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1. Demographic and social statistics (UNESCO)
1.3 Education (UNESCO)

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 and international data.

Work programme

The Institute's current programme includes:

• Improve 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;
• Develop benchmarks and monitoring international goals, especially the Millennium Development Goals (see 3.3.5) and the objectives of Education for All (EFA);
• Develop and maintain key measurement frameworks and classifications (e.g., ISCED) and developing new indicator methodologies;
• Work with donors to reinforce national capacities in the production and use of education statistics, particularly in Africa and Asia;
• Analyze and interpret education data - i.e. turning data into information;
• Implement the Literacy Assessment and Monitoring Programme (LAMP) in participating countries and prepare to report results in 2012.

Data dissemination and analysis

The UIS releases education data three times a year (January, May, and October) through its on-line Data Centre ( It also contributes education data to all major international reports such as the World Bank's World Development Indicators, Education for All Global Monitoring Report, UNDP Human Development Report, UNICEF's State of the World's Children, the Millennium Development Goals report and others. The UIS also collaborates with regionally-based organizations. The annual flagship publication for education statistics is the Global Education Digest. 

Other publications are available in print or CD-ROM formats and for consultation via the UIS website (, including:

  • statistical profiles and fact sheets (country and issues-based);
  • thematic research and analysis;
  • education atlas;
  • methodological guides and international classifications.

1. Ongoing work:
• Implement newly revised International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED 2011);
• Improve indicator methodologies to monitor education progress;
• Improve transparency of international education indicators;
• Projections of literacy and educational attainment;
• Review and improve historical time series data;
• Analysis on secondary and higher education, education financing and children out of primary school;
• Direct assessment of reading and numeracy skills among adults in countries participating in LAMP.

2. Priority objectives beyond 2012:
• Improve data quality;
• Monitor education progress beyond 2015;
• Benchmark education quality.

3. New work to be undertaken in 2012:
• Introduce regional indicator programme in Asia;
• Analyze regional data for sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America;
• Develop new ISCED fields of education classification;
• Strengthen quality of educational attainment data;
• Consult stakeholders on education survey redesign;
• Improve data visualization and presentation on UIS website;
• Design catalogue of student achievement assessments and examinations.

4. Meetings to be organized in 2012:
• ISCED fields of education technical advisory panel;
• LAMP advisory board;
• Observatory of Learning Outcomes advisory board;
• Meeting of LAMP national coordinators;
• Measuring educational attainment expert meeting;
• Regional and global workshops on children out of school;
• Regional and cluster education statistics workshops (in South and East Africa, Asia and the Arab States);
• National data plan workshops;
• National workshops in selected countries to reinforce capacities to compile, report and use education finance data for policymaking.

1.9 Culture (UNESCO)
Work Programme

The Institute's current work programme includes:

• Collect, disseminate and analyse selected cultural data via global surveys;
• Develop new methodologies and standards to support countries in the production of cultural statistics;
• Reinforce national capacities in cultural statistics by working with partner agencies in particular in Africa.

Ongoing methodological work:

• Production of handbook and guidelines for the 2009 UNESCO Framework for Cultural Statistics;
• Formulate recommendations for the improvement of the cultural component of international classifications;
• Methodological work on the measurement of the economic contribution of culture.

Priority objectives beyond 2012:

• Improve the coverage and the quality of cross-nationally comparable cinema data collected through bi-annual surveys;
• Develop appropriate methodology for the collection of cultural employment data;
• Provide technical assistance to countries in the area of cultural statistics.

New work to be undertaken in 2012:

• Launch the 2012 UIS data collection on feature film statistics;
• Initial development work on new cultural employment survey;
• Technical assistance to selected countries;
• Release handbook on cultural participation and technical paper on the economic contribution of culture.

Meetings to be organized in 2012:

• Training workshop on the 2009 UNESCO Framework for Cultural Statistics in South Asia;
• Training workshop on cultural statistics in partnership with UEMOA (Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine).

