Wednesday, March 24, 2010

ICT in Education indicators

As some of you know we have been refining the IDB Conceptual Framework and Indicators. Some of you have probably stepped upon one of our latest versions of this document. In an attempt to let you know our latest efforts, here is a short post telling you what we have been up to.

IDBs Conceptual Framework and indicators
The IDBs Conceptual Framework is a tool to support the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of projects where Information and Communication Technologies have been incorporated to improve the quality of education. The Bank proposes the Conceptual Framework application together with a set of indicators as an exercise to facilitate a comprehensive view at the system level (local, national, regional or global) and at the project level as well.

The use of indicators is recommended to measure the level of development and maturity of ICT in Education systems. The IDB envisions the results will provide specific solid data and become a useful tool for public policy and decision-making in the field of ICT in Education.

When applying indicators at a project level, the set of indicators can support and organize the project evaluation process, but in no case should they be considered a rigorous and limited model especially since the process usually involves many other variables. At the country level the comparable information obtained from the indicator data collection will provide valuable information for policy-makers and ICT specialists in other regional and international institutions in the field.

With the aim of organizing the indicators the following types are identified:
Inputs and Processes indicators (Input)
Results and Impact indicators (Output )

The methodological proposal suggests that all INPUT indicators must be measured or taken into consideration always. This rationale is the following:
a) A project may, in practice, produce impacts unforeseen in its original design, and it is valuable to be able to ascertain and quantify them;
b) The second reason has a systemic or public policy aspect to it. Becoming acquainted with all of a country’s educational indicators will give those responsible for collecting the data a broader view of the global impact of the country’s specific situation.

The projects’ final evaluation may take into consideration a broad set of tools, models and indicators to report on results. According to the proposed IDB indicators, it should be taken into account how project results have enabled modification of indicators in terms of impact (of the system where they were introduced).

In this way, the indicators definition allows us to set goals for the project, which acts under the same terms of the indicator it proposes to change. Therefore, for each relevant indicator, the project impact evaluation presents its respective status before the intervention, the status targeted by the intervention (goal) and the percentage of the goal achieved.

To read more about IDBs Conceptual Framework and proposed indicators please check this blog where the latest version of this document will soon be uploaded.

UNESCO ICT in Education indicators
UNESO Institute for Statistics has published in 2009 their Guide to Measuring Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in Education
(Currently available in English only).

The process is ongoing and it is being carried out with the collaboration of various partners: World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, UNESCO Bangkok, UNESCO Santiago, OSILAC, among others. Multiple consultation meeting have taken place until today. The last Meeting took place February 15-16, 2010 in Montreal, Canada where stakeholders met to discuss the prospects of a future multi-stakeholders cooperation to address capacity building challenges and also the option to apply regional indicator modules.

A first set of UNESCO UIS indicators have been tested in 25 countries that have been collaborating on improving the data collection process with their experience. Some of the other partners are currently working with their own set of indicator. UNESCO included in this publication a proposed list of additional indicators that contemplate these indicators.

Adding to the existing ICT in Education indicators ( see UNESCO-UIS )- the IDB proposes that the greatest numbers of IDB indicators ( from the 72 proposed) is considered. In order to achieve the most complete view possible of the development status for the incorporation of ICTs in Education.

Next steps
In 2010 the IDB plans to collect indicator data from over 6 countries. The end goal is to obtain a complete view with updated information on the incorporation of ICT in Education. This will allow for the creation of one or more indexes accounting for the progress of ICT incorporation in Education in Latin America and the Caribbean. We will make sure to keep you updated as we move forward with our Conceptual Framework and indicators.


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