UN: Asia and Pacific database on education launched

[BANGKOK, 17 August 2009] - UNICEF and UNESCO have gone online with a one-stop Education for All database for Asia and the Pacific that enables governments to better identify which of their population’s children are not in school or not learning and why.

“The database brings greater precision in analysing where countries in the region have made significant achievements in meeting the Education for All (EFA) goals. More importantly, the database will help identify the unreached groups in education in terms of location, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status, among others,” said Gwang-Jo Kim, Director of UNESCO’s Regional Bureau for Education, speaking on behalf of the regional thematic working group.

As a region, Asia and Pacific has made major gains towards all six EFA goals. However across the region and within countries, significant disparities persist and threaten their achievement.

“We see great opportunity for this database on education to help identify and reach children who remain disadvantaged in accessing quality education, particularly those from the most marginalised communities who face the largest barriers,” said Anupama Rao Singh, UNICEF’s Regional Director for East Asia and the Pacific. “Our hope is that it will be used to create stronger links between monitoring, policy and programme response for the realisation of child rights,” she added.

Asia and Pacific EFAInfo provides user-friendly data on those population groups most in need of access to quality education. Government ministries, academic institutions and civil society organizations will have access to regional and national indicators disaggregated by age and sex, ethnicity and socio-economic status. Where data is available, it also probes provincial and district-level settings, providing evidence for effective response to achieving Education for All.

The regional resource goes beyond standard education data to look at issues such as health and poverty, with data drilling below the surface to sub-national data. In this way it allows for an expanded analysis of education, using not only administrative data collected regularly by ministries of education but also more insightful information generated from household surveys. This provides users with the ability to ‘triangulate’ analysis and look at education from multiple perspectives.

EFAInfo is being launched in advance of a series of training workshops to better prepare education planners and practitioners with the skills and resources to undertake analysis of education data and to apply it to planning and advocacy.

The online resource comprises all of the internationally-accepted standardised indicators as used for the monitoring of EFA and the Millennium Development Goals, together with country specific indicators used for the monitoring of national development plans and the implementation of country-specific interventions.

Through EFAInfo, users can access:

  • Internationally comparable education indicators published for regional, cross-country comparisons;
  • National and sub-national data indicating achievements and gaps in achievement of EFA;
  • Regional, country and sub-national maps for powerful and compelling presentations.

In addition, online users will have access to a range of development-related database, searchable by key words on issues such as education, poverty, the MDGs and other topics.

The Asia and Pacific EFAInfo was launched today in a desktop and web-based format, available online at www.devinfo.info/efainfo. The database contains a gallery of presentation-ready visuals, providing an overview of the status of each of the six goals of EFA across the region.

Just over a third of the world’s countries have achieved or are on track to achieve the Education for All. EFAInfo is designed to help the remaining two-thirds of countries get on a similar course.



pdf: www.devinfo.info/efainfo



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