GAML Webinar

SDG 4.1.1 Measurement Tools - Applications in the Wake of COVID-19

The UIS organized a webinar to share details with GAML members on its progress in the past year in advancing the measurement for SDG 4 Indicator 4.1.1 (Proportion of children and young people: (a) in grades 2/3, (b) at the end of primary, and (c) in lower secondary achieving at least a minimum proficiency level in (i) reading and (ii) mathematics, by sex).

The Global Proficiency Framework

In April and May 2019, UIS brought together a group of 28 reading and math experts from around the globe to develop the first draft of a Global Proficiency Framework (GPF).  The GPF is a comprehensive, evidence-based framework that defines proficiency standards for reading and mathematics for primary school learners at the end of grades two through six (Note: experts are currently working to expand it to grades 1 and 7-9).  When creating the GPF, the experts drew heavily from the UIS Global Content Framework, which summarized national content and assessment frameworks across more than 50 countries.

The GPF provides a common set of standards to which countries can link their national assessments to allow for reporting to Sustainable Development Goal 4.1.1(a) and (b): Proportion of children and young people: (a) in grades 2/3 and (b) at the end of primary achieving at least a minimum proficiency level in (i) reading and (ii) mathematics, by sex.  When countries link their assessments to the GPF, results from those assessments can be compared and aggregated between and across countries as well as tracked over time.  UIS is currently working to update the GPF based on feedback from several pilots this past year.  Version 2.0 should be ready for dissemination by the end of the month.  During this webinar, UIS plans to introduce the GPF, share details about its many current and potential uses, and get feedback from GAML members on the Framework and its usefulness.

Policy Linking

Policy linking is a standard-setting methodology, long used in many countries, to set benchmarks (or cut scores) on learning assessments.  While it is an old standard-setting methodology, its use has been extended to help countries set benchmarks that will allow reporting against global standards.  Policy linking allows countries to use their existing national assessments or early grade reading and math assessments to report against SDG 4.1.1.  It works by linking national assessments to the Global Proficiency Framework (GPF).  By linking their national assessments to the GPF, countries and donors are able to compare learning outcomes across language groups in countries as well as across countries and over time, assuming all new assessments are subsequently linked to the GPF.

The UIS has been working with partners this past year to develop the policy linking methodology for use globally and has piloted the method, in coordination with country and donor partners in India, Bangladesh, Nigeria, and Malawi.  The UIS would like to share lessons from those pilots with the broader GAML community as well as details about the advantages and disadvantages of policy linking, plans for finalizing the Policy Linking Toolkit and other global public goods, and get feedback from GAML members on the method as well as how UIS can best support countries with policy linking and other SDG 4.1.1 measurement efforts.

The webinar took place on 10 June 2020 and was attended by approximately 230 participants worldwide. The UIS and its partners provided an overview of the Global Proficiency Framework and Policy Linking, discussed their benefits and the various experiences from countries who have piloted the methodology. There was also an opportunity to discuss the timelines for finalizing these global public goods. There were good discussions about the additional potential uses and contexts for the Global Proficiency Framework and Policy Linking, including in current planning around key content to include in remote learning efforts as a result of the global crisis surrounding COVID-19.

There was also a lot of interest in the topic and many countries manifested their interest in participating in future pilots.

See the video of the webinar here.


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