Step 3: Analyse Educational Laws & Policies & Their Implementation

Human rights standards do not prescribe the specific actions States must take in order to implement the right to education. Rather States are granted the discretion to decide for themselves the most appropriate means by which to comply with their obligations and realise the right to education.International law does, however, require States to adopt various measures toprogressively realise the right to education.

This step will help you identify and expose cases in which State actions (or inaction) contribute to the creation, perpetuation or exacerbation of deprivations or inequalities in the enjoyment of the right to education, as identified in Step 2. This step is crucial for building the case that there has been a violation of the right to education.

While Step 2 focused on the realisation of the right to education from the perspective of theright-holder, this step, like Steps 4 and 5, is meant to help you assess the extent to which the State, as the primaryduty-bearer, is complying with its human rights obligations.

This step will guide you to select the most appropriatestructural andprocess indicators, gather the appropriate data, compare that data to the relevant benchmarks and finally interpret that data.


3.1 Select structural and process indicators

This step explains how to use theIndicators Selection Tool  in order to select the most appropriatestructural andprocess indicators to assess whether the deprivations and inequalities you identified in Step 2 were avoidable and thus a result of State action or inaction.

States are permitted to realise the right to education through a variety of different means. This step focuses on the analysis of the most common of these –laws and policies.

Laws incorporate the right to education, as guaranteed by international law, into the domestic legal order. This creates a legal obligation for allduty-bearers to act in accordance or refrain from acting in a way that affects the enjoyment of the right to education as guaranteed by these laws.Most countries have enshrined the right to education in their constitutions, meaning that the right to education enjoys the highest form of legal protection.

Policies are more flexible than laws, and set out a government’s major objectives, defining the government’s priorities and strategies to implement the laws and achieve its education goals. Policies must be aligned with laws.

In this step you will learn how to assess the commitment of the State to the right to education, using structural indicators and the State’s efforts to transform its commitments into greater enjoyment, using process indicators.

Because the laws and policies (and other measures) that States implement address specific problems and contexts, the structural and process indicators that could potentially be applied tomonitor the right to education are numerous.

Your choice of which laws and policies to examine, and which structural and process indicators to select, will largely depend on whichfactors are preventing people from fully enjoying the right to education in your specific context.

The role of structural and process indicators in monitoring the right to education

In Step 2, you usedoutcome indicators to determine whether there is evidence of deprivations and inequalities in the enjoyment of the right to education. However, evidence of unequal enjoyment is rarely enough to show a violation of the right to education.

Structural and process indicators will help you link deprivations and inequalities with States’ efforts to comply with their obligations. By doing this you can demonstrate that these deprivations are attributable to the primary duty-bearer, thereby strengthening your case that a violation has occurred. Although structural and process indicators are distinct, used in tandem they measure policy efforts.

Structural indicators measure the commitment of the State to the right to education and can be used to assess the extent to which a State’s domestic law complies with international human rights law. Every country in the world is a State party to at least one human rights treaty guaranteeing the right to education, meaning that all countries have international legal obligations regarding the right to education. Structural indicators can tell you when a State fails to comply with these obligations and is thereby in violation of human rights law, including when a State adopts or fails to repeal legislation or policies incompatible with the content of the right to education and its associated obligations (see What to Monitor?). In some cases, a State may have favourable results regarding structural indicators, for example, they have ratified every relevant human rights treaty. However, it is important to remember that structural indicators measure commitment and not actual efforts.

Process indicators measure a State’s efforts to transform its commitments into greater enjoyment of the right to education. They can be used to assess the quality, appropriateness, effectiveness and efficiency of education laws and policies and theirimplementation, as well aseducation inputs. If the State has not adopted appropriate laws and policies to implement the right to education, the State is in breach of its obligations under international human rights law.

Establish your shortlist of structural and process indicators using the Indicators Selection Tool

In order to select structural and process indicators relevant to your monitoring exercise, you should use theIndicators Selection Tool.

As a first step, you should selectStructural Indicators and / orProcess Indicators under the Types of Indicators filter.

