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Strengthening M&E Systems for Education 2030

Over the last two decades of striving to achieve the Millennium Development and Education For All goals, there has been a strong recognition that robust data, monitoring, and accountability systems play a crucial role in improving resource utilization and strengthening education system performance. To this end, governments and development partners have been investing resources in establishing various frameworks and mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation of education development with varying results. The Education 2030 agenda, including newly adopted Sustainable Development Goal 4 “Ensure inclusive and equitable education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all,” its targets and the Framework for Action, present new opportunities and challenges for strengthening monitoring, reporting and evaluation policies, systems and tools.

Education monitoring and evaluation requires a multi-dimensional approach, covering system design, inputs, content, processes and outcomes. In conjunction with this, improving the use and utilization of big data and the data revolution: greater speed, greater volume, and greater detail of information will provide countries with enhanced collecting and reporting methods. As the primary responsibility for monitoring lies at the country level, countries need to build effective monitoring and accountability mechanisms, adapted to national priorities, in consultation with civil society and other partners.

Given the increasingly strong recognition of importance of monitoring and evaluation systems, UNESCO Bangkok, in the partnership with Korean Educational Development Institute (KEDI), organized the 2015 Asia-Pacific Regional Policy Seminar on Monitoring and Evaluation, Data Revolution and Education 2030 in Bangkok, Thailand, on 26-28 November 2015. The objective of the seminar was: 1) to review current M&E systems in the Asia-Pacific region; 2) examine how the data revolution can be used to effectively and efficiently improve M&E systems; and 3) provide policy recommendations for Asia-Pacific nations to improve M&E systems to implement the Education 2030 agenda. The seminar brought together fourteen representatives of Ministries of Education and education research institutions from eight Asia-Pacific countries (Australia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Palau, Republic of Korea and Uzbekistan) in order to explore ways to strengthen Monitoring and Evaluation systems in the region to address the new Education 2030 agenda.

The first day of the seminar was a joint session with the large Asia-Pacific Meeting on Education 2030 (APMED) meeting, which brought together governments, civil society, UN agencies and other partners to reflect upon the next steps to be taken to implement Monitoring and Evaluation frameworks and indicators for the Education 2030 agenda. This joint session provided an important opportunity for the KEDI seminar participants to be exposed to the “big picture” of Education 2030 and the central importance of M&E in operationalizing this international commitment. During the second day of the seminar, UNESCO Bangkok provided an overview of the key elements for holistic M&E systems and some policy recommendations for further discussion throughout the seminar and the countries shared knowledge on  their M&E systems in the Asia-Pacific region. On the last day, a capacity development workshop on education statistics, facilitated by KEDI’s Center for Educational Statistics, consisted of two main sessions: 1) use of educational statistics to influence policy focusing on KEDI’s experience and know–how regarding the utilization of educational statistics and 2) case studies of KEDI survey systems: entering the new era of big data.

 Following the seminar, a policy brief on M&E for Education 2030 will be developed to reach broader audiences. The participants of the seminar agreed that the seminar will likely impact national education monitoring and evaluation systems and indirectly the learning in the Asia-Pacific region, contributing toward meeting the new Education 2030 agenda.

For more information, please contact Lina Benete [l.benete(at)] at the Education Policy and Reform Unit

Written by Sangsun Kwon [s.kwon(at)]

Related Links:

• Asia-Pacific Meeting on Education 2030 (APMED2030) 
• Education 2030