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1.3 Education (UNESCO)

The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) aims to:

• Gather a wide range of quality statistical information to help Member States analyze the efficiency and effectiveness of their programmes and to inform their policy decisions;
• Interpret and report on the global situation with regard to education, science and technology, culture, and communication;
• Develop new indicators to better reflect emerging policy issues, especially in developing countries;
• Set and apply standards so that data are cross-nationally comparable;
• Reinforce national capacities enabling Member States to improve the quality, analysis and use of national and international data.

Work programme

The Institute's current programme includes:

• Improving the quality of education data collected through annual surveys, in co-ordination with OECD and Eurostat through the shared UOE (UNESCO-OECD-Eurostat) methodology in order to obtain a core set of quality education data, covering all levels of formal education from pre-primary to tertiary, as well as literacy and educational attainment data;
• Developing benchmarks and monitoring international goals, especially the Millennium Development Goals (see 3.3.5) and the objectives of Education for All (EFA);
• Developing and maintaining key measurement frameworks and classifications (e.g., ISCED) and developing new indicator methodologies; developing and implementing an adult literacy assessment to measure the full range of literacy skills;
• Working with donors to reinforce national capacities in the production and use of education statistics, particularly in Africa and Asia;
• Analyzing and interpreting education data - i.e. turning data into information.

Data dissemination and analysis

The UIS releases education data three times a year (January, May, and October) through its on-line Data Centre ( It also contributes education data for all major international reports such as the World Bank's World Development Indicators, Education for All Global Monitoring Report, UNDP Human Development Report, UNICEF's State of the World's Children and others. The UIS also collaborates with regionally-based organizations. The annual flagship publication for education statistics is the Global Education Digest, which is usually released in August.

Other publications are available in print or CD-ROM formats and for consultation via the UIS website (, including:

• Statistical profiles (country and issues-based);
• Thematic research and analysis;
• Methodological guides and international classifications.

1. Ongoing methodological work:
• ISCED review;
• Indicator methodologies;
• Literacy projections;
• Review of historical literacy statistics;
• Analysis of data on children out of school.

2. Priority objectives beyond 2011:
• Data quality;
• Learning outcomes;
• Benchmarking education quality.

3. New work to be undertaken in 2011:
• Regional platforms for data collection and analysis

4. Meetings to be organized in 2011:
• ISCED Technical Advisory Panel;
• ISCED Editorial Group meetings;
• ISCED global inter-agency launch;
• Regional and global workshops on children out of school;
• Regional and cluster education statistics workshops (in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean);
• National data plan workshops;
• National workshops in selected sub-Saharan African countries to reinforce their capacities to compile, report and use education finance data for policymaking.

1.9 Culture (UNESCO)
Work Programme

The Institute's current work programme includes:

Ongoing methodological work:

• Production of handbook and guidelines for the 2009 UNESCO Framework for Cultural Statistics;
• Formulating recommendations for the improvement of the cultural component of international classifications;
• Methodological work on the measurement of the diversity of cultural expressions.

Priority objectives beyond 2011:

• Develop appropriate methodologies and standards that can be implemented by countries in order to support the development of cultural statistics;
• Undertake the collection and dissemination of selected cultural data via global surveys;
• Develop and maintain cross-national databases for selected cultural domains;
• Provide technical assistance to countries in the area of cultural statistics;
• Produce timely and policy-relevant data analysis;
• Support the work of UNESCO Culture sector and countries concerning the use of statistics for evidence-based policymaking.

New work to be undertaken in 2011:

• Release results of the 2010 UIS data collection on feature film statistics;
• Develop and pilot test a new questionnaire on cultural statistics;
• Technical assistance to selected countries in order to facilitate the production and analysis of cultural statistics;
• Produce a second handbook on a selected issue related to cultural statistics.

Meetings to be organized in 2011:

• Training workshop on the 2009 UNESCO Framework for Cultural Statistics in Africa;
• Meeting of Expert Group on the UIS Culture Pilot Questionnaire.