Early childhood education in Ecuador.
Evidence-informed policy

Building policies based on evidence

Evidence is the path towards meaningful and lasting change in education. Through its research and applied studies, IIEP provides countries with the latest evidence in educational planning and management. Whether it is in the form of tools offered as global public goods, training for ministry staff, or robust system diagnosis, IIEP encourages an evidence based approach to planning that embraces innovation.

A shared vision for the future of education

Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of an education system is the first step in the planning process. IIEP works with countries to conduct education sector and institutional analyses, using a recognized and proven methodology. Most recently, IIEP supported Burundi, Iraq, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Somalia with a complete diagnostic of their education systems. Carried out with a multi-sectoral national team formed at the start of the collaboration, this type of analysis helps build consensus and a shared vision for the future of education.

In 2021, IIEP also co-published the third volume of the Methodological Guidelines for education sector analysis. The new volume addresses effectiveness of educational administrations, inclusion of children and youth with disabilities, and how to anticipate and address the hazards and risks that threaten educational continuity.

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11 countries supported with Education Sector Analysis (ESA)

9 countries supported with Education Sector Plans (ESP)

6 countries supported with ESA and ESP

For our education sector analysis, we worked closely with a team of [IIEP] experts in different areas such as TVET and financial data analysis. They all took the time to explain how it works and to answer our questions. They made the process interactive. We all learned a lot.”

Bridging research findings with policy design

Programmers working on their laptop on a dark room.
The Conan project working through the night of 30-31 January 2021 for IIEP’s Hacking EdPlanning.
Conan Project

Throughout its activities, IIEP strives to bring research findings closer to educational planners and managers, as well as providing the codes and tools necessary to process large amounts of educational and geospatial data. This is part of a larger shift towards pioneering methodologies, datasets, and free open source technologies to reshape and modernize educational planning practices. IIEP also hosted its first-ever hackathon in January 2021, bringing together more than 100 planners and digital experts to prototype new tools to help address longstanding challenges in educational planning. Other IIEP tools available include:

School-age population yearly estimates at the most local level

Multi-criteria analysis to find less risky areas for school infrastructure

Analysis of travel time and distance to school to determine accessibility

Optimized inspection circuits to improve school quality

Planning should always be responsive to context. IIEP’s development programme explores ways to advance micro-planning, using geo-localized data that was previously inaccessible due to the lack of sufficiently powerful technologies.”

500 education policies at your fingertips

The IIEP Policy Toolbox responds to real-life challenges in education today. From teacher absenteeism and school-related violence to teaching skills, this accessible, online platform provides a myriad of policy options for decision-makers and planners to consider when customizing and contextualizing their own policies. Users can explore more than 500 policy examples spanning some 50 educational challenges related to access, learning, and equity and inclusion.

Visit the Policy Toolbox

Improving information systems for policy-making

In Latin America, a number of initiatives are underway to strengthen strategies for linking data, decision-making, and education management processes. Together with the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean, IIEP developed a Community of Specialists in Data for Educational Planning, a space where experts on education management and information systems (EMIS) can exchange experiences and enrich the existing range of tools and concepts. The new community of practice is also informing the fifth edition of the Regional Forum on Education Policy –the largest event of 2021 for the IIEP Office for Latin America– on how to use information systems in education policy-making. Bringing together education officials from across Latin America and the Caribbean, the forum brings to the fore new recommendations for robust, relevant, and effective information systems.

To meet the goal of inclusion in education, it is essential to plan with evidence and systematic information. But it is also essential to know what information is being used, why, for what purposes, and what the barriers are that prevent its effective use.”