A Quick Win in Monitoring How Much Children Learn

By Nadir Altinok (Associate Professor of Economics, Université de Lorraine, France) and Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS)

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

The news that more than more than half – 617 million – children and adolescents of primary and lower secondary school age worldwide are not reaching minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics is a wake-up call for educators and for statisticians. Without such data, we would be unaware of the learning crisis that threatens progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – a crisis that demands an urgent response from education ministries, most certainly, but also from the world’s data gatherers. Continue reading

Moving Up a Gear: The CapED Initiative

By Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics and Jordan Naidoo, Director of the UNESCO Division for Education 2030 Support and Coordination

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

In 2015, the international community agreed on Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4), which now forms the universal education agenda to 2030. Many countries still have a far way to go to reach these targets, and to do this, they will need external support to overhaul their education systems. There are two dimensions at stake to achieve SDG 4: identification of policy priorities and the associated data availability and quality to monitor progress.  Continue reading

International Day of Women and Girls in Science: We Need Frameworks, not Patchworks, to Plug the Leaky Pipeline

By Dr Maryse Lassonde, Scientific Director of Les Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies (FRQNT) and President of the Royal Society of Canada

On 11 February, the world will be celebrating International Day of Women and Girls in Science. There will be lots of articles and speeches about the famous “leaky pipeline”, a metaphor used to describe the constant flow of women leaving the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) throughout their studies and careers.

Let’s be honest – you cannot “plug the leaks” with policy fixes. In Quebec and Canada, we have an impressive array of policies and projects to promote gender equality that span across almost every ministry. Yet the data show that there has been little, if any, progress in the number of women pursuing STEM over the past 20 to 30 years. Continue reading

Aligning Key Initiatives in Monitoring Learning

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

Published on Norrag on 24 October

In a recent blog, we noted that there is currently a global multiplicity of strong initiatives in generating better data on learning outcomes, oriented at Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4). And, that’s only in the area of learning outcomes. If one adds other key aspects of SDG 4 and the global and thematic indicators, the number of initiatives is almost too large to catalogue. Even within the limited area of learning outcomes, some of the elements in the various initiatives create synergies, but others might create duplication or at least different proposed ways of doing things, if there is not a forum to clear lessons-learned and the results of different approaches. In our recent blog, we promised to present a systematic analysis that, using a matrix format, compares elements of the various initiatives. This, we hope, would be of use to the institutions involved and the funders asked to underwrite the various proposals. Continue reading

We Need More than Numbers: Launch of UIS Data Blog

Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, @montoya_sil

The success or failure of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will depend, very largely, on sound statistics. It is obvious that we’ll need quality data to track progress towards the goals from their launch in 2015 to their 2030 deadline. But we’ll also need it throughout the journey to tell us whether we’re going the right way or need to change direction. We’ll need comparable data to show policymakers what is working (and what is not), to keep them motivated and, whenever necessary, to hold them to account. Continue reading