Skills beyond school

Recognition of Non-formal and Informal Learning - Methodology


The project is based on three complementary working methods: desk-based research, and two types of field research: thematic review and collaborative policy analysis.

Desk-based research


This consists of country background reports prepared by participating countries with assistance of the Secretariat, and research and analysis carried out by the Secretariat.

Thematic review


Aims to advance understanding of stakeholder behaviour, to investigate what is working and not working with current practice, and to capture innovative case studies and unintended policy outcomes which may not be obtainable from the standardised questionnaires of the desk-based research. The thematic review also serves to enhance policy dialogue, transparency, capacity building and compliance among participating countries.

Collaborative policy analysis


This type of analysis aims at allowing countries to investigate a specific aspect of a policy initiative in a timely, focused, cost-contained and collaborative manner. Governments today face pressures to achieve timeliness and sharp focus. Countries are often challenged by time lags as they develop policy: i.e. documenting a policy issue (recognition lag), identifying the corrective policy (decision lag), undertaking the steps to carry out the policy action (implementation lag), and evaluating consequences of the policy (impact lag). The demands for immediate policy responses often hinder governments from research-based policy making. Collaborative policy analysis is a practical and innovative approach to assist policy makers to address some of these challenges, as a complement to the thematic review, within the framework of this OECD activity on Recognition of non-formal and informal learning.


In addition, the activity can be supplemented by commissioned papers, workshops and electronic discussions.



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