A new guide developed through a partnership between the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and GPE, and informed by experts from the business community, provides a methodical approach for ministries of education to navigate those challenges. Called Efficiency and Effectiveness in Choosing and Using an EMIS: Guidelines for Data Management and Functionality in EMIS, it includes both a “buyer’s” and a user’s guide.
The buyer’s guide covers how to determine which technologies and functionalities to acquire, build or receive in kind. The user’s guide illustrates how to put these tools to work effectively. The guide also presents pathways to build out systems depending on the current state of a country’s technology and technological infrastructure.
Created in response to ministry requests
The guide was created to fill a need that was identified as a priority by ministries participating in the Education Data Solutions Roundtable (DRT). The DRT was a GPE initiative that brought together country officials with experts from the business community as well as from the UIS and other education and development partners to define needs in the area of data collection and accessibility, and to identify solutions to those needs.
The development of the guide reflects advice from numerous public and private partners. The publication was one of the outcomes of the DRT’s work.
Some key considerations drawn from the guide
An excellent EMIS should collect data from various sources, such as individual schools, teachers and students, and then be able to transform the data into formats that bring all the pieces together in ways that are comprehensible to non-technical officials.
It should include data on enrollment, attendance, completion rates, learning assessments, student health, finance, teacher characteristics and certain administrative statistics. An advanced EMIS should also provide ‘hooks’ to data beyond the education system – such as poverty and population information – which then creates opportunities for contextual analysis.
The ability of an EMIS to integrate data is key – yet, it is something that is often lacking. Most ministries have different people looking at different pieces of data from disparate sources, which makes it difficult to gain a complete picture of all the factors that converge to affect the performance of a system, district or school – or individual child.