GRALE III is then divided into three main parts. Part 1 monitors how well countries are doing in fulfilling their commitments under each of the five areas of the Belém Framework for Action. Its findings are based on the responses of 139 UNESCO Member States to the GRALE III monitoring survey, which was conducted by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning in consultation with the UNESCO Institute for Statistics and the UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report team as well as academic experts in the field of ALE and partners such as the World Health Organization, the International Labour Organization and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Part 1 also identifies ways in which ALE could be better monitored in future years.

Part 2 comprises three thematic chapters exploring the benefits ALE can bring in three important domains: health and wellbeing (Chapter 2); employment and the labour market (Chapter 3); and social, civic and community life (Chapter 4). Each chapter reviews the latest evidence, relevant literature and interesting case studies from around the world. Using the GRALE III monitoring survey as a starting point, the chapters also explore the extent to which countries recognize the value of ALE and act upon this recognition in each of the three domains. The chapters confirm the benefits of ALE and provide compelling arguments for investing in ALE in the future.

Part 3 offers guidance for the road ahead. It consists of two chapters. Chapter 5 shares lessons and discusses the implications for ALE of major global trends like migration, ageing populations, changes in the nature of employment, growing inequality and environmental degradation. Chapter 6 examines how ALE has been recognised in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, identifying the goals, targets and indicators that are of greatest relevance to ALE. It considers how the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development might pave the way for greater intersectoral collaboration on ALE and for a better balance of educational opportunities across all ages. It also casts a critical eye on the availability of data to measure progress on ALE, and reflects on how the knowledge gaps might be closed.

The report concludes with an invitation to readers to join the global ALE community, and to use GRALE as a platform for debate and action. The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning has developed and designed the GRALE series as a contribution to more evidence-informed policymaking. All partners, especially policymakers, are encouraged to review the findings and implement necessary changes in their policies and practices in regional, national and local contexts.

The EFA Global Monitoring Report 2006 aims to shine a stronger policy spotlight on the more neglected goal of literacy - a foundation not only for achieving EFA but, more broadly, for reaching the overarching goal of reducing human poverty.

The publication examines the many dimensions of youth and adult literacy set in the context of development and shows how it connects with other societal challenges such as gender equality, and poverty reduction. Although literacy is at the core of the Education for All goals, three-quarters of the 127 countries for which projections were calculated will miss the target of halving adult illiteracy rates by 2015; moreover, the literacy gender gap is closing too slowly: 63 per cent of illiterate adults were women in 1985-1994, compared to 64 per cent in 2000-2006. The Global Literacy Challenge discusses the expanded vision of literacy in today’s knowledge societies. Essential elements for effective action in literacy are addressed: policy-making, design and delivery of quality literacy programmes, research to provide evidence, assessment of literacy levels, monitoring and evaluation, adequate funding, and partnerships. It concludes with a call for renewed momentum through greater commitment, improved programme delivery and increased resources.

This study is the largest-ever attempt to systematise experience of what works in adult literacy. This report analyses 67 successful literacy programmes in 35 countries in order to see whether they shared any common features that could be simplified into concrete, hands-on benchmarks or guidelines for policy-makers.

This paper was commissioned by the Section for Basic Education for the Final Evaluation of the Implementation of the International Plan of Action for the United Nations Literacy Decade
(UNLD): Education for All as background information to assist in drafting the Report of the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to be
submitted to the UN General Assembly at its 68th session. It explores literacy from a human rights perspective.

Over the past two decades, a set of globally converging discourses on lifelong learning (LLL) has emerged around the world. Driven mostly by inter-governmental organisations, these discourses have been largely embraced by national and local education systems seeking to reflect local traditions and priorities. This paper argues that these discourses tend to look remarkably alike, converging into a homogeneous rationale in which the economic dimension of education predominates over other dimensions of learning, and in which adaptation takes pre-eminence
over social transformation as a goal of LLL. It also shows how these converging discourses are embedded in the logic of the knowledge economy, driven by concern for human capital formation as dictated by the changing demands of the global labour market, and can neglect the learning needs and interests of local communities. The paper concludes that the globally converging discourse of LLL tends to serve the interests of the market ahead of those of the community, and argues that an alternative characterisation of LLL, anchored in social justice, is necessary in the light of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and especially Sustainable Development Goal 4, which aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and to promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. 

The Special Rapporteur believes that non-formal education programmes provide flexible, learner-centred means to improve education outcomes. This is particularly relevant for girls and groups in vulnerable situations, including children with disabilities, minorities and rural and impoverished children, who are disproportionately represented among out-of-school populations. When designed to be available, accessible, acceptable and adaptable, such programmes enable states to fulfil the right to education of learners who are excluded from the formal system. Furthermore, such programmes can promote holistic learning objectives that support cultural and linguistic rights.

In a unique collaboration with UNICEF, Minority Rights Group International reports on what minority and indigenous children around the world face in their struggle to learn. This report profiles the programmes that are being developed to help them – from better bilingual education to meeting the needs of nomadic populations – giving examples of what works and why. It describes efforts to overcome exclusion so that education is available, accessible, acceptable and adaptable for minorities and indigenous peoples, and shows how far there is still to go.

The second edition of the Global Education Monitoring Report (GEM Report) presents the latest evidence on global progress towards the education targets of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

With hundreds of millions of people still not going to school, and many not achieving minimum skills at school, it is clear education systems are off track to achieve global goals. The marginalised currently bear the most consequences but also stand to benefit the most if policy-makers pay sufficient attention to their needs. Faced with these challenges, along with tight budgets and increased emphasis on results-oriented value for money, countries are searching for solutions. Increased accountability often tops the list.

The 2017/8 GEM Report shows the entire array of approaches to accountability in education. It ranges from countries unused to the concept, where violations of the right to education go unchallenged, to countries where accountability has become an end in itself instead of a means to inclusive, equitable and high-quality education and lifelong learning for all.

The report emphasises that education is a shared responsibility. While governments have primary responsibility, all actors – schools, teachers, parents, students, international organizations, private sector providers, civil society and the media – have a role in improving education systems. The report emphasises the importance of transparency and availability of information but urges caution in how data are used. It makes the case for avoiding accountability systems with a disproportionate focus on narrowly defined results and punitive sanctions. In an era of multiple accountability tools, the report provides clear evidence on those that are working and those that are not.