Building peace in the minds of men and women

Education policy and planning tools and guides


EPSSim - Education Policy & Strategy Simulation Model

EPSSim is UNESCO’s first simulation model tool, developed in 2001. An Excel-based tool which provides support to educational planning in a number of countries, with technical assistance provided by UNESCO to reinforce the capacities of Member States. This user guide offers detailed information on how to install, customize and use EPSSim to run various types of simulation models and scenarios.

Since the environment surrounding education policy and planning has changed substantially, especially with the adoption of Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4), which emphasizes the importance of ensuring equity and quality in education and equitable opportunities for lifelong learning, UNESCO launched a new simulation model, Simulation for Education (SimuED).

SimuED - UNESCO's Education Policy & Strategy Simulation Model

SimuED is an Excel-based education sector-wide simulation model launched in 2019. It provides users to project selected key SDG4 indicators to facilitate national planning exercise. SimuED’s modular structure differentiates it from other simulation models, including the previous versions of EPSSim.

This model also provides comprehensive guidance and help on its various functionalities, explaining in detail, for instance, how its formulas function, as well as the interdependencies across its different data fields through its built-in help function.

CAPNAM - Capacity Needs Assessment Methodology (CAPNAM) for Planning and Managing Education

CAPNAM provides the tools and approaches to identify gaps and formulate appropriate responses when assessing capacity needs in education planning and sector management. It mobilizes and engages a wide spectrum of national education stakeholders through a comprehensive participatory approach. This underlying principle ensures national ownership and sustainability of capacity development programmes.

OpenEMIS Initiative – Open Education Management Information System

The OpenEMIS initiative aims to deploy a high quality Education Management Information System (EMIS) to collect and report data on schools, students, teachers and staff. It was developed by UNESCO in 2008, in response to an increasing demand for support in the area of educational planning and management. The initiative is in line with UNESCO's effort to promote EMIS to address the issues of access, equity, quality, and relevance in education and subsequent gaps supporting Member States.


  • Mainstreaming SDG4-Education 2030 in sector-wide policy and planning: technical guidelines for UNESCO field offices

Mainstreaming SDG4-Education 2030 in sector-wide policy and planning offers technical guidelines for UNESCO field offices to ensure adequate technical support to national authorities.

The guidelines take into account the different profiles of countries’ need and capacities to achieve their SDG4 targets, thus avoiding a one-size-fits-all approach. The document contains resources and pointers that can be combined and tailored to fit the particular context of each country. It is expected that UNESCO field staff will adapt the guidelines provided here to the country they are serving to ensure that UNESCO plays its role as the leading United Nations agency in the field.

This primer aims to provide education stakeholders with an introduction to UNESCO’s education policy review (EPR) methodology in the wider context of SDG 4-Education 2030, and how it could be designed as a tool for capacity development leading to improved policymaking and planning in education. It draws largely on the experience gained during the first round of EPRs carried out by the Section of Education Policy from 2011 to 2018.  The primer benefitted from major contributions from UNESCO colleagues at Headquarters, regional bureaus and field offices. As a tool for capacity development, this primer provides the foundations for and methodological approach to EPRs. It also guides education stakeholders and authorities on how to use the results of the EPR to foster education sector dialogue and maximize country ownership and the adoption of relevant policy recommendations.