Policy Toolbox: 500 education policies at your fingertips

29 September 2020


Educational planners test the pilot version of the Policy Toolbox, Paris, March 2020

Developed by IIEP-UNESCO, this online platform allows planners and policy-makers to access free of charge more than 500 policy options for educational management and planning, based on the needs identified in their country. Intended to be enriched over time and through contributions, the tool facilitates the development of education sector plans and the formulation of evidence-based policies.

Access the Policy Toolbox

Educational policies: What works? 

What policies have countries successfully opted for in terms of availability of textbooks, teacher absenteeism, or the geographical distribution of schools? IIEP's Policy Toolbox intends to respond this complex question in a simple and pragmatic way.

This new web-based tool – accessible to all – was designed to provide food for thought for planners, policy-makers in the education sector, and all their partners. In particular in the delicate phase that follows the diagnosis, i.e. upstream of the definition of the sector plan. "This online catalogue is not intended to provide an exhaustive list of all possible policies or existing options in the education sector, but to offer a clear vision of those that have proven their effectiveness" says Amélie Gagnon, Head of development in IIEP's R&D team.

Evidence and meta-analyses to inform decision-making

Designed as a global public good, this searchable catalogue helps to identify, for each major challenge, the policies that have been tried and tested internationally, but also those that offer temporary, short-term solutions. Each option described in the Toolbox is accompanied by free accessible online references, mainly from institutional literature. In addition, specific information on marginalized populations is provided. 

Depending on their national issues, which are usually identified in the preliminary sector analysis phase, policy-makers and their technical staff in the ministries will then be able to examine the effective options to be considered and confront them with their national context and constraints.

Around fifty common challenges

For its launch, the Policy Toolbox covers 49 major themes classified under three main areas: 

  • Access and completion,
  • Learning processes,
  • Equity and inclusion.

Developed as a collaborative tool, the platform will be updated and enriched over time. On each page, users are invited to react to the content, point out new resources or suggest changes. Eventually, the Policy Toolbox could extend its scope to other IIEP fields of intervention, such as technical and vocational education and training, school mapping, higher education, or crisis-sensitive planning. 


A tool based on a solid methodology


The development of the Policy Toolbox platform is based on the methodological approach of the "Policy Tree", an innovative instrument used in the technical support activities of IIEP and its partners. Through decision trees, this cooperation tool (not accessible online) enables those involved in education reforms to structure discussions in order to define priorities for the development of an education sector plan. A large part of this tool is now accessible to as many people as possible through the Toolbox. 



"The Toolbox is well designed and important indicators related to education policies are captured here that will help the policymakers and technical staff working in education sector to use and make their policy decision-making more rational and information-based."

A beta tester from the Ministry of Education of Afghanistan


Before being officially launched, the platform was tested and optimized with the help of some 40 international beta users: educational planners, researchers, development partners, etc. The feedback is positive and recognized the concrete benefits and added-value of this new tool in daily professional practices. 

The Policy Toolbox may also be used for training purposes.