmes with a particular focus on the Second Chance Education Project (SCEP), an accelerated learning model that helps improve literacy and numeracy, integrating academic and life skills through tailored support. SCEP was funded and supported by the World Bank and UNESCO in the initial stages, and implemented by the Ministry of Education that continues to run the programme through community learning centres established in 8 municipalities. It analyses SCEP and the public policy framework, and scans through commitments made by the government to improve adult literacy. This paper examines the impact of SCEP employing a mixed-methods approach; examining public policies & literature on adult learning, incorporating the views of various stakeholders to assess the impact and sustainability of the programmes. It concludes that programme and policy level structural limitations hinder efforts to improve literacy among adults; this needs to be addressed to achieve the goals set in the national education plan.