The production of cross-nationally comparable data represents an ongoing challenge for the statistical community. So, we work closely with national statisticians to map their education systems according to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED). These mappings provide clear guideposts on how to report national education data for international purposes.
But some countries seek more intensive assistance. In these cases, the first step generally involves working with statisticians to document and evaluate their national statistical system and needs. This diagnostic study also includes an assessment of the country’s education data quality. The data quality assessment framework (DQAF) was originally developed for finance indicators by the International Monetary Fund. The UIS has since adapted the framework for education statistics, in partnership with the World Bank.
The next step often involves the development of a “data plan”. National statisticians work closely with the UIS to document each step in the process of collecting internationally comparable data. These plans serve as roadmaps for national statistical offices when responding to UIS questionnaires. The data plans enable the UIS and, more importantly, governments to “troubleshoot” by identifying potential problems and solutions to improve education data quality.
To help deliver these services, the UIS has established a network of statistical advisors based in UNESCO Regional and Cluster Offices around the world. The Institute also works with different organizations in the field. In particular, the World Bank and the European Commission provide considerable financial support for projects to improve data quality.
For more detailed information on our capacity-building projects, use our country portal.