An EMIS can be defined as ‘a system for the collection, integration, processing, maintenance and dissemination of data and information to support decision-making, policy-analysis and formulation, planning, monitoring and management at all levels of an education system. It is a system of people, technology, models, methods, processes, procedures, rules and regulations that function together to provide education leaders, decision-makers and managers at all levels with a comprehensive, integrated set of relevant, reliable, unambiguous and timely data and information to support them in completion of their responsibilities’ (UNESCO, 2008: 101).
UNESCO. 2008. Education for All by 2015: will we make it? EFA global monitoring report, 2008. Paris: UNESCO.
The development of an effective EMIS is a complex and expensive undertaking under the best of circumstances. During emergencies, it is even more challenging because multiple organizations are generally involved in the provision of education, making it difficult to establish common data requirements and to coordinate data collection from the various organizations. In designing EMIS, therefore, it is important to consider the needs of all the groups that will rely on the information, including central ministry planners, officials of other national ministries (for example, finance), regional and district education officials, donors, and NGOs. Ultimately, for EMIS to be effective as a planning and management tool, national needs, not donor requirements, must be the primary force behind the development of the system. Despite the difficulties associated with the development of an EMIS, emergencies may provide an opportunity for establishing a better functioning EMIS than was in place before the crisis (IIEP, 2010: 156).
IIEP-UNESCO. 2010. Guidebook for planning education in emergencies and reconstruction. Paris: UNESCO-IIEP.