Policy brief 13: Adult numeracy: Assessment and development

  • December 2020

Adult numeracy is key to improving citizens’ lives and supporting the development of jobs markets, economies and societies around the globe. However, its importance is all too often overlooked, in terms of both numeracy education (for adults and in schools) and monitoring of skill levels by credible direct assessment. The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) has published a policy brief to support the assessment and development of adult numeracy worldwide.

Recent changes in the world of work, such as jobs growth in the information and service sectors, mean that today’s workers need adequate numeracy skills in order to adapt (Jonas, 2018). Numeracy competency is also linked to important aspects of individual well-being, such as health and active citizenship (OECD, 2019). The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the prime importance of numeracy skills. The public‘s ability to understand and analyse the large volumes of statistical information and projections that are being circulated via media channels has become crucial to the success of national measures aimed at reducing infection rates and easing the social and economic consequences of the pandemic.


Download the policy brief

  • Author/Editor: UIL
  • Policy brief 13: Adult numeracy: Assessment and development
  • UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning - 2020
  • Available in: English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic