GPE Launches Open Data Project to Better Measure Education Progress and Make it Transparent

The Global Partnership for Education is gathering data and education indicators from dozens of developing country partners to create a new open data project.

May 21, 2013 by Yann Doignon, Global Partnership for Education
5 minutes read
Credit: GPE

New data webpages for 29 countries with thousands of education data points

Only few insiders know that the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) is gathering vast amounts of data and education indicators from dozens of GPE developing-country partners. There are thousands of precious data points representing all aspects of a country’s education sector – unfortunately often buried in lengthy documents.

GPE is a unique partnership dedicated to getting all children into school for a quality education. To achieve education results, we rely on the expertise and support of a vast network of partners comprising developing countries and all development actors.

All these partners produce large amounts of all kinds of data, which for a large part is processed and published by the UNESCO Institute of Statistics. In a complementary approach, GPE has collected national data and compared education results against national targets emanating from developing country partners’ education sector plans, joint sector reviews, aide memoires and financial reports.  All too often, this data has remained stacked away in these reports and is not easily accessible.

Comparing education results against national targets

This past year a small team from GPE, the World Bank Development Data Group (DECDG), the aid data organization Development Gateway and FHI 360’s research and analysis unit Education Policy Data Center (EPDC) has worked hard to unearth this data and bring it back to light!

The GPE Open Data project provides instant access to 29 country profiles (with a second batch of 25 countries coming later this year) and presents data from a large variety of documents.

These country profiles are unique as they compare actual education results against national targets and reveal whether or not the government and GPE partners have made progress in getting more children into school, improving girls’ access to education, or increasing the number of teachers.

You can browse 57 indicators in 6 education categories encompassing key elements of each country’s education sector, including domestic and external financing, learning outcomes, and unique aid effectiveness indicators

All data is freely accessible and currently downloadable in Excel or PDF formats to assess progress at the individual country level. All data visualizations can be embedded and shared on a variety of social media channels.

GPE Open Data Project is an agent of change

By putting data out in the open, GPE partners signal how serious they are about meeting their commitments to ensure that education aid brings measurable results. Free use and distribution of data brings change and helps improve dialogue around education results.  It is also a powerful incentive to strengthen national statistical systems as inconsistencies and data-deprived charts indicate information gaps and the need for country governments and their development partners to redouble their efforts to provide accurate data.

The GPE Open Data project is about encouraging and facilitating this ongoing dialogue among all education partners. Developing-country governments have played a central role in collecting and validating data with support from donor and CSO partners based in the country. This process ensures these countries use their national statistical capacity and provide data in line with their own education strategies.

There is no going back to old rules once the lid of the data box is cracked open. In the next year, GPE will continue to innovate and use open data to promote knowledge exchange among our partners. In the meantime, we invite you to visit our data goldmine and send us your feedback and suggestions.

We hope you’ll get involved in helping children learn and grow, and join our conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

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