Are countries ready to assess learning? 


In consultation with a wide range of partners, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) is leading efforts to develop a series of new measurement frameworks and indicators to monitor and improve the learning outcomes of all children as part of Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) and the Education 2030 Agenda. But to what extent are countries ready to produce the data?

The UIS has developed a new tool, the Learning Assessment Capacity Index (LACI), to gauge the readiness of countries to conduct assessments and produce the data needed to monitor the new global education goal. With this tool, national authorities, donors and the wider development community can better identify and prioritise the specific needs of countries in terms of statistical capacity building.

The index is based on the premise that countries that are already implementing assessments are better prepared to monitor Education 2030. Therefore, it shows the extent to which countries have undertaken large-scale learning assessments in primary and secondary education from 2010 to 2015. It includes international, regional and national assessments conducted in schools.*

How the index is calculated

The index ranges from 0 to 5, with higher values reflecting greater ‘readiness’ to measure learning outcomes in terms of a country’s human and financial resources. Countries are given one point for meeting each of the following criteria between 2010 and 2015:

  • conducted a national assessment at the primary level of education;
  • conducted a national assessment at the secondary level of education;
  • conducted national assessments to measure learning at two points during primary and secondary levels of education;
  • participated in a regional assessment at the primary or secondary levels of education; and
  • participated in an international assessment at the primary or secondary levels of education.

*The index is based on the following sources of information:

International Assessments: International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (ICCS 2009, ICILS 2013, PIRLS 2010, TIMSS 2010 and TIMSS 2015) and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (PISA 2012 and PISA 2015).

National Assessments: UIS Catalogue of Learning Assessments (2010-2015).

Regional Assessments: Conference of Education Ministers of Francophone Countries across the World (PASEC 2011 and PASEC 2014), Educational Quality and Assessment Programme - Pacific Island (PILNA 2012), Latin American Laboratory for Assessment of the Quality of Education (TERCE 2013), Ministries of Education of the Southern and Eastern Africa (SACMEQ IV).