On behalf of the Global Alliance to Monitor Learning (GAML), we need your feedback on two new framework that will pave the way forward to the first global indicators on digital literacy skills and reading.

As part of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, countries have pledged to “substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship” as part of Target 4.4.  

Indicator 4.4.2 tracks the percentage of youth/adults who have achieved at least a minimum level of proficiency in digital and literacy skills. Yet today, there is no consensus on how to define or measure these skills.

GAML is bridging this gap through the work of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and Hong Kong University’s Centre for Information Technology in Education (CITE), which are developing a global measurement framework that is the subject of an online consultation.  The first step involved a technical review of more than 40 digital literacy frameworks used by countries across all regions and income levels as well as those of regional and international assessment initiatives. In addition, the project team prepared an analysis of the digital literacy skills used in major economic sectors, with specific focus on developing countries. 

Reflecting the contexts and priorities of countries at all income levels

In developing the draft framework, the project team found that the specific digital literacy competences and proficiency levels valued by adults depend largely on their specific country and economic sector contexts. Furthermore, the broader development priorities of countries also shaped the skills and competences adults sought to improve.

This has important implications for the new framework. The aim is not simply to help monitor progress towards SDG 4 but serve as a guide to help countries with very different contexts and needs with the ongoing development and assessment of digital literacy. In response, the project team has developed a pathway mapping methodology to guide countries, sectors, groups and individuals to develop strategies and plans for advancing their own digital literacy development goals and pathways.

Global framework of reference for reading

GAML is also leading the development of indicators to measure Target 4.1 to “ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes”. In particular, indicator 4.1.1 tracks the proportion of children and young people: (a) in grades 2/3; (b) at the end of primary; and (c) at the end of lower secondary achieving at least a minimum proficiency level in (i) reading and (ii) mathematics, by sex.

To provide a meaningful and consistent way of reporting against this indicator, the UIS and the International Bureau of Education (IBE) have developed a draft global framework of reference for reading, which is the subject of another global consultation.

The framework is help national bodies, educational institutions or organizations and international agencies map and align curricula and national or international assessment frameworks. This lays the basis to produce internationally-comparable and meaningful indicators.

Help us spread the word

Please send us your feedback and help us spread the word on the two consultations on digital literacy and reading. With your support, this framework will help pave the way forward to a rich array of data needed to monitor SDG 4 and shed unique insight into the ways in which these critical skills and competences are being taught, understood and assessed by countries around the world.