The pursuit of the data needed to achieve the world’s education goals is moving up a gear, thanks to the effort of UNESCO’s Education Sector and the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) in implementing a Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) pilot initiative in ten countries as part of the UNESCO Capacity Development for Education (CapED) Program. Being piloted in 10 countries, this ambitious and innovative initiative aims to help bridge the gap between national education policies and data collection and use.

The 10 pilot countries are:  Afghanistan, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Mali, Madagascar, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal and Senegal.  

CapED supports countries in developing national capacities to integrate SDG 4 commitments into education policy and management. The first phase of the pilot initiative has been completed, with national plans and policies reviewed in light of commitments to SDG 4 on education, in addition to a whole range of training materials and tools.  

The initiative follows a ‘learning by doing' process that uses simple, flexible tools that can be adapted to specific contexts. The second phase, which aims to strengthen national capacities to improve monitoring progress on SDG 4, is now ready to be rolled-out. A participatory process to build consensus will see national teams being trained to use the tools in the second half of 2017. This training will prepare the ground for the final recommendation phase, which will enable national teams to prepare action plans for capacity development and roadmaps.

The CapED SDG 4 Pilot Initiative works with, rather than against, national contexts and builds on UIS experience of working collaboratively with national actors on data gathering and analysis.