Existence of funding mechanisms to reallocate education resources to disadvantaged populations


SDG Indicator 4.5.3: This indicator identifies whether or not a country is making a large enough effort to reallocate financial resources, taking into account four funding mechanisms (overall education funding mechanisms, resources to school,education resources to students, social resources to students) analysed from three dimensions (comprehensiveness, coverage, volume).

Data source

The information has been collected by the Global Education Monitoring Report team from national sources, such as budget documents and education sector plans, and reports of international organizations.

Source definition

Global Education Monitoring Report (GEMR)

Calculation method

The indicator is binary: No/Yes. An education system is classified as ‘equity-oriented’ if at least five medium or high scores were assigned in eight categories described in the metadata. Criteria used to classify the equity focus of financing policies and programs are
1. Overall education funding mechanism
Coverage (share of school-age population): Low Volume (share of total public education spending): Low 2. Resources to schools / 3. Resources to students (education)
Coverage (share of school-age population): Low 50%; Medium 2–10% or 25–50%; High 10–25%
Volume (share of total public education spending): Low Volume (share of total public spending): Low Volume (share of GDP): Low If information is not available: Low = Non-compulsory education; Medium = Only part of compulsory education; High = All levels of compulsory education
4. Resources to students (social)
Coverage (share of school-age population): Low Coverage (share of total population): Low Volume (share of total public spending): Low Volume (share of GDP): Low If information is not available: Low = Any other program; Medium = Child grant or social assistance program for families with school-aged children; High = Conditional cash transfer program.

Data required

Policy documents from national and international sources.


A country identified as equity-oriented is one whose policy documents recognize the problem of education disparity and whose programs are well-defined and reallocate substantial amount of resources.


There are three main limitations: 1. Information may not be up to date or accurately reported; 2. There is no proof that the empirical thresholds used to distinguish the levels of efforts are associated with effectiveness in promoting equity. Even with the right foundation, some policies and programs may not reduce disparity in education; 3. Rating comprehensiveness, coverage and volume of policy intent is necessary but not sufficient. Complementary contextual information is needed, e.g. degree of decentralization; budget structure; co-financing with other ministries; donors dependence and sustainability; administration weaknesses or design faults that compromise policy and program implementation.


This indicator aims to look at the efforts countries make to reduce disparity in education. A large range of policies contributes to equity; this indicator focuses on the subset of financing policies and their respective programs. Its purpose is formative: to generate interest to collect more information on this important issue and help countries design better policies in the future.

Types of disaggregation