International Policy Forum puts the spotlight on using open school data to combat corruption

17 January 2018

An upcoming IIEP International Policy Forum in Manila organized with the Department of Education in the Philippines will look at 'Using Open School Data to Improve Transparency and Accountability in Education'. 

The Forum, from 24 to 26 January, 2018, will bring together researchers of an IIEP comparative study, national policy-makers from 15 countries, and civil society representatives to discuss and share information on open school data initiatives in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The discussions will bring to the forefront key policy options to facilitate access to more reliable and effective educational data to improve service delivery and reduce corruption in the sector. 

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Public access to information is widely accepted as one of the most efficient means of achieving better transparency and accountability in education. It enables education authorities to monitor educational progress and outcomes and detect any bottlenecks or malpractice in the system. This can also help identify what types of measures need to be taken to improve overall service delivery. 

In this context, many governments and civil society organizations are using a resource known as school report cards to share school-level information. They can cover many aspects of the school environment from student enrolment and achievement, funding, teacher qualifications and pupil-teacher ratios, school facility conditions, to materials such as textbooks. The information can enable the school community – and specifically parents – to verify if the school has received all of the services and resources it was entitled to.

While the advantages of school report cards are clear, there are still unanswered questions about how to select, present, and use data effectively. During the Forum, participants will explore issues such as what are the most critical data for improving transparency and revealing corruption, how can the reliability of information be ensured, and whether there should be any negative effects of open data to take into account. It will also look at the concrete actions required to ensure that data have a real impact on accountability once they are made public. 

The Forum will rely on the major outcomes of an IIEP research project on open school data conducted in Australia, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan and the Philippines.

Authors of two state-of-the-art papers on Africa and Latin America will also be present. Altogether, 15 countries will be represented through their leaders in charge of open school data at ministry of education level. Major civil society organizations involved in promoting access to education data will also be there, including CheckMySchool, Accountability Initiative, Pratham and Transparency International. Discussions will culminate with the formulation of policy guidelines aimed at supporting access to more reliable, usable and effective data.


Stay tuned for highlights from our upcoming Policy Forum, 24-26 January 2018, follow @ETICO_IIEP and #openschooldata on Twitter. The related case studies will also be available for download via our website.