The World’s Families: Hidden Funders of Education

By Friedrich Huebler and Elise Legault, Programme Specialists at the UNESCO Institute for Statistics

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

We know too little about education finance: where the money for education comes from, where it goes, and whether it is spent effectively. Drawing on today’s major release of new data, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) shows that even the most robust government data on education spending misses out a crucial part of the financing equation: the money spent by households on the education of their children. Continue reading

We Need a Paradigm Shift in Education Data to Build the Learning Generation

By Bridget Crumpton, Senior Advisor of the Education Commission, and Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics

Ambitious goals demand more and better data, which is why the Inter-agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators is meeting today in Ottawa. Experts from countries and international agencies including the UNESCO Institute for Statistics are once again reviewing the frameworks and work plans needed to help deliver on the pledges made for 2030.  The good news is that just about everyone agrees on the strength and value of the education indicators. The challenges lie in producing them and disseminating them in a way that they are actively used. Continue reading

The Un-sung Heroes of the Quest for Good Data: National Statistical Offices and Ministries

By Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics

Around the world, national statistical offices (NSOs) and line ministries involved in data collection and production are throwing their energies into efforts to track progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). National statistical systems in developing countries – often under-resourced, under-staffed and under pressure – already achieve miracles with the limited tools at their disposal. Now they are being pushed even harder, with the SDGs calling for more and better data for a wider range of development issues. Continue reading

Getting the Full Picture on Education Finance

By Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Partnership for Education,
Suzanne Grant Lewis, Director of the International Institute for Education Planning, and Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics

Last week, the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity released a major report, calling for a new compact between developing countries and the international community to transform education performance, innovation, inclusion and finance.

We welcome these recommendations but the trouble is we don’t know enough about education finance within countries: about where the money comes from, where it goes, or whether it is spent efficiently. National statisticians looking for hard numbers often have to forage across a whole range of mis-matched sources and even solid figures on government spending show just part of the picture, missing the money poured into education by other sources, particularly families. As things stand, it’s almost impossible to work out how much money is spent on the education of each child around the world. Continue reading