Depending on the focus of your monitoring exercise, you may also want to click one or more options under the other criteria.

If you are unsure which laws and policies to examine, you should consider the following: 

  • The topic of your monitoring project

In many cases the topic of your monitoring project will help narrow down your set of indicators. For instance, if the topic of your monitoring initiative is the quality of teaching, you should selectStructural and Process Indicators and Teachers under Quality of Education, which is under Areas of Focus. This will include indicators on teachers’ training, qualifications, knowledge and experience, the availability of learning materials, the state of school facilities, etc. If the topic you are focusing on is the availability of education to persons in detention, you should selectStructural and Process Indicators and Persons in Detention within Marginalised Groups.

  • Data on outcome indicators

Interpreting the data you gathered on outcome indicators may also help you select structural and process indicators. For instance, if you have found that there is a lack of access to education (reflected in, for instance, significantly low enrolment rates), you may wish to focus your analysis on education laws and policies that specifically address that issue, such as laws and policies on the availability of schools,school infrastructure, and teachers or ensuring free education. However, if you found that access to education is not a generalised problem (eg the national average for enrolment rates is quite high, even when compared with relevant benchmarks), but there is a persistent problem in access to education amongst some specific group (eg persons living in poverty, girls, persons with disabilities or an ethnic group) or region, then you would probably want to identify and critically analyse the policy efforts that typically contribute to that group in the population falling behind in the levels of access to education. The specific policy issues you focus on will vary depending on which group you are focusing on. For concrete examples of interpreting outcome education data, seehere.

  • Factors preventing people from fully enjoying the right to education in a specific context

Analysing the specific factors that are preventing people from fully enjoying the right to education will help you determine which laws and policies to examine and which structural and process indicators to use, as illustratedhere.

Adapt your indicators

You may find that the indicators offered by theIndicators Selection Tool do not fully address the factors you want to examine. While Right to Education Project's ('RTE') indicators are intended to be comprehensive, they are not exhaustive. This is because there are amultitude of possible laws and policies that governments can legitimately implement to address a specific problem, indeed this is desirable as laws and policies should take into account the particular context and / or group in question. This means that that there are a corresponding number of possible structural and process indicators that may be applicable.

If you find that the structural and process indicators RTE offers are too generic or do not address the specific problem you are monitoring, you can add your own indicators. You should however bear in mind that the added value of right to education indicators is that they are based on and reflect international human rights law, and that they are used to measure the extent to which States fulfil their legal obligations. Therefore, if you use indicators that are not in the Tool, you should make sure that they measure a principle enshrined in international law.

You should also ensure that the indicators you add arespecific and measurable. This means that when different people use the same indicator to measure the same thing, they should end up with the same data.

For instance, if the focus of your monitoring exercise is on school infrastructure, you may add more specific indicators than those listed in the Tool. Thus, instead of just using the indicatorpercentage of schools with buildings in a state of disrepair, you may want to have a number of more specific indicators, such as percentage of schools with classrooms with leaky or collapsing roofs, percentage of schools with classrooms with broken windows, or percentage of schools with broken toilets.

In order to adapt or formulate new structural indicators you should consider whether the State that is the focus of your project has ratified an international human rights treaty that is relevant to the problem you are monitoring. For instance, if you are monitoring the right to education of children with disabilities, you may want to check theratification status of your country to theConvention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as well as more general treaties such as theInternational Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and theConvention on the Rights of the Child. In addition you should also check that the State has not made anyreservations or declarations that limit the domestic applicability of the right to education.

You will also need to formulate structural indicators that measure commitment taken at the national and subnational level. For example, if you are monitoring the availability of primary education and have identified a problem in the recruitment of teachers, you should look for local, regional and national laws and policies that may impact on the recruitment of teachers.

If you create and adapt indicators that prove to be useful for monitoring the right to education in the field, please do let us know (contact information availble, here).

3.2 Gather structural and process data

This step will give you general guidance on collecting data forstructural andprocess indicators.

