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Project description

Name of the project
Metasurvey project

Implementing agencies
UNESCO Bangkok

Region/country covered
Asia-Pacific

Duration
3 years (2002 - 2004)

Context/problem being addressed
A preliminary comparative analysis of the Asia-Pacific region conducted in 2001, shows great disparities within and between countries in their degree of ICT integration in the field of education. International and national players are attempting to correct these disparities and meet existing needs. Players include the public and private sector, education communities, NGOs and ICT professionals.

In order for these players to make evidence-based decisions it is important to know to what extent countries in the region have:

  • Established connectivity and access to ICT in education.
  • Formulated and implemented policies on ICT use in education and plans for the future development and management of ICT.
  • Undertaken professional development programmes to train teachers and other education personnel in the use of ICT.
  • Developed ICT-based educational software and educational material.

Objectives
Recognizing the need to harnessing ICT in formal and non-formal educational settings to improve the reach and quality of education in the Asia-Pacific region, the Metasurvey project aimed to:

  • Identify, analyze, and summarize instructive practices in the use of ICT in formal and non-formal education to reduce disparities in access to and quality of basic education.
  • Collect, analyze, and summarize research-based guidelines for policy making, programme formulation, activity prioritization, training strategy development and educational materials development.
  • Create and strengthen regional networks on ICT and education.
  • Disseminate results of research to the education community in the Asia-Pacific region and encourage its use by policy makers and programme implementers.

Target audiences
The results of the Metasurvey will ensure more evidence-based decision making by target audiences. Institutions and specialists participating in the project will benefit from the survey most directly but it will also serve all of those who will benefit in future from harnessing ICT for enhancing the reach and quality of education. At the same time, all education and ICT specialists in the region can draw on the information as material on which to base their ICT in Education initiatives.

Strategy
Building on existing knowledge and research results saves time, and saves human and financial resources. UNESCO Bangkok implemented this project with the cooperation of internal units and the participation of external institutions and specialists. An intersectoral approach was implemented while keeping a clear education focus.

A programme of dissemination was developed to ensure that data collected through the Metasurvey can serve as benchmarks in policymaking and programme implementation at the country and sub-regional levels. The data is also being used to support the development of complementary initiatives and strategies for funding by other agencies.

Activities

  • A small, initial planning workshop was held to develop a framework, workplan and mechanism for the conduct of the Metasurvey, including identifying topics for sub-surveys and modalities of data collection, analysis, and dissemination.
  • Institutions and researchers were identified to undertake the various subregional surveys.
  • Relevant literature and studies were compiled. Data was consolidated and synthesized in order to provide benchmark information on the situation. Information was also collected about future plans, driving and constraining forces, lessons learned, success factors and gaps in the following areas:
    • ICT connectivity and penetration in education.
    • National policies and programmes or strategies with regard to the use of ICT in education.
    • Constraints to the wider application of ICT in education systems and schools.
    • Practice and professional development programmes.
    • Educational software and ICT-based teaching and learning materials already developed in the region.
  • A consultative meeting was organized with subregional focal points and selected experts to identify priority areas for further research, including specific needs assessment.
  • Institutions and researchers were identified to undertake the research, and collect and analyze information.
  • This original research data was made available for use in core programme activities. Research results were in made available through face-to-face promotion of the results through interactive presentations made at meetings.
  • Results were published in a book and were made available to all on the website. The Metasurvey results were also put onto CD-ROMs for cost-effective distribution.

For further information about the project, please contact us.