The United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were established in 2000/1 and consist of eight development objectives to be achieved by 2015. It is widely agreed that the MDGs have been effective in mobilising worldwide awareness, leveraging resources, guiding global development efforts and increasing accountability. It is also impressive how close the world will get to most of the MDGs by 2015. However, there is need for a successor framework once the MDGs expire in 2015 to keep the momentum built to date. The OECD played a pivotal role in defining the MDGs. With two years to go, the OECD is increasing its efforts to support the achievement of the MDGs, and at the same time thinking about how it can help the UN in developing a new agenda and framework post-2015.
The OECD has a number of areas of expertise which could support the UN-led processes shaping the post-2015 agenda and framework. One of these is to support the use of international measures of educational success – particularly focusing on learning - through its PISA for Development initiative.
Aims and approach
PISA for Development aims to increase developing countries’ use of PISA assessments for monitoring progress towards nationally-set targets for improvement, for the analysis of factors associated with student learning outcomes, particularly for poor and marginalised populations, for institutional capacity-building and for tracking international educational targets in the post-2015 framework being developed within the UN’s thematic consultations.
It will do this using enhanced PISA survey instruments that are more relevant for the contexts found in developing countries but which produce scores that are on the same scales as the main PISA assessment.
The pilot project will also develop an approach and methodology for including out of school children in the surveys. The pilot projects results will be obtained over a 36 month period through a three-way partnership involving five to seven countries from the developing world, concerned development partners (DAC members plus the World Bank, UNESCO, UNICEF and other UN bodies and regional organisations) and the OECD.
Countries participating in PISA: Helping to set the baseline for global education goals
The baseline for an education goal could potentially be set through the increased numbers of developing countries participating in PISA, for the 2015 cycle and beyond.
Significant advantages would include:
PISA for Development and education-related post-2015 goals
The results from the PISA for Development pilot project will contribute to the OECD’s support of education-related post-2015 goals that retain a focus on access and equity at primary and secondary education levels, whilst incorporating a meaningful focus on learning.
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