European Development Days: efficiently tackling educational inequalities by looking at data differently

27 May 2019

The UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP-UNESCO), in collaboaration with the Centre for Humanitarian Data (OCHA), will organize a panel on data in the era of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the upcoming European Development Days 2019 conference in Brussels, Belgium, from 18-19 June 2019.

The panel – Efficiently tackling educational inequalities by looking at data differently – will share alternative ways of analysing and sharing data to expose inequalities and to help donors reach children with the greatest educational needs. 

It will argue that the distribution of international aid could improve – in terms of equity – if donors focus more on children, and those who could benefit the most from interventions, rather than countries. An educational status index, which could be implementable at a global scale, could be used to define who would benefit the most from donor aid. Combined with results of predictive humanitarian data analysis, this approach could embody the next generation of a model for aid allocation.

The panellists will include Alain Mingat, an emeritus researcher at the University of Bourgogne, Amelie A. Gagnon, a senior programme specialist at IIEP-UNESCO, and Javier Terán, a statistician at the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Manos Antoninis, Director of UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Report, will moderate. 

The first part of the panel will present an original methodology to define an individual educational index, and its proof of concept in 9 African countries.  The panel will then present how this methodology could be brought to scale with using data from 59 countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America – to show how official development assistance (ODA) allocation would have a greater impact on equity and equality in the education sector. 

The panel will then share humanitarian and emergency data available on the HDX platform, and highlight the power of predictive analytics to anticipate future inequalities and prepare stronger educational interventions. 

Overall, the panel is especially relevant as the possibilities for data collection continue to grow and pressure mounts on countries to monitor progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, including quality education and lifelong learning for all. Equal pressure is on donors, as they must use evidence in making decisions on how to allocate ODA to education.

The EDD is organised by the European Commission and has been the leading forum for development since 2006. It aims to share ideas and experiences to inspire new partnerships and innovative solutions to overcome the world’s most pressing challenges. This year’s theme is Addressing inequalities: building a world which leaves no one behind.