UNESCO’s programmes are based on quality academic research, relying on scientific data and statistics.
The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) was established in July 1999 to meet the growing needs of UNESCO Member States and the
international community for a wide range of policy relevant and reliable statistics in the fields of education, science and technology, culture and communication. It is the official data source for the education-related targets of the Millennium Development Goals and Education for All. Its data are featured in many leading international reports such as the EFA Global Monitoring Report, the World Development Indicators and the Human Development Indicators. Data can also be accessed online at the UIS data center - www.uis.unesco.org.
The Statistical Advisor based in UNESCO New Delhi is offering a wide range of technical and statistical expertise to help Member States analyze the efficiency and effectiveness of their programmes, to inform their policy decisions and to interpret and report on the global situation with regard to education, science and technology, culture and communication.
At the heart of the Institute’s effectiveness as a leading source of policy-relevant, timely and reliable statistics and technical assistance is its strong partnership with and support to Member States.
The Institute’s key activities are collecting and providing up-to-date statistics, developing conceptual and methodological frameworks for the collection of internationally comparable data and indicators, working with countries to improve their capacities to collect and analyse data of relevance to their policy initiatives, analysing data in partnership with policy makers and researchers and promoting wider and more informed use of data for policy purposes on the areas of UNESCO expertise - Culture, Communication and Information, Education, Science and Technology
The Literacy Assessment and Monitoring Programme (LAMP) is the only available statistical measure that allows countries to systematically distinguish different levels of literacy skills needs of different groups in the population. To this, LAMP enables countries to better target literacy programmes..
As part of its multi-faceted approach to monitoring information and knowledge societies, the UIS contributes to UNESCO’s Information for All Programme and is an active member of the Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development. In collaboration with UNESCO’s Communication and Information Sector, the UIS is helping to develop a new framework to define key indicators and instruments to measure information literacy skills.
The Framework for Statistics (FCS) proposes a pragmatic approach to measure the impact and relevance of cultural policies and initiatives. The FCS elaborates concepts and definitions on the collection of comparable data in culture, taking into consideration both its economic and social dimensions pertaining to the creative industries.
The UIS is also responsible for collecting and disseminating science statistics across the United Nations system. Data is gathered from over 200 countries and territories through a biennial survey and partnerships with key organizations. While the UIS aims to build a global database covering a range of indicators including R&D expenditure and gender disparities in diverse fields of science, the Institute also works closely with developing countries to reinforce their national capacities.
The availability and quality of data depend on the statistical capacities of governments and national agencies. UNESCO focuses on national capacity development and assists countries in their efforts to improve their capacities for data collection, processing, quality control, analysis and dissemination through training, workshops and other technical support activities.