Monitoring and evaluation are critical for building a strong evidence base for lifelong learning and for assessing progress against global goals and targets, as well as for regional and national policy interventions. They guide UNESCO Member States in discerning the most efficient and effective uses of resources, and indicate the degree to which existing programmes can be considered successful. UIL provides monitoring on SDG 4, in particular on literacy and ALE.

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SDG target 4.6:

By 2030,

ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy

What we did in 2021:

  • Soft-launched a multilingual tablet-based tool for the direct assessment of adult numeracy and literacy skills for implementation into national surveys, in particular for low- and middle-income countries;
  • Organized the webinar ‘Youth and adult literacy: Better data for more efficient policies’ to support countries in developing evidence-based literacy policies;
  • Supported countries including Romania and Morocco in measuring adult literacy and numeracy proficiency;
  • Co-chaired the SDG Target 4.6 taskforce that is a component of the Global Alliance to Monitor Learning (GAML).

e-PASS (everyday-life Practices and Skills Survey)

To assist countries in the direct assessment of youth and adult numeracy and literacy skills, UIL launched the multilingual tablet-based tool e-Pass in Arabic, English, French and Spanish. It provides especially lower- and middle-income countries with a possibility to monitor youth and adult numeracy and literacy skills, compare results over time, and reduce the operational, technical and financial burden of fielding a full Literacy Assessment and Monitoring Programme (LAMP). The tool was developed on the basis of a previous version by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics piloted in Romania in 2021 and will be rolled out to further countries in 2022.

Only with direct skills assessments and high-quality data will we be able to fully leverage the potential of literacy and numeracy as key drivers for economic prosperity, social inclusion and sustainable development.

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The speakers and participants who attended a UIL webinar on measuring youth and adult literacy sent a clear message: We need better data for efficient policies. The webinar brought together more than 100 policy-makers and experts in the field of youth and adult literacy and numeracy skills development.

During the webinar, attention was called to the fact that, globally, data availability on literacy and numeracy remains insufficient. Collective efforts have led to gradual progress with respect to increasing literacy rates but there is still a lack of data on literacy in many countries despite the commitment of Member States to monitoring progress, as called for by SDG indicator 4.6.1. Only a small part of the world’s population is currently covered by direct assessments: speakers presented examples of strategies from France, Ireland and the Republic of Korea as a basis for discussion of how direct skills assessment can work at country level. Furthermore, UIL’s e-PASS tool was presented as one of the possibilities to close the data gap.

Global Alliance to Monitor Learning (GAML)

As co-chair of the SDG Target 4.6 taskforce that is a component of the Global Alliance to Monitor Learning (GAML), UIL, together with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), played a central role in supporting countries in reporting on SDG indicator 4.6.1. In May 2021, the taskforce reviewed ongoing efforts to develop instruments for data gathering and monitoring, including the World Bank’s Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), the OECD’s Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), and UIL’s work on Mini-LAMP.

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The fifth UNESCO Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE 5)

Adult learning and education (ALE) is central to sustainable development. Research shows that ALE participants contribute to economic growth, and that adult education has a positive impact on health, as well as on the reduction of poverty and crime. Moreover, tolerance, open-mindedness, as well as civic engagement can be sustained and transformed by adult learning. Yet, progress in ALE around the globe is uneven. UIL monitors UNESCO Member States’ commitment to implementing ALE by way of the Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE).

What we did in 2021:

  • Analysed 159 national reports on ALE in preparation of GRALE 5;
  • Commissioned 10 background papers that will feed into GRALE 5;
  • Prepared the final draft of GRALE 5.

GRALE 5 will be launched on 15 June 2022 at the seventh International Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA VII) in Marrakesh, Morocco. It will monitor Member States’ progress against the commitments made in the Belém Framework for Action (BFA) and the Recommendation on Adult Learning and Education (RALE) since 2018. The report will comprise survey data, policy analysis and case studies to provide policy-makers, researchers and practitioners with an up-to-date picture of the status of ALE in UNESCO Member States. The thematic part, which will focus on active and global citizenship education, will explore its potential for the SDGs, assessing the progress being made across countries and regions, and examining key related concepts. Recommendations for strengthening ALE and promoting active and global citizenship will be made.

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