New SDG 4 Data Digest highlights the contribution of RAMAA to literacy assessment

8 January 2019

The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) has just published the SDG 4 Data Digest 2018: Data to Nurture Learning, which presents current assessment practices around the world and demonstrates how data can contribute to improved learning. 

Among the various monitoring approaches explored in the report are assessment tools that focus on youth and adult literacy and numeracy. This relates to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Indicator 4.6.1, which measures ‘the percentage of the population in a given age group achieving at least a fixed level of proficiency in functional (a) literacy and (b) numeracy skills.’

The new SDG 4 Data Digest cites RAMAA – a UNESCO Institute of Lifelong Learning (UIL) regional project that supports 12 countries in French-speaking Africa in developing common standards and tools to measure literacy learning outcomes – as an innovative approach to develop literacy assessment and evaluation instruments.

The capacity-development model supported by RAMAA differs from the approaches commonly employed by international literacy assessment surveys. RAMAA utilizes a horizontal approach to capacity-building, wherein stakeholders share their knowledge and experiences and develop together, with the technical support of UIL, common standards and instruments, and implement literacy assessment surveys. This, in turn, encourages greater participation and national ownership among different country teams and experts in the field of literacy assessment. The approach has been successfully implemented in 12 countries in Africa and, among other benefits, has helped to mobilize expertise and strengthen South-South cooperation.

However, funding remains a challenge in ensuring the sustainability of monitoring programmes and implementing RAMAA surveys. Achieving genuine institutionalization of a national literacy assessment policy requires strong political will and dedicated financial support. The latter is fundamental for achieving SDG Target 4.6.

To read more about RAMAA in the SDG 4 Data Digest, visit: http://uis.unesco.org/sites/default/files/documents/sdg4-data-digest-data-nurture-learning-2018-en.pdf#page=147 (pp. 145–149).