This blog was originally posted on the GPE KIX website.
Can data be transformed into policy so that children everywhere, even the most disadvantaged, can realize their right to learn?
A project, known as MICS-EAGLE for its use of Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) data to advance Education Analysis and Global Learning for Equity (EAGLE), has helped countries do just that in its first year.
This project, formally known as Using data for improving education equity and inclusion, is funded by the Global Partnership for Education Knowledge Innovation Exchange (KIX) and it aims to help countries make better use of their education data, directing it towards evidence-based policymaking and advocacy.
At least three countries: Lao PDR, Mongolia and Georgia, have already shown how they’ve used data to inform education policies and this blog addresses these emerging findings.
How the project works
The MICS-EAGLE project first engages with countries to develop education factsheets that provide data-driven insights on areas such as school completion and dropout rate, the prevalence of early childhood education (ECE), foundational learning skills, and access to remote learning tools.
Countries can then hold national workshops to interpret and share this information, with the objective of feeding it into the development of education sector plans and other policy documents.
Findings from Lao PDR
In Lao PDR, for example, the need to increase access to early childhood education, especially for poor children and those living in rural areas, was highlighted by MICS–EAGLE data and eventually incorporated into policy recommendations.
Following the convening of the national workshop, several key policy documents, including the country’s 9th Education and Sports Sector Development Plan (ESSDP), were amended to prioritize equity in education for poor children.
This quote from the Lao PDR ESSDP clearly reflects findings of the MICS-EAGLE country report: “Despite a rise in participation from children in the bottom 20 percent of households, most attendance in kindergarten and pre-primary classes are still from urban areas and rural areas with good road access. Data show that poorer and rural children have less chance of attending early childhood education (ECE), as do those whose mothers are less educated.”