The GEM Report’s new year’s resolutions outlined in response to the results of a new external evaluation

A new year, and a new plan, this time thanks to the recommendations outlined in the results of the external evaluation of the GEM Report carried out over the course of last year.

Every 3-4 years, the GEM Report commissions external evaluations to review the quality of its products, the success of its outreach and communication activities, and the cost effectiveness of its operations. The last evaluation had been carried out in 2014.

In 2016, an Evaluation of the Education for All (EFA) Global and Regional Coordination Mechanisms had concluded that the Report had played a positive role in supporting external evaluation coverUNESCO’s overall EFA coordination.

We are happy to share our latest external evaluation, carried out by Ipsos MORI in 2018. It is the fourth since the Report’s inception and the first since its new mandate and the adoption of its new brand in 2015.

Based on a theory of the change to which the GEM Report should contribute, the evaluation reviewed our activities and results, using a wide of range of data sources, including project information, bibliometric analysis, 100 in-depth interviews, an online survey of more than 1,000 people, and social media analytics.

We are pleased that the evaluation confirms the persistent high quality of the GEM Report outputs and the fulfilment of its mandate to monitor progress on education in the SDGs.


The evaluation also points at the rising expectations of what the Report team should deliver. The Incheon Declaration and the Education 2030 Framework for Action set a clear mandate for the Report to monitor and report on education targets in the SDGs and to hold partners to account for their commitments. Yet its funders increasingly call on the Report to demonstrate that its findings also lead to policy change. The evaluation recognizes that these calls could be seen as ambitious for a team of 20 people based in Paris, maybe even a distraction of time and funds from the mandate to produce a global report.

At the same time, the evaluation obliges the Report team to propose clear answers on meeting these rising expectations, in order to maintain and increase its relevance. Most of the recommendations, therefore, are directed at this question.

  1. Develop a strategy to better align resource allocation with the Report’s mandate and other objectives
  2. Make the Report even more relevant for readers in the Global South
  3. Get better value from the Advisory Board members’ expertise
  4. Engage the Report’s potential readership more to further improve its relevance

We would like to thank the evaluation team for identifying successes and challenges relative to the aim of providing an indispensable monitoring and reporting service to SDG 4 stakeholders around the world in the past four years. We also appreciate the recommendations, which will help further fine-tune priorities, implementation strategies, and future resource mobilization. A response to each recommendation has been prepared outlining the next steps in the development of the Report.



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