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1. Demographic and social statistics (UNESCO)

1.3 Education


The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) aims to:

• gather a wide range of quality statistical information to help Member States analyze the efficiency and effectiveness of their programmes and to inform their policy decisions;
• interpret and report on the global situation with regard to education, science and technology, culture and communication;
• develop new indicators to better reflect emerging policy issues, especially in developing countries;
• set and apply standards so that data are cross-nationally comparable;
• reinforce national capacities enabling Member States to improve the quality, analysis and use of national data.


Work programme

The Institute's current programme includes:
• improving the quality of education data collected through annual surveys, in co-ordination with OECD and Eurostat through the shared UOE (UNESCO-OECD-Eurostat) methodology in order to obtain a core set of quality education data, covering all levels of formal education from pre-primary to tertiary, as well as literacy and educational attainment data;
• developing benchmarks and monitoring international goals, especially the Millennium Development Goals (see 3.3.5) and the objectives of Education for All (EFA);
• developing and maintaining key measurement frameworks and classifications (e.g., ISCED) and developing new indicator methodologies; developing and implementing an adult literacy assessment to measure the full range of literacy skills;
• working with donors to develop national capacity in education statistics, particularly in Africa and Asia;
• analyzing and interpreting education data - turning data intro information.

Data dissemination and analysis

The UIS releases education data three times a year (January - March - September) on it's on-line Data Centre. It also contributes education data for all the major UN reports (e.g., World Development Indicators, Human Development Report, State of the World's Children and others) and in collaboration with regionally-based organizations. The annual flagship publication for education statistics is the Global Education Digest, which is typically released in the summer. Other publications are available in print and/or CD-ROM formats and for consultation via the UIS website (, including:

  • statistical profiles (country and issues-based);
  • thematic research and analysis;
  • methodological guides and international classifications.
 • On going methodological work
    o ISCED review
    o Teacher training taxonomy
    o Indicator methodologies
    o Literacy projections
    o Historical data review
  • Priority objectives beyond 2010
    o Data quality
    o Learning outcomes
    o Benchmarking education quality
  • New work to be undertaken in 2010
    o Regional platforms for data collection and analysis
  • Meetings to be organised in 2010
    o ISCED Technical Advisory Panel
    o ISCED regional expert meetings
    o ISCED global inter-agency launch
    o Regional and cluster education statistics workshops
    o National data plan workshops

1.9 Culture

Work Programme

The current programme of the UIS Culture Unit includes:
1. On going methodological work
   o Launch of the 2010 survey on Feature films that focuses on trends in the production and     distribution of feature films as well on cultural diversity;
   o Continuation of the methodological work on the measurement of the diversity of cultural expressions
   o Co-ordination of the statistical activity in methodological development in cultural statistics with EUROSTAT through the ESSnet group and other regional organizations;
   o Continuation of work on international classifications to improve culture assessment.
2. Priority objectives beyond 2010
   o Produce a series of handbooks on selected topics on culture statistics.
   o Provide training on the 2009 UNESCO Framework for Cultural Statistics (FCS) in selected regions globally.
3. New work to be undertaken in 2010
   o Development of a New Culture Survey: For 2010, the focus will be to initiate the production of several research scoping studies.
   o For 2010, develop the first FCS Handbook on a selected culture statistics topic illustrating best practices and models.
4. Meetings to be organised in 2010
   o Two training workshops on the 2009 UNESCO Framework for Cultural Statistics (FCS), one each in Africa and Central Asia.
   o 3rd Meeting of the Expert Group on the measurement of the diversity of cultural expressions.

2. Economic statistics (UNESCO)

2.9 Science and technology

Research and Development, Human Resources in Science and Technology and Innovation

Work Programme

The current programme of the UIS includes:
  • collection and publication of data on research and development and innovation from all countries in the world in co-ordination with OECD and other partners;
  • collaboration with OECD on adapting their standards for R&D and innovation to non-OECD countries;
  • promoting a model survey of doctorate holders and highly skilled persons after a joint project with OECD and Eurostat.

  1.ongoing methodological work (summary description)
     o An Annex to the Frascati Manual and a Working Paper on Measuring R&D in Developing  Countries will be finalized in 2010. Further methodological work will include the preparation of guidance on carrying out R&D surveys in developing countries, a revision of the concepts of S&T Education and Training (STET) and S&T Services (STS) and the development of a model questionnaire.

  2.priority objectives beyond 2010
     o Continuation of the biennial R&D survey
     o Establishment of a regular, worldwide collection of innovation data (biennial as well)
     o Continuation of the capacity building activities
     o More analytical work on S&T indicators work to be undertaken in 2010
     o Pilot survey of innovation data.
     o Processing and making available R&D metadata.

  4.meetings to be organised in 2010
     o Capacity building workshops in Africa and Asia
     o Expert Meeting on innovation surveys in Montreal.

3. Environment and multi-domain statistics (UNESCO)

3.3.3 Information society

Measuring Information Society

Work Programme

The current programme of the UIS includes:
• working with the International Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development of core global indicators to help monitor the Action Plan of the World Summit on the Information Society;
• promoting new series of internationally comparable ICTs in education indicators including launching a new survey cycle on the use of ICTs in education.
• resuming a survey on emerging trends in the area of print, broadcast, mobile and online medias;
• developing methodologies and standards for assessing Information Literacy Skills among countries;

3.3.5 Indicators related to the Millennium Development Goals

Data for MDGs

• UIS is responsible for providing the data for monitoring the international education indicators as part of the MDGs, namely goals 2 and 3.

3.3.6 Sustainable development

Education for Sustainable Development

• UIS acts as a focal point in relation to all the statistical activities with respect to monitoring the UNESCO-led UN Decade for Education for Sustainable Development. As such, the UIS has been involved in a UN-ECE exercise to develop indicators for monitoring the implementation of the UN-ECE Strategy for ESD.

4. Methodology of data collection, processing, dissemination and analysis (UNESCO)

4.2 Classifications


Work Programme

The current programme of the UIS includes:
• a series of global consultations with national statisticians and classification experts to review the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED97) with a view to improving its implementation and possibly revising specific elements of the classification;
• collaboration with the EU in the adaptation of their Classification of Learning Activity to non EU countries;
• collaboration with EU and OECD on standards for adult and non-formal education;
• revision of the 1986 UNESCO framework for cultural statistics with Member States and international partners.

4.3.1 Population and housing censuses, registers of population, dwellings and buildings

Work Programme

The current programme of the UIS includes:
• participation in ECE and UN expert groups charged with revising Census guidelines. UIS has a special responsibility in the preparation of guidelines for education and is contributing to the development of guidelines for the topic of ICTs.

5. Strategic and managerial issues of official statistics (UNESCO)

5.3 Quality frameworks and measurement of performance of statistical systems and offices

Data Quality

The UIS has made improving data quality a major component of its current work programme, and has a series of initiatives under way to systematically measure, report on, and improve data quality with a special focus on timeliness and accessibility.
The Institute and OECD have developed a version of the IMF DQAF specifically for education that is used in capacity building activities.

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