Monitoring progress in SDG 4

Credit: Elyx by Yak

Monitoring progress in SDG 4

The sustainable development agenda has ushered in a new monitoring framework in education. Its aims are to be truly universal, to match the ambition of the targets, and to go beyond the traditional boundaries of education management information systems. Still, as mentioned in the 2016 GEM Report, it barely scratches the surface of core education and lifelong learning questions, especially those linked to sustainable development.

Even so, the new monitoring focus is ambitious enough to demand a considerable mobilization of resources for setting standards and deploying relevant tools to capture equity, quality and learning. Coordination efforts that genuinely involve countries are costly. In an era of considerable constraints in the funding of global public goods such as statistics and research, this is not an easy undertaking.

Some of the institutional foundations have been put in place, notably the Technical Cooperation Group on the Indicators for SDG 4-Education 2030, whose secretariat is at the UNESCO Institute for Statistics. This aims to build consensus in the definition of indicators and national ownership over the process. Still, as the review shows, the international community needs to invest a lot more to ensure all indicators are well defined and monitored.