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Executive Summary
Pages 1-6

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From page 1...
... It has made important contributions to the development of global education statistical systems by articulating standards for data collection and classification. UNESCO is facing increasing demands for improved statistical products and services, however, as the world's hunger grows for information about education systems, how they work, and what they accomplish.
From page 2...
... Statistics reported by an international agency can be only as good as the statistics submitted by individual nations, and the capacity to collect information on education varies enormously around the world, ranging from highly sophisticated to almost nonexistent. Improving global education statistics and indicators depends on improving these conditions, but it also demands of the international reporting agency operating practices that promote and ensure relevance, credibility, and trust.
From page 3...
... The Division of Statistics currently operates on the basis of a statement of audience and responsibilities written in 1974. This statement identifies two key audiences for UNESCO statistical services: member states and internal UNESCO program sectors.
From page 4...
... Its current organizational setting continues to deprive the Division of Statistics of the visibility, professional standing, and managerial flexibility that it needs to be a highly credible program using its limited resources creatively and efficiently. UNESCO itself has recognized that some of its units can gain important advantages in flexibility and versatility by being granted "effective functional autonomy." This status has already been accorded to UNESCO's units responsible for education research and planning, as well as to several noneducation activities.
From page 5...
... These activities should include: establishing common definitions and data standards; regularly collecting and disseminating a core set of education statistics and indicators; maintaining and documenting the underlying data base; planning and coordinating a strategic research and development effort; carrying out analytical activities; and playing the role of catalyst in spurring the development of statistical capability and systems in member states, especially developing countries. Ongoing processes of consultation with education experts and key users should be employed to ensure that the conceptual framework guiding the choice of statistics to be collected reflects the most important questions about education that users need to answer.
From page 6...
... Unless external agencies perceive a meaningful commitment by UNESCO to its statistics program, they are unlikely to view the organization as the most appropriate vehicle through which to fund and implement their own ideas for improving education statistics and indicators. In sum, the foregoing set of recommended reforms is intended to enhance worldwide confidence in UNESCO's statistical capacity and to create a solid foundation on which to build an improved global system of education statistics and indicators.

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