Note on the Education for All 2000 Assessment
|| 1. What
is the EFA 2000 Assessment ?
The Assessment is an inter-agency sponsored, global exercise
to take stock of the current status of basic education in each
country and to assess the progress that has been achieved during
the 1990s since the World Conference on Education for All (Jomtien,
Thailand, March 1990). This assessment process will thus generate
the information needed to plan further action at the beginning
of the 21st
Century to meet the basic learning needs of all children, youth
Why undertake the Assessment ?
Jomtien Conference was convened at the initiative of the executive
heads of the four UN agencies (UNDP, UNESCO, UNICEF and the
World Bank), with UNFPA as a co-sponsor. The Framework
for Action to Meet Basic Learning Needs, which was agreed
by the Conference, foresaw the need for comprehensive policy
reviews at the end of the 1990s to enable countries to assess
the effectiveness of their efforts to reach their own Education
for All goals and to revise their plans accordingly. Then,
on 12 December 1997, the United Nations General Assembly adopted
resolution A/52/84 on Education for All, which contains the
following two operative paragraphs:
Recommends that all Member States, and relevant agencies
of the United Nations, as well as non-governmental organizations,
provide the necessary information on the implementation
of the strategies of education for all to the Secretary-General
of the United Nations and the Director-General of the United
Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
so as to enable them to report on the overall progress achieved
and the shortfalls encountered in attaining the goal of
education for all;
Requests the Secretary-General, in cooperation with
the Director-General of the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization and in consultation
with Member States, to consider effective ways and means
for achieving the goal of education for all, including the
desirability and the feasibility of launching a United Nations
decade to eradicate illiteracy, and to report thereupon
to the General Assembly at its fifty-fourth session, through
the Economic and Social Council ;
in response to General Assembly resolution, the executive
heads of UNDP, UNFPA, UNESCO, UNICEF and World Bank met in
Geneva on 30 March 1998 as the Convenors of the International
Consultative Forum on Education for All, which they had established
to guide and monitor follow-up action to the Jomtien Conference.
They endorsed plans for the Assessment and agreed that the
five agencies will work together to carry it out, particularly
through their country and regional offices. They also agreed
that the results of the Assessment will be examined at the
next (fourth) global meeting of the Forum.
Who coordinates the Assessment?
steering committee of the International Consultative Forum
on Education for All agreed on the broad outlines of the assessment
process, and the Forum's five Convenors (UNDP, UNFPA, UNESCO,
UNICEF and World Bank) designated staff to constitute an ad
hoc Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to advise and assist the
EFA Forum Secretariat, based at UNESCO headquarters in Paris,
to plan and coordinate the Assessment at the global level.
Who actually carries out the Assessment?
is essentially a matter for each country to carry out for
itself. The General Guidelines prepared by the EFA Forum Secretariat
and the TAG propose that each country establish a national
EFA Assessment Group with broad representation of the
principal actors involved in basic education and designate
a national assessment coordinator to organize the Group's
Assessment involves also a number of regional and sub-regional
activities organized under the EFA Forum's auspices and intended
to support the country-level assessments and to draw together
the elements needed for the overall assessment of progress
towards Education for All.
What is the time-frame for the Assessment ?
letter and the General Guidelines were dispatched from Paris
to all national governments in early July 1998.
What does the Assessment entail ?
is both a stocktaking and a planning exercise. The assembly
and analysis of data and qualitative information on all components
of basic education are essential - but not sufficient in themselves.
Assessment implies value judgements in comparing performance
with objectives, as a prelude to deciding further action.
The EFA Assessment is intended to refocus attention on basic
education and mobilize the many providers and their partners
for a renewed effort to reach national EFA goals. The country
EFA assessments should be an occasion for re-examining national
objectives and strategies concerning basic education.
of the target dimensions that derive from the Jomtien 'expanded
vision of basic education' should be examined (see the General
Guidelies). Since most statistical data concern schooling,
which is largely controlled by government, there is an understandable
tendency to give most attention to schooling. However, the
Assessment must give attention also to other components of
basic education, such as early childhood development activities,
literacy and other educational programmes for adolescents
and adults, as well as the use of the media for basic education.
The Assessment should focus on the development of basic education
during the 1990s, i.e. following the Jomtien Conference, but
it may also draw on earlier data and use projections to measure
trends and their effects.
Advisory Goup selected 18 core EFA indicators to help countries
assess their situation in basic education. Each national EFA
assessment group will need to decide for itself which additional
indicators may be significant for its work. It is important
to note that the data needed for 13 of the 18 core EFA indicators
are already requested in UNESCO's annual statistical questionnaires.
Thus the assessment exercise can make use mainly of data that
all countries should already be collecting and reporting according
to international agreements. However, particular attention
should be given to reporting pupil enrolment figures by grade
and age - which are necessary for calculating several important
EFA indicators. Some countries may find the assessment exercise
a good opportunity to introduce some changes to their in-country
school census questionnaires and/or to conduct sample surveys
to gather new kinds of data they may need for their assessment.
of data by meaningful categories and to one or more sub-national
levels is important for detecting significant disparities
- male/female, urban/rural, and between geographical areas
or ethnic groups -- and for determining certain priorities.
Similarly, the analysis of a time series of data, where possible,
can indicate trends that are important for planning future
measures. Although baseline data will not be available for
all EFA indicators, the Assessment should serve to record
data now that can be used for future assessments.
Technical Guidelines for the Assessment provide very detailed
specifications, illustrative data sheets, and suggestions
addressed essentially to the country technical sub-groups
responsible for data collection and analysis relating to the
core EFA indicators. They are being dispatched to every country,
along with a diskette containing electronic templates in EXCEL
format. These templates can be adapted to fit specific country
characteristics (e.g. number of provinces or states) and should
facilitate data entry and calculations.
to the regular data collection and analysis that all countries
are expected to undertake, the global Assessment will include
a number of special surveys and case studies in a cross-section
of developing countries to gather information on (i) conditions
of learning, (ii) learning achievement, and (iii) literacy
and other non-formal basic education programmes. These will
be commissioned to appropriate national or regional institutions
and should be carried out in cooperation with the national
assessments in the countries concerned.
draft country reports for December 1998 (see section 5 above)
are proposed to focus and structure the country EFA assessments
early around key policy issues that are country-specific.
These preliminary reports, which may draw on existing data
(including education data reported to UNESCO in 1998), should
help identify data gaps and issues requiring special attention.
Although these draft reports will be incomplete, they will
constitute the principal documentation for discussion at the
sub-regional workshops planned during the first quarter of
1999, which will provide additional guidance to countries
in how to carry out their EFA assessments and report their
of data will be done largely through the annual statistics
questionnaire sent by UNESCO to all Member States. Countries
will be asked also to send a copy of the completed electronic
data templates to the EFA Forum Secretariat. More detailed
information about reporting will be issued later.
information about the Assessment ?
exercise is outlined in the General Guidelines, which have
been sent to all governments (via the UNESCO National Commission)
and to the five agencies for distribution to their respective
country and regional offices. Technical Guidelines
and the accompanying electronic data sheets, intended for
the technical staff actually responsible for data collection
and analysis, will be distributed to the national assessment
coordinators and to the liaison officer designated by the
five agencies in each country.
Forum Secretariat can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
and by fax at 33-1-45685629.