1st Priority: Reduced educational disparities, particularly gender inequalities


Our 10th Medium-Term Strategy has five pillars that influence all areas of the Institute’s work and serve as guiding principles in implementing our mission. The five thematic areas are social inequalities, learning outcomes, education system resilience, governance and accountability, and education financing. Discover all of them in our strategy.


An   estimated   263   million   youth   are   out   of   school worldwide. Barriers  to  education  arise  chiefly  from poverty,  but  also  include  ethnicity,  gender,  disability,  and  crises. It is estimated that some 15 million girls of primary-school  age  will  not  have  the  opportunity  to  learn  to  read  or write in school, compared with 10 million boys.Even in countries where girls have equal access to education and higher graduation rates than boys, this advantage too often fails to translate into economic empowerment. At the same time, there is a need for deeper analyses of the factors that make boys more likely to leave the education system, and the consequences.

Inequalities remain a serious concern for most countries, and have worsened even in some wealthy societies. Reducing these, especially inequalities of gender, is a prerequisite to guaranteeing the right to a quality education for all, as reflected in SDG 4.

Educational  planning  and  management  should  lay the foundation for improved policies for inclusion, as well as  socio-economic  development.  Beyond  strategy  design, efforts  must  be  made  to  involve  disadvantaged  groups  in policy formulation and planning processes.

Under  the  10th MTS,  IIEP  renews  its  commitment  to  equity analyses in sector analysis, sector plan development, M&E,  and  policy  research.  This  will  involve  interpreting  data  on  gender,  socio-economic  status,  ethnicity, urban–rural  disparities,  language,  and  disability,  and  their  role  as  obstacles  to  education.  IIEP’s  training  will  encourage  attention to all forms of disadvantage, including disability.

The  Institute  will  also  work  to  develop  the  technical  planning and management capacities of female education staff, enabling and encouraging them to advance to high-level  positions. More equitable gender representation in the design of education systems can contribute to policies inclusive to all.

Key interventions

  • Promote increased attention, in education sector analyses and plans, to gender as it intersects with other causes of inequality.
  • Mainstream gender and other equity issues across IIEP’s training offer.
  • Develop a new training offer on planning for inclusive systems, with a focus on people with disabilities.
  • Make available to policy-makers applied research on reaching the poorest and most marginalized groups.