In this video, David Archer explaines how right to education indicators have been applied in Nepal, where local communities have used the resource pack "Promoting Rights in School" to monitor the right to education through a participatory method.


This background paper is an introduction to the framework used by the Right to Education Project to develop rights-based indicators for education. It has been developed for a consultative workshop on indicators for the right to education held in 2010 and offers a series of starting points for discussion.

This report was commissioned by Right to Education Project (RTE) as a stocktaking exercise on RTE’s work on the right to education indicators. The report aims to capture the evolutionary nature of the work, comprising a number of research initiatives. The purpose of the stocktaking exercise is to summarise steps that have been taken to advance RTE’s work on indicators; to highlight achievements in the development and promotion of indicators; to identify lessons learned throughout the process of working on indicators; and to identify recommendations for taking RTE’s work on indicators into the next phase.

Key resource
The Right to Education Project (RTE) developed over 200 indicators, based on international human rights law, intended to be used as a tool to evaluate States’ progress towards the full realisation of the right to education, to identify violations of the right to education, and to enable civil society to hold governments to account for their obligations regarding education.  The indicators serve as a foundation for RTE’s work – both as a means for promoting monitoring and advocacy with civil society and as a tool that is imbedded throughout RTE’s work more generally.

Nearly fifteen years ago, Audrey Chapman emphasised the importance of ascertaining violations of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) as a means to enhance its enforcement. Today, this violations approach is even more salient given the recent adoption of the Optional Protocol to the ICESCR. Indicators are important to enforcing economic, social, and cultural rights because they assist in measuring progressive realisation. This article focuses on the right to education in the ICESCR to illustrate how indicators can be employed to ascertain treaty compliance and violations. The methodology that we propose calls for: 1) analysing the specific language of the treaty that pertains to the right in question; 2) defining the concept and scope of the right; 3) identifying appropriate indicators that correlate with state obligations; 4) setting benchmarks to measure progressive realisation; and 5) clearly identifying violations of the right in question.

Aimed at actively engaging parents, children, teachers, unions, communities and local civil society organisations in collectively monitoring and improving the quality of public education PRS offers a set of practical tools that can be used as a basis for mobilisation, advocacy and campaigning. The pack provides four key resources:

1) A charter of 10 rights which, when fulfilled, will enable all children to complete a good quality education;

2) A participatory methodology for: using the charter; collecting, analysing and using data; and consolidating information into ‘citizens reports’ that could be used for the development of Action Plans or to encourage discussions and reviews at local, district and national levels;

3) A series of education- and rights-based indicators organised in a survey format to enable users to capture information in a systematic manner;

4) A compilation of key international human rights references providing the foundations and legitimacy of the charter and reports

PRS builds on education and human rights frameworks to describe an ideal school that offers quality education. Its methodology supports links between programme work at the school level and advocacy and policy efforts in national and international forums. The process is as important as the outcome: it is only through engaging all stakeholders in the process - from developing the charter to collecting and analysing the data and debating the findings - that we will promote greater awareness of what needs to change and how.

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These Guidelines were developed to assist countries wishing to assess the compatibility of their national education laws and policies with international standards. The booklet aims to provide guidance on national education legal and policy frameworks.

This Concept Paper outlines the broader issues which have been addressed in order to establish a set of right to education indicators based on the 4-A framework as developed by Katarina Tomaševski, the first UN Special Rapporteur on the right to education. It explains the choices made when developing these indicators and discusses human rights indicators with a focus on the right to education.

In July 2010, the Right to Education Project convened a consultative workshop, Beyond statistics: measuring education as a human right, with the aim to explore reactions from human rights, development and education experts on its set of indicators and its use in the field. This document presents the reflections and comments that emerged from the consultation.

The Advocacy Toolkit is applicable for all levels of the organization as a resource for building a structured approach for sustained advocacy. The tools are particularly relevant for UNICEF country offices and national committees, but its content will also be valuable to anyone who wants to expand their understanding of the human rights-based approach to advocacy and how this approach is applied.