Indicators to measure progress on SDG4-Education 2030

06 June 2017


UNESCO UIS SDG4 Education 2030 Indicators photo copyright studiovin-shutterstock
© studiovin-shutterstock

The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) is the official data source for Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4).  Together with partners, the UIS is developing the indicators, standards and methodological tools needed to track progress while helping countries improve the quality and use of their data.

Two flagship initiatives, led by the UIS, to measure progress are taking place in May.
To begin with, the Global Alliance to Monitor Learning (GAML) met from 11-12 May in Mexico City.  Through a highly collaborative approach, the Alliance brings together a broad range of stakeholders, including experts and decision-makers involved in national and cross-national learning assessment initiatives, as well as donors and civil society groups. 
GAML strives to improve the learning outcomes of children and youth by: 
  • Providing countries with diagnostic tools, standards and methodologies to improve the quality and use of their learning assessments at the national level; 
  • Developing the standards, tools and reporting mechanisms needed to measure learning globally; 
  • Supporting capacity development within countries and helping donors to better target their resources in the area of learning assessment.  
The third meeting focussed specifically on the:
  • Governance structure which basically includes: a small secretariat hosted by the UIS, a strategic planning committee and a series of task forces responsible for technical recommendations that are submitted to the plenary for endorsement; 
  • New tools being developed to better capture data from different types of learning assessments as well as frameworks and guidelines to help countries assess and strengthen the quality of their assessment activities; 
  • Methodological work underway to produce indicator 4.1.1 – the percentage of children and young people achieving proficiency in reading and mathematics.  
Videos of selected sessions of the 3rd GAML meeting:
Sessions 1-2 Opening and current status of learning indicators in UN process;
Session 3 Descriptive and diagnostic tools;
Session 4 Indicator 4.1.1;
Sessions 5-6 Indicator 4.1.1 continued, temporary reporting and global lead indicator;
Session 13 Update on task forces and closing.
The UIS is also preparing to welcome the Technical Cooperation Group on SDG 4–Education 2030 Indicators (TCG), which will be meeting in Montreal from 31 May to 2 June, 2017. 
The TCG builds consensus around the SDG 4 measurement agenda by bringing together Member States, multilateral agencies and civil society groups. The TCG has three working groups focusing on indicator development, capacity building and country reporting of data for international monitoring. The third meeting will focus on their proposed strategies and work plans.
The SDG4-Education 2030 Framework for Action (FFA) includes a total of 43 indicators, including the 11 global monitoring indicators. While each global indicator focuses on the outcomes of a SDG4 target (such as the percentage of children meeting a minimum proficiency level in reading), the broader set of thematic indicators are designed to cover the underlying factors (such as the percentage of children out of school or over-age for their grade) that should be addressed in order to achieve each target. 
The TCG, at its last meeting in October 2016, reviewed the complete list of indicators and agreed that 29 were ready to be used for monitoring, while the remaining 14 indicators required further development. This conclusion was later endorsed by the SDG4–Education 2030 Steering Committee.  The UIS is leading the methodological work for the 14 indicators by working with partners through GAML and the TCG.
See the complete list of both global and thematic indicators in a table format or as visuals.
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