March 26, 2018
Written by Luis Crouch and Silvia Montoya
This post originally appeared on the Global Partnership for Education website.
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.
First, let’s remind ourselves why this matters. Right now, some countries don’t know exactly how many schools they have or how many teachers are on their payroll, or whether all of those on the payroll are working at the schools they claim to work at! With such basic information lacking, it is no wonder that the world is collecting only half of the more complex data needed to monitor progress towards a quality education for every child.
Thumbnail image description: A blackboard with data at a teacher training center in Gagnoa, Cote d’Ivoire.
Thumbnail image credit: GPE/Carine Durand