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10 August 2018

UNICEF launched this initiative in order to address global data availability and utilization issues in the education sector




Data in Education including administrative and household survey data have not been fully utilized across all countries for policy making in part due to lack of policy-focused analysis, lack of understanding of education data availed by MICS and other sources, and lack of advocacy and messaging strategies. In order to address global data availability and utilization issues in the education sector, UNICEF launched the MICS-Education Analysis for Global Learning and Equity (MICS-EAGLE) Initiative and shared its Conceptual & Implementation Framework among UNICEF Education networks. 

The MICS-EAGLE Initiative seeks to leverage the rich data generated by MICS6 to positively influence education policy and practices, and thereby achieve better education outcomes for children through evidence-based situation and policy analyses. Analysis of MICS6 data contributes to critical education sector development processes, and can focus on different aspects depending on country’s needs.

The MICS-EAGLE builds national capacity to make a better use of existing data by going beyond the standard MICS analysis and generating crucial data for SDG4 and national education sector monitoring. The Initiative emphasizes consultation processes with national stakeholders, and customizes data analysis to reflect local data and evidence needs to link data and policy actions.   

MICS6 innovations and new education data

The MICS6 was launched in 2017 with data innovations to measure SDG targets. In the field of education data, for example, there is a critical data gap in SDG4.1.1.a, which measures foundational learning outcomes (literacy and numeracy) for grades 2-3, while those for the end of primary and in lower secondary education have better coverage. UNICEF, through the MICS with sector experts, developed and expanded four new data collection modules. Foundational Learning Skills (FL) module collects data that enhance global understanding of educational outcomes in reading and numeracy at early grades. Parental Involvement (PR) module assesses educational environments of children and parental involvement in learning. Together with Child Labour and Child Discipline modules (which have been a standard part of MICS for several rounds), the PR module serves to analyze ecology of school attendance and academic learning. The Child Functioning module collects data on child functioning/disabilities and is a new module for MICS, developed by UNICEF and the Washington Group. Lastly, the Mass Media and ICT module was expanded in MICS6 and collects data on ICT skills among youth. These innovations generate data needed for education sector planning, monitoring and evaluation of various education programmes, and are linked to UNICEF's Data Must Speak (DMS) Initiative1 aiming to strengthen accountability and community participation in improving school performance.


SDG4 Target

Relevant MICS Module

Data Obtained

SDG 4.1.1.a

Foundational Learning Skills (FL)

Literacy and numeracy at primary grades 2-3 among children aged 7-14 years old.

SDG 4.4.1

Mass Media and ICT (MMT)

Nine ICT skills among youth such as writing a computer program, transferring a file, or finding, downloading, installing and configuring software.

SDG 4.5.1

Child Functioning (FCF)

Performance of hearing, seeing, mobility, communication, self-care, learning, controlling behavior and mental health.

Various SDG4 targets

Parental Involvement (PR)

Correlational relationship insights between SDG targets and parental involvement in education.



The MICS-EAGLE Initiative has three main objectives:

1. Generating global knowledge and tracking the progress of equitable education and foundational learning outcomes

MICS6 household surveys that integrate direct learning assessments is a global innovation, allowing countries to monitor learning outcomes of school-age children both in and out of school. The results highlight necessary system-level reforms by identifying countries that are falling behind and need further assistance in mastering foundational skills.

2. Developing a new approach to household surveys that promotes evidence-based policy decisions

The MICS-EAGLE Initiative establishes a data analysis approach applicable to household survey data, and provides products such as a standard data/statistical package, monitoring frameworks for policy follow-up actions, and operational manuals for organizing workshops on developing demand-driven statistical reports. 

In addition, guidelines for adopting FL and PR modules for non-MICS household surveys will be published. These EAGLE packages are suitable for inclusion as part of other existing household surveys which further helps mitigate data gaps.

3. Supporting national-level analysis using MICS6 and building the capacity of education stakeholders in data, analysis, planning and monitoring

The MICS-EAGLE Initiative seeks to serve the distinctive needs of participating countries by strengthening country level capacity and accountability in data collection, estimation, analysis and application. Specifically, it entails:

(a) Equity analysis of foundational learning with disaggregation by disability status;

(b) SDG4 baseline establishment and monitoring;

(c) Updating indicators for the national education sector monitoring framework; and

(d) Updating the status of out-of-school children.

MICS-EAGLE roll-out

The Initiative is optional for UNICEF country offices that wish to avail of systematic technical support. UNICEF HQ, regional and country offices have started initial discussions, and more than 50 countries have indicated willingness to join, pending MICS6 datasets. Countries participating in the MICS-EAGLE in 2018 include Lao PDR DRC, Sierra Leone, Togo, Congo, Gambia, and Ghana.

The Initiative will have a significant impact on the availability of education sector data in low- to middle-income countries, and will greatly improve the ability of governments to make data-driven policy decisions. It will continue as we institutionalize it as a standard practice of MICS data utilization for education sectors in collaboration with the MICS team.

For queries related to the MICS-EAGLE, please contact:
Mr. Suguru Mizunoya (PhD), Statistics & Monitoring Specialist, Education
Data and Analytics Section, Division of Data, Reach and Policy, NYHQ
[email protected]

[1]  For more information on DMS, please see the following link: Country examples are found in the following links.  Togo: (French), or (English); Philippines, Zambia, and Nepal: