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Educational Indicators: What's to Be Measured?

  • Rob Vos
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    Currently, numerous strategies and new initiatives for improving quality of schooling at the primary and secondary levels are being considered and implemented, with strong support from multilateral agencies, including the World Bank and the IDB. These initiatives include increasing availability and quality of teaching materials, in-service training of teachers, improvement of teaching methods, supply of subsidized breakfast and lunches at school, etc. There is little dispute these are important and necessary interventions. However, the design, monitoring and evaluation of the cost-effectiveness of these programs and of the educational sector in general is hampered by persistent deficiencies in the quality and timely availability of educational statistics. The objective of the present paper is to provide a framework for the identification of relevant educational indicators. Which are relevant types of information depends on what one wishes to analyze for which policy need. Accordingly, the paper conceptualizes two typologies. The first identifies different types of operational educational indicators, distinguishing between input, access, output and outcome indicators to show that an appropriate information system requires to cover the whole process from supplying educational services, demand factors and accessibility, to results in terms of educational performance and externalities derived from enhanced human capital formation. The second typology distinguishes various types of policy-relevant analysis, such as the assessment of educational performance and needs, cost-effectiveness analysis of educational programs, impact evaluation and assessment of externalities. The informational needs in terms of indicators are specified for each type of policy analysis. The paper concludes with a specification of priority needs in data improvement.

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    Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank in its series IDB Publications (Working Papers) with number 10858.

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    Date of creation: 1996
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    Handle: RePEc:idb:brikps:10858
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    1. Paul Romer, 1989. "Endogenous Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 3210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Gertler, P. & Van Der Gaag, J., 1988. "Measuring The Willingness To Pay For Social Services In Developing Countries," Papers 45, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
    3. Jimenez, Emmanuel & Lockheed, Marlaine E & Paqueo, Vicente, 1991. "The Relative Efficiency of Private and Public Schools in Developing Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 6(2), pages 205-18, July.
    4. Arrow, Kenneth J., 1973. "Higher education as a filter," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 193-216, July.
    5. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
    6. Christopher Colclough, 1993. "Education and the Market: Which parts of the neo-liberal solution are correct?," Papers iopeps93/2, Innocenti Occasional Papers, Economic Policy Series.
    7. Giovanni Andrea Cornia & Frances Stewart, 1993. "Two Errors of Targeting," Papers iopeps93/54, Innocenti Occasional Papers, Economic Policy Series.
    8. Donald Cox & Emmanuel Jiminez, 1993. "Private Transfers And The Effectiveness Of Public Income Redistribution In The Philippines," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 236, Boston College Department of Economics.
    9. Newman, John & Rawlings, Laura & Gertler, Paul, 1994. "Using Randomized Control Designs in Evaluating Social Sector Programs in Developing Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 9(2), pages 181-201, July.
    10. Gertler, Paul & Glewwe, Paul, 1990. "The willingness to pay for education in developing countries : Evidence from rural Peru," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 251-275, August.
    11. Baker, Judy L. & Grosh, Margaret E., 1994. "Poverty reduction through geographic targeting: How well does it work?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(7), pages 983-995, July.
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