2. Economic statistics (UNESCO)
2.9 Science and technology (UNESCO)
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 and metadata on research and development (R&D) from all countries in the world in co-ordination with OECD, Eurostat and RICYT (Latin American network on S&T indicators);
• Pilot data collection on innovation conducted in almost 20 developing countries;
• Establishing and maintaining an inventory of innovation surveys carried out worldwide;
• Development of guidelines on how to conduct R&D surveys in developing countries;
• Promotion of a model survey on the careers of doctorate holders in a joint project with OECD and Eurostat;
• Publications on the results of the R&D data collection;
• Training workshops on STI statistics.

Ongoing methodological work

• Prepare guidelines on how to conduct R&D surveys in developing countries, including the development of a model questionnaire;
• Review methodological issues in the former centrally planned economies (Commonwealth of Independent States) when producing R&D data according to Frascati Manual standards;
• Revise concepts used for S&T Education and Training (STET) and S&T Services (STS);
• Contribute to ongoing work on measuring innovation in agriculture, the informal sector and the public sector.

Priority objectives beyond 2012:

• 2012 UIS R&D survey;
• Establish global data collection on innovation conducted on a biennial basis;
• Capacity building activities;
• Methodological guidance for developing countries on the collection of R&D and innovation data;
• Analysis of STI indicators.

New work to be undertaken in 2012:

• Analysis of the pilot collection of innovation data;
• Publications on international mobility of researchers and R&D data (digital atlas and booklet);
• Process and disseminate R&D metadata;
• Develop a model innovation survey in cooperation with RICYT;
• Produce a statistical annex to the World Social Science Report 2013;
• Develop system to calculate regional averages;

Meetings to be organized in 2012:

• Capacity building workshops in Africa, the Pacific, Asia (Gulf countries) and South-Eastern Europe, including national workshops in Viet Nam and Qatar.

3. Environment and multi-domain statistics (UNESCO)
3.3 Multi-domain statistics and indicators (UNESCO)
3.3.3 Information society (UNESCO)
Measuring Information Society

Work Programme

Ongoing methodological work:

Validation and recalibration of core indicators on: the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in education; and cross-nationally comparable media statistics.

Priority objectives beyond 2012:

• Establish two regular surveys on media statistics and the use of ICT in education;
• Joint activities with Asian partners for a regional data collection on ICT in education practices;
• Analyse data on ICT use in Asia.

New work to be undertaken in 2012:

• Promote and analyse regional data on ICT integration in education in Latin America and the Caribbean;
• Implement regional survey on ICT in education in Asian countries;
• Publish data from pilot survey on media statistics, conducted in 28 countries (2011).

Meetings to be organized in 2012:

• Training workshop for new members of the UIS international working group on media statistics;
• Training workshops for national statisticians and policymakers in Asia on ICT in education indicators.

3.3.5 Indicators related to the Millennium Development Goals (UNESCO)
Data for MDGs

• UIS is responsible for providing the data to monitor the international education targets of the MDGs, namely goals 2 and 3.

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

Work Programme

The current programme of the UIS includes:

• Training workshops for national statisticians on the implementation of the newly revised ISCED 2011;
• Collaboration with the EU in the adaptation of their Classification of Learning Activities to non-EU countries;
• Collaboration with EU and OECD on standards for adult and non-formal education.

4.3 Data sources (UNESCO)
4.3.1 Population and housing censuses, registers of population, dwellings and buildings (UNESCO)
Work Programme

The current programme of the UIS includes:

• Participation in ECE and UN expert groups charged with revising census guidelines. The 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;
• Improve the process of exchanging data between the UIS and other organizations through the implementation of SDMX.

5. Strategic and managerial issues of official statistics (UNESCO)
5.3 Quality frameworks and measurement of performance of statistical systems and offices (UNESCO)
Data Quality

The UIS has made improving data quality a major component of its current work programme, and systematically measures and reports on a key set of indicators aimed to assess the quality of its survey activities and the content of the international statistical database. In particular, the UIS Quality Monitoring and Reporting Framework aligns UIS strategic objectives to improve the timeliness and completeness of its data with a key set of performance indicators.

The Insitute is working to improve the efficiency of its data collection and dissemination through the introduction on new statistical tools which support these processes more closely.

Priority objectives beyond 2012:

• Improve the relevance of the current quality reports for all UIS surveys;
• Improve the transparency of UIS data collection, processing and dissemination;
• Improve statistical systems;
• Improve the dissemination of UIS statistical products.

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