Data sources

Since there are a variety of laws and policies that a State could adopt to fulfil its obligations regarding the right to education, the data sources related to process indicators are varied.

In addition to the data sources for outcome indicators, other sources that regularly produce data on structural and process indicators at the national level include:

Population surveys

This data source includes statistical information about people, their homes, their socio- economic conditions and other characteristics. The most common type of survey is a household survey that collects data about private households.

Data from household surveys can complement school-based data by providing information on aspects of children’s backgrounds that may influence household schooling decisions, with possible disaggregation by segments of the population. For example, surveys with questions on education demand have been used to help understand how factors such as direct and indirect costs of schooling and distance to school affects parents’ decision to send their children to school.

Since surveys are based on asking people the same questions, they can be a very useful source of comparative data.

Although household surveys typically producedisaggregated data, you should bear in mind that disaggregation for specific subgroups might be constrained due to sample size limitations, especially in low-income countries.

Legal and policy documents

For structural indicators you will need to identify laws and policies that implement and affect the right to education. For process indicators you will use and analyse these laws and documents.

Governments produce a variety of documents that have information and data on the problems that affect education, the current policies that the government has in place to address some of those problems and new laws and policies and / or programmes it intends to undertake.

Many of these documents are produced by the Ministry of Education, but others are produced by other State institutions. These include national development plans, as well as laws and policies directed at children, equality and poverty reduction.

Depending on the issue(s) and marginalised group(s) you are monitoring, you may want to check laws and policies related to:

  • Child marriage
  • Child labour
  • Minimum age of criminal responsibility
  • Regulation of private actors

Documents about policy performance

If the policies or programmes you are assessing have been in place for some time, you may find various documents already analysing performance of that programme. Reviewing this type of document (government reports, materials submitted to parliamentary standing committees or Q & A sessions in parliament, independent evaluations, previous monitoring reports carried out by CSOs, development agency evaluations of government projects, in-depth media reports) can help you to learn what achievements and problems have been identified to date in the implementation of a policy.

Reports andshadow reports submitted toUN treaty bodies are particular useful for identifying gaps and problems with national education laws and policies, in particular reports submitted to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) and the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC). It may also be worth checking reports submitted to UNESCO.

The Education for All Global Monitoring Reports and the background papers related to these reports that often focus on specific countries, and UNDP National Human Development Reports often contain analysis of education policies that could be helpful when analysing the State’s efforts to comply with its obligations regarding the right to education, as illustratedhere.

For other sources of education data, see the Right to Education Project's page on Where to Find Information?

Disaggregated data

As with data for outcome indicators, it is necessary to collect disaggregated data for process indicators, in order to compare whethereducation inputs are equitably distributed between different groups. For example, for the indicatoris there a special funding system to ensure access to education for students from marginalised groups? looking at whether the special funding system is accessible to all marginalised groups tells you about State efforts to address accessibility problems.

Because process indicators measure State efforts, it is not always possible to achieve the same the levels of disaggregation as for outcome indicators, which measure the level of enjoyment of the right to education. For outcome indicators, it is possible to show unequal enjoyment of the right to education by breaking down the data by marginalised group. However, this is not the case for process indicators. Process indicators such aspupil / teacher ratio andpercentage of trained teachers cannot be broken down by marginalised group; instead the levels of disaggregation will be related to the distribution and prioritisation of education inputs. For example, for pupil / teacher ratio, you should compare data for public and private schools, urban and rural areas, by region and by level of education. In this case, disaggregating data by urban and rural and by region, may tell you, by proxy, whether certain marginalised groups benefit less from State efforts. This is because certain regions may be dominated by particular minority groups, and people living in rural areas tend to be less well off than their urban counterparts. 

Disaggregated data for process indicators may also enable you to identify cases in which a marginalised group is disproportionally subject to a violation of the right to education, as illustrated in areport by the ACLU and Human Rights Watch, which found that in the United States, students with disabilities make up 19 per cent of those who receive corporal punishment, yet just 14 per cent of the