UNESCO staff from the region had a chance to get a more in-depth briefing and hands-on experience on the development and implementation of managing information systems in the non-formal education sector through a workshop organized by UNESCOs Section for Literacy and Non-Formal Education, and UNESCO Bangkoks AIMS and APPEAL Units.
The workshop on Developing Sub-national Non-Formal Education Management Information System (NFE-MIS) was held at the UNESCO Bangkok office from 23 to 26 January 2006.
NFE plays a crucial role in achieving EFA, especially in reaching the un-reached and most vulnerable groups, Sheldon Shaeffer, Director, UNESCO Asia and the Pacific Regional Bureau for Education said in his speech during the meeting opening.
A systematic monitoring system is required to formulate appropriate policy and relevant programme as well as to monitor and evaluate non-formal education programmes output and impacts, he added.
But unlike in the formal education sector, the management information system is not well-developed in the NFE sector. To respond to this need, UNESCOs Section for Literacy and Non-Formal Education in collaboration with UNESCO institutes and field offices developed the NFE-MIS and pilot tested it in several countries including two countries in Asia Cambodia and India.
Based on the experiences from these countries, a handbook and software called Developing a Sub-National Non-Formal Education Management Information System was developed. The handbook has been validated by an expert group and is now ready for widespread use.
This handbook is a guideline to help countries develop their own NFE-MIS, Margarete Sachs-Israel, Programme Specialist at UNESCOs Literacy and Non-Formal Education Section said during the workshop. She also highlighted the need to undertake capacity building and establish strong national teams to ensure adoption of the NFE-MIS at the country level.
UNESCO Institute for Statistics Regional Advisor for Asia Pacific and AIMS Unit chief, Ko-Chih Tung also noted that countries can also use the NFE-MIS to make their data on the non-formal education sector internationally comparable. There are no obstacles in applying the ISCED 1997 criteria in systematizing the NFE-MIS, he added.
During the workshop, participants discussed how to use the NFE-MIS handbook for their in-country project implementation. They also discussed future activities in the region as part of the Literacy Initiative for the Excluded (LIFE) programme. As the coordinator of the UN Literacy Decade, UNESCO launched LIFE with the goal of contributing to the 50% improvement in levels of adult literacy, with emphasis on women, by 2015.
The literacy and non-formal education section will also use discussions and feedback from the workshop participants to further improve and enhance the NFE-MIS methodology and software they have developed.
Workshop participants came from UNESCO Bangkoks AIMS, APPEAL and EPR Units as well as representatives from the UNESCO offices in Dhaka, Beijing, Islamabad, Phnom Penh and Tashkent.
Download the workshop materials and photos. For more information about the NFE-MIS handbook, e-mail email@example.com. To request a CD copy of the workshop materials, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about the LIFE initiative, visit the APPEAL Units literacy page.
Source: UNESCO Bangkok.