Institute of Education


A school in Madagascar by Milijaona Randrianarivelojisoa


Accountability for gender equality in education

Critical perspectives on an indicator framework for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

"I can change the world - every child counts" written on a school wall in an African country

A 30-month project (2018-2021) funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as part of the Raising Learning Outcomes in Education Systems Research Programme.

The project is coordinated by a team of researchers at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) in partnership with colleagues from South Africa, Malawi and the UK.


The study aims to develop an indicator framework for gender equality in education that supports work on gender equality indicators for the SDGs, particularly target 4.7 and 4a:

The indicator framework will be reviewed by a technical committee set up for this project with representation from United Nations Girls' Education Initiative (UNGEI) and the UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report (GEM)

Indicator framework as a mechanism for accountability

A key focus of this research is to explore how evaluating learning outcomes links with the wider agenda for gender equality and women's rights.

The study intends to investigate, in selected countries, how such an indicator framework is regarded as a mechanism for accountability. The project is being implemented in two countries: South Africa and Malawi.


The project's objective is to develop an indicator framework to track aspects of gender equality in education in order contribute to the measurement and evaluation of gender sensitive and inclusive learning environments, which include learning outcomes.

A key aspect of the project is to undertake technical work in relation to SDG4 in combination with examining critically how indicators are regarded as a technique of accountability for gender equality in education. This will entail generating the indicator framework through critical participatory discussion at local, national and international levels in conjunction with technical expertise.


There will be engagement throughout the project with key stakeholders from the academic community, government, key international development agencies, and relevant civil society organisations, including representatives from the international women's movement.

Research team

Related links

Advisory board
    • Silvia Montoya, Director at UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS)
    • Nora Fyles, Director of the Secretariat for the United Nations Girls' Education Initiative (UNGEI)
    • Steve MacFeely, Chief Statistician, Department of Statistics, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
    • Nicole Bella, Senior Statistician and Policy Analyst, Global Education Monitoring Report (GEM), UNESCO
    • Pali Lehohla, formally Statistician-General, South Africa
    • Antonia Wulff, Coordinator, Education International (EI), the world federation of teacher unions
    • Ireen Dubel, international women's rights and gender equality expert

    Advisory committees in South Africa and Malawi are being constituted.

    Publications and blogs



    Latest news

    Funnelback feed: https://cms-feed.ucl.ac.uk/s/search.json?collection=drupal-ioe-news&meta...Double click the feed URL above to edit

    Forthcoming events

    Funnelback feed: https://cms-feed.ucl.ac.uk/s/search.json?collection=drupal-ioe-events&me...Double click the feed URL above to edit