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22 Feb 2024

Improving the use of evidence for education policy, planning and implementation: strategic review

A strategic review produced by NORRAG and just published by UNESCO finds that the current approach to improving the use of research and evidence is not working. 

Drawing on a survey with 898 participants from 103 countries, as well as a comparator study and interviews, the study addresses how the use of research evidence for policy, planning, and implementation could be promoted to more effectively work toward achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4).

The research done by Gita Steiner-Khamsi, Moira V. Faul,Chanwoong Baek, Anna Numa Hopkins, and Kazuaki Iwabuchi identified two broken feedback loops: between researchers and policy-makers, and between evidence produced in the Global South and North.

Indeed, despite a surplus of data and research produced in the Global North, there is still limited uptake in policy, planning, and implementation. In addition, Global North institutions keep producing a great number of studies that are not used or seen as relevant in the Global South. 

This study was commissioned in late 2021 by the UNESCO Education 2030 Section and lists some recommendations to the SDG4-Education 2030 High-Level Steering Committee (HLSC):

  • implement all three pathways to effective use of research and evidence (products, relations and systems change)
  • support regional hubs to strengthen regional and national processes, and 
  • step up global, regional and national advocacy and resource mobilization

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