Who pays for what in education? : the real costs revealed through national education accounts
UNESCO Institute for Statistics
IIPE. Instituto Internacional de Planificación de la Educación
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How much do countries spend on education? Where does the funding come from, and how is it spent? We have trouble answering these questions, simply because many countries lack sustainable systems for collecting, disseminating and analysing data on education financing. To paint a complete picture of education financing in a given country, national statisticians must gather data from many different sources, often using different data classification systems. In many cases, such as for household or non-governmental organization (NGO) spending, the data are not compiled. When they are, they may be collected only occasionally and in aggregate form. Despite these difficulties, good quality data on financial flows are important to help governments understand how funds are disbursed, which groups are disadvantaged in terms of access to funding, and what can be done to improve cost efficiency and effectiveness. Calculating accurate unit costs for education is not currently possible in most countries. But gaps in international data availability prevent the effective monitoring of progress towards the Education 2030 framework and Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4 - ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all). They also impede the development of realistic costing exercises, both at national and international levels. The National Education Accounts (NEA) methodology has been developed to help fill those gaps. This brief presents an overview of the results and data produced in eight countries that participated in an NEA project funded by the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and implemented by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP), and the IIEP Pôle de Dakar.