Focus on our SDG4 Data Digest Partners: The OECD Launches PISA for Development

By Michael Ward, Senior Policy Analyst in OECD’s Development Co-operation Directorate and the Education and Skills Directorate

The new edition of the SDG 4 Data Digest illustrates the range of partners working with the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) to help countries produce and use assessment data to strengthen lifelong learning. This blog highlights the work of one of these vital partners: the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which has just announced the first results from its PISA for Development (PISA-D) initiative. PISA-D builds on the OECD’s long-running Programme for International Student Assessment to assess learning in low- and middle-income countries. Continue reading

Data to Nurture Learning that Lasts a Lifetime

The UIS has launched the SDG 4 Data Digest, which explores the internationally-comparable data needed to ensure the lifelong learning envisaged by SDG 4.

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

We have been ringing alarm bells about the global learning crisis for some time, with 617 million children and adolescents worldwide unable to read a simple sentence or handle a basic mathematics calculation. This year’s SDG 4 Data Digest: Data to Nurture Learning from the UIS turns up the volume, making the case for data to monitor lifelong learning.

The Digest is the go-to source for information on how to gather data on learning outcomes and – above all – how to use the information to improve those outcomes, showcasing proven and promising approaches. This is where data have real power: showing us the challenges and kick-starting the changes needed to ensure lifelong learning. Continue reading

Save the Date (and the Data!): Stay Tuned for the SDG 4 Data Digest 2018

If you want to view the most complete data landscape on learning outcomes, the SDG 4 Data Digest 2018 is your go-to source. With launch events planned next week at the Global Education Meeting in Brussels (3-5 December 2018) and at the Global Partnership for Education Board Meeting in Dublin (6-7 December 2018), the Digest will report on the quest for data to track lifelong learning. Continue reading

Convening for Consensus on SDG 4 Data

The Technical Cooperation Group on SDG 4 meets this week in Mexico City to come to agreement on the most practical approaches to measure education progress

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

As any statistician will tell you, gathering data is only half the battle. If data are to make a difference, they have to have power. For that, they need to be backed by political will, with a firm commitment that they will be used to drive change.

Similarly at the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), gathering data is only part of our mandate. We work hard to develop the indicators, standards and methodological tools needed to monitor progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) on education. But we work just as hard to convene and build consensus in order to strengthen that all-important political buy-in among countries and partners.

Gathering in Mexico City to create consensus

That’s the overall objective of this week’s meeting of the Technical Cooperation Group on the Indicators for SDG 4–Education 2030 (TCG) in Mexico City, co-hosted by the UIS and the Instituto Nacional para la Evaluación de la Educación (INEE). National representatives and global experts will come together from 15 to 16 November to agree on the most practical approaches to measure progress towards SDG 4. Continue reading

We Are Ready to Start Monitoring Early-grade Learning

By Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS)
This blog was also published by the Global Education Monitoring Report

Young learners have moved up the data agenda for Sustainable Development Goal 4! The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and its partners have been pushing to upgrade SDG 4 Indicator 4.1.1a on measuring learning outcomes in Grades 2 and 3, and earlier this week we heard that our efforts have been successful. Continue reading

In Search of Common Ground for Learning Indicators – From Local to Global

By Baela Raza Jamil, Chief Executive Officer of Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi, Lead of ASER Pakistan and Commissioner on the Education Commission 

For 10 consecutive days in October, I travelled across Hamburg, Karachi, Islamabad, Muzzafarabad (AJK), Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur, Multan, Muzzaffargarh and Lahore. The purposes of my travel included chasing a consensus for globally-agreed learning indicators, initiating the 2018 Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) assessments and overseeing accelerated learning gains for out-of-school adolescent girls. Mindboggling as the 10-day footprint may be, the common thread was the importance of measuring and improving learning and that improvements are verified through agreed definitions. Continue reading

How Civil Society Can Supply Rigorous Data for the SDGs: The Citizen-Led Assessment Approach

By Hannah-May Wilson, Senior Technical Consultant, PAL Network

When the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were drafted in 2015, there was broad agreement that the new global goals needed to evolve from measuring increased access, investment in infrastructure and reporting average learning gains, to measuring learning with a focus on the most disadvantaged children. The focus on ensuring that no child is left behind is crucial. Evidence from many low-income countries shows that learning inequalities are visible before children even start school, primarily driven by disparities in wealth. When wealth disparities interact with other forms of disadvantage such as gender, geographic location, disability, and ethnic and linguistic minority status, they reinforce and exacerbate disadvantage, with the consequence that disadvantaged children have little chance of ever catching up.

Failure to achieve the Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education in many low-income countries, coupled with the uncomfortable fact that millions of children who are in school are not learning the basics, have resulted in a ‘global learning crisis’ affecting more than one-half of all children and adolescents, according to estimates from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS). The new data have set alarm bells ringing and are the central focus of the 2018 World Bank Development Report. The eye-watering fact is that today, of the 617 million children and adolescents worldwide not achieving minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics, two-thirds are in school. Continue reading