A strategic tool for educational planning: using mobile technology for school census

Ms Ilona Genevois and Mr Khadim Sylla | Presentation (PDF)




In technology-intensive sectors such as education management information systems (EMIS), the private sector Information and Communication Technology could play a role not only in the provision of equipment, but especially in the exchange of expertise and know-how. It is with this perspective in mind that UNESCO-IIEP, Microsoft and Orange Group have decided to join forces for a Public Private Partnerships (PPP) for a school census by mobile phones, which will allow an appropriate solution to difficulties faced by countries in information management.

Traditional development financing, especially in the field of education, have shown their limits and one new mechanism to close the funding gap for education could be Public Private Partnerships as a means of innovative financing for development. One of the conditions to achieve universal primary education is the existence of an education management information system (EMIS) which is a functional and effective way of mobilizing the necessary information to develop strategic education plans, the implementation of programs and projects, monitoring and evaluation of activities, etc.

Yet in many countries, all diagnostic studies conducted on the educational system converge to highlight the weakness of EMIS and show that this disability weighs heavily on the capabilities to manage and monitor the country’s education system. The strengthening of information systems is emerging as a top priority and the project PPP/EMIS school census by mobile phones could improve, at a large scale, the quality of data for educational planning.


Ilona Genevois joined the International Institute for Educational Planning (UNESCO) in 2000. She is the Focal Point for Innovative Financing, Public Private Partnerships and Education. Prior, Ilona Genevois worked with WHO and UNDP on projects related to development of evaluation measures for political and economic actions. Ilona Genevois holds a D.E.A. in Economic Sciences and International Relations (Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris, France) and a “Diplom-Volkswirtin” degree from Germany. She has published studies on an approach to measure well-being and its contribution to the social-economic debate and on mobilizing resources for international development cooperation in education, innovative mechanism and partnerships.

Khadim Sylla (Senegal) is holder of a PhD in Computer Science, and two Master’s Degrees one in Mathematics and another in Economics. Mr Sylla joined UNESCO IIEP in March 1999. Previously, he worked as a Teacher and Researcher for the Institute of Technology at the University of Limoges, France. His research interests include the use of ICT for the improvement of the learning process and information systems for Educational planning. He also works on the design and development of software systems for sample design. Member of the Technical Assistance and Support Planning team, Mr Sylla is involved in supporting Member States in the fields of information systems, statistics and indicators on education, school-mapping.

Ilona Genevois and Khadim Sylla are jointly responsible for IIEP’s PPP-EMIS Africa project: school census by mobile phone technology.

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