By Manos Antoninis, Director of the Global Education Monitoring Report, and Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics
From the cocoa farmer in Ghana using a mobile phone to market crops to the nurse in Sweden using telehealth to check on patients at home – digital literacy is considered an essential set of skills needed to find information and communicate in today’s world.
This is why one of the monitoring indicators of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 4.4, which focuses on “relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship” among youth and adults, looks at digital literacy. In particular, it calls on countries to track the percentage of youth and adults who have achieved at least a minimum level of proficiency in digital literacy skills.
Both the target and indicator reflect the commitment and forward-thinking of countries. But what exactly does it mean to achieve a minimum level of digital skills? Clearly the contexts will vary from one country to another. The challenge lies in finding a sufficiently broad definition that reflects these different contexts and priorities of countries while developing a measurement approach to generate the internationally comparable data needed to monitor progress towards SDG 4.
This has been the priority of a task force of experts and country representatives, established by the Global Alliance to Monitor Learning (GAML) and chaired by the GEM Report. This work is crucial – we need a framework so that the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) can collect the data as the official source of SDG 4 indicators and internationally comparable education data and the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report can analyse the results and help keep countries and donors on track to achieve the goal. So we have been working together with the Hong Kong University’s Centre for Information Technology in Education (CITE) and the GAML task force to develop the first version of the Digital Literacy Global Framework. Continue reading