The UIS is the custodian agency for Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) on education and is in charge of collecting and disseminating data for the indicators used to monitor progress toward the targets under SDG 4. Collecting education data that is of high quality and comparable across countries is important to fulfill the objectives of SDG 4. It is also crucial to ensure that all children and young people are represented in the data. This means that data must include information on the hardest to reach children as well as those facing the highest barriers to education such as girls, children with a disability and those displaced by conflict or natural disasters.

Household surveys can reach children and young people who have left school, or never attended, and are thus an effective way to collect data on marginalized groups. They are also a necessary way to increase data coverage for SDG 4.

SDG 4 encompasses 10 targets and 43 indicators of which 12 are global indicators. In addition, one indicator for SDG 1 measures the proportion of total government spending on essential services, including education.

The SDG 4 Data Digest for 2020 points out why household surveys are an effective way to increase coverage for SDG indicators and capture data on marginalized populations. The Digest also describes the types of surveys that are appropriate and the particular SDG 4 indicators that would benefit from household survey data collection.

The Digest provides information to education ministries, national statistical offices and other education sector stakeholders on best practices in implementing a household survey from planning and design through to data collection, analysis and dissemination of the findings.

A section on collecting data during COVID-19 explains how household surveys can fill some of the gaps in administrative data and serve as a tool for rapid assessment, while suggesting safe practices for reaching respondents.

The SDG 4 Data Digest for 2020 is available on the UIS website in English, French and Spanish.

UIS data are available from the following sources:

UIS Global Education Database covers all levels of education for more than 200 countries and territories

SDG 4 Data Tables can be easily downloaded in different formats

SDG 4 Country Profiles present the latest results for countries in easy-to-understand charts and graphs