Goals and indicators for education and development: consolidating the architectures

Autor(es): Lewin, Keith M.

Organisation(s): Open Society Foundations

Date: 2015

Pages: 53 p.


The purpose of this paper is to review recent developments related to the development of indicators of educational progress in the context of the Post 2015 deliberations to generate a new international architecture for educational investment through to 2030. There have been a plethora of suggestions and several parallel consultation processes since 2012 to revise and replace the goals for education and development agreed at the World Education Forum in Dakar (UNESCO, 2000) and enshrined in the Millennium Development Goals (United Nations, 2000). This process is now converging on the two frameworks that are the subject of this analysis. Specifically, there are now seven goals that the Education for All Steering Committee has developed which were consolidated in the May 2014 Muscat Agreement (UNESCO, 2014); and the ten goals produced by the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development of the U.N. General Assembly (UN General Assembly, 2014). These goal statements overlap and are largely consistent with each other but contain some significant differences. This paper reconciles the differences and develops sets of possible indicators building on the work of the Indicators Technical Advisory Group (TAG-EFA, 2014) and the UN Statistical Commission (UNSC, 2014). The paper is organized in six parts. Part 1 analyses the strengths and weaknesses of the existing goals and targets for education and development to frame subsequent discussion in the context of the evolution of Education for All since 1990. Part 2 offers a necessary clarification of the relationship between goals and objectives, and targets and indicators. Part 3 reviews and discusses the process of developing indicators that are fit for purpose. Part 4 highlights characteristics of different types of indicator. Part 5 develops a list of preferred goal statements from the Muscat Agreement and OWG goals, links these to a discussion of existing and proposed indicators, and consolidates promising indicators that could be used to assess progress. The last part of the paper collects together forward looking conclusions that profile key issues that will shape how new indicators are devised to monitor the sustainable development goals for education.

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