In the global effort to achieve Education for All by 2015, the financing of education is a key issue for governments and donors. Reliable and comparable statistics on the sources and use of funding are needed to improve education planning, management and resource mobilization.
What is the role of the UIS?
The UIS collects education finance data through its annual education survey. This information is used by the UIS and partners to regularly assess global, regional and country spending patterns, links between funding and outcomes, and the impact of global financial fluctuations on education.
However, many countries are unable to produce the data required for effective monitoring and planning. The challenge is to establish feasible and sustainable methods for national statisticians to translate their country’s data on education spending into the UIS’s classification system, which allows comparability between countries. In response, the UIS supports Ministries of Education to improve the collection, analysis and use of finance indicators. This serves the dual-purpose of allowing the publication of internationally comparable data, and helping governments’ education planning and policy formulation.
Sub-Saharan Africa is our main priority. With the support of the World Bank, we work with a growing number of countries to ensure the sustainable reporting of more complete finance data. The following countries have participated in this capacity-building initiative: Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Rwanda and Togo.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, the UIS is collaborating with the Regional Bureau of Education for Latin America and the Caribbean (OREALC/UNESCO Santiago) and the International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP-Buenos Aires) to implement a similar education finance capacity building project. Since 2011 Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Nicaragua have participated in this initiative. Through this project, UIS provides technical cooperation to each country, and facilitates transversal exchanges between national teams.