Strengthening Citizen-Led Assessment Data

By Hannah-May Wilson, Program Manager, PAL Network Secretariat

As delegates gather for the World Bank South Asia Regional Workshop on Learning Assessment in New Delhi to share knowledge and learning on assessment practices in basic education in the South Asia region, the PAL Network of citizen-led assessment organizations spanning South Asia, Africa and Central America have just released their newly-created network-wide Data Quality Standards Framework. Continue reading

A Sound Investment: The Benefits of Large-Scale Learning Assessments

By Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), and David Coleman, Senior Education Advisor at Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and Head of the Strategic Planning Committee of the Global Alliance to Monitor Learning (GAML)

This blog was also published by the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). 

As delegates gather in New Delhi for the South Asia Regional Conference on Using Large-Scale Assessments to Improve Teaching and Learning, a new synthesis paper from the UIS makes the case for greater investment. Continue reading

The View from Madagascar: Data to Build Evidence-Based Policy

By Rolland Rabeson, Secretary-General of the National Education Ministry, Georges Solay Rakotonirainy, Secretary General of the Ministry of Employment, Technical and Vocational Education and Training, and Christian Guy Ralijaona, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Madagascar

Reinforcing and deepening regional synergies in education will be at the forefront of the Pan-African High-Level Conference on Education (PACE 2018) in Nairobi from 25-27 April. The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), a key partner of countries across the region, will give a series of presentations on the importance of data for national education planning and for monitoring international commitments enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goal for education (SDG 4).

The UIS is working side-by-side with country partners in a UNESCO-sponsored pilot project called Capacity Development for Education (CapED). The participating countries are: Afghanistan, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Mali, Madagascar, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal and Senegal. The aim of the project is to help these countries develop and strengthen their own abilities to produce quality data.

To this end, since September 2017, our joint team of education ministries, the National Institute for Statistics and other national institutions involved in education data production in Madagascar has been working with the UIS to fulfill these objectives. Continue reading

Follow the Money: Tracking Education Spending to Reinforce Accountability

By Sonia Ilie, Pauline Rose and Asma Zubairi, Research for Equitable Access and Learning (REAL) Centre, University Of Cambridge

This blog was also published by the Global Partnership for Education (GPE)

It’s Global Action Week for Education, with the focus firmly on accountability. As we all know, if we want to hold our decisionmakers to account, we must have good data. Without it, we have little evidence of whether they are keeping their promises or not.

In the case of education, this certainly means knowing how many children are in school, how many are out of the classroom, and whether they are making good progress in their learning. But there is another critical area that is crucial not only for accountability on education, and that is the money. Who pays for education? How much do they pay? Where does the money go? And very importantly, who is benefiting from public spending by governments? Continue reading

Why We Need Effective Education Management Information Systems

By Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS)

It may sound dry and dusty, but an education management information system (EMIS) lies at the very heart of efforts to monitor progress towards the world’s education goals, particularly Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4). It is a vital instrument that has, perhaps, had less attention than it deserves, given that an EMIS should be, in essence, in the core of the planning and policy implementation processes in a country’s education ‘machine’. Continue reading

Priorities and Challenges for Education Data in Sweden

Lotta Larsson, Senior Advisor in the Department for Population and Welfare Statistics, Statistics Sweden

This blog was also published by Norrag.

As the Inter-agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) meets in Vienna from 9-12 April 2018, a perspective from Sweden illustrates the challenges even the world’s most advanced statistical systems face in producing the education data needed to monitor and achieve the global education goal.  

The Scandinavian countries are often held as a model for other countries to follow on almost any area of development you can name, from poverty reduction to health and well-being. From an international perspective, Sweden is a country with a high quality education system.

In 2013, however, the PISA results showed that the average scores had declined from previous heights to below the average for OECD countries. This started discussions on the quality of the education system at the primary and lower secondary levels in Sweden. Since 2013 the country’s PISA results have improved and it is now – once again – at or above the OECD average for mathematics, reading and science. Continue reading

We Need to Re-Boot the Education Sector with Demand-Side Data Innovation

By Luis Crouch, Chief Technical Officer of the International Development Group (RTI), and Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS)

This blog was also published by the Global Partnership for Education (GPE)

For years, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and many other international agencies have been assisting countries in producing better education data, which are needed more than ever. The approach has typically been supply-side: capacity building, technical assistance, donation of hardware and software, etc. This has led to significant improvement. For example, today we have much better data on primary school completion rates than we did 20 years ago.

While this supply-side approach is critical, we must also take a sharper focus on demand from countries, central statistical offices, teachers: the side that should shape donor decisions around funding. Which means that it is time to make a collective and demand-driven investment case for the production of international data, backed by innovative and flexible approaches to meet specific donor demands. Continue reading