Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Corporate Author
Title Availability and Reliability of Education Finance Data in Household Surveys
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2017
Page numbers 0-0
URL http://uis.unesco.org/sites/default/files/documents/availability-reliability-education-finance-data-​household-surveys_0.pdf
Abstract
This report examines the availability and reliability of data on household expenditure on education for the
production and analysis of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) indicator 4.5.4 (education expenditure per
student by level of education and source of funding) and other relevant indicators based on household
expenditure on education.1
The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) collects information on household expenditure with its Survey of
Formal Education that is sent annually to all UNESCO Member States. The questionnaire on educational
expenditure is designed to gather internationally comparable data for all levels of formal education by
source of funding (government, international, private), destination, and type of expenditure.2 However, few
countries report data on private spending to the UIS.
Gaps in data collected from countries can in theory be filled with information from national household
surveys, but these are primarily tailored to meet national data needs and may apply different methods and
standards. In some cases, differences between national data collections can also be linked to limited
provision of technical assistance to countries and inappropriate methodological decisions. By looking at the
characteristics of education expenditure data gathered in various household surveys and the information
required for producing education finance indicators, this report aims to determine which surveys can be
used to calculate the internationally comparable indicators needed for monitoring of international goals.
This document presents the findings from an analysis of education finance metadata based on information
from household survey questionnaires compiled by the International Household Survey Network (IHSN). The
surveys were screened by the UIS based on a set of minimum criteria and classified according to their degree
of usefulness for the purpose of calculating education expenditure indicators. To be usable for the
calculation of international indicators, a survey should collect data on a minimum set of expenditure items
covering the most important education expenses. This includes tuition fees, other required fees, expenses
for textbooks, expenses for other education materials, and spending for uniforms and other required
clothing. Ideally, the expenses should be collected at the level of individual household members and the
survey must include information on the current level of education of each household member attending
school.
This report comprises six sections, including this introduction. Section 2 summarizes the IHSN dataset used
for the analysis. Section 3 describes the international frameworks on which UIS household education
expenditure data are based. Section 4 highlights the content of the different surveys and discusses the
characteristics of the expenditure data available for analysis and indicator calculation.
Section 5 focuses on the minimum requirements for calculation of education expenditure indicators and
assesses the surveys’ degree of usefulness for that purpose. Finally, section 6 concludes the paper with some
recommendations for data collection with future household surveys in order to yield reliable and
internationally comparable data on education finance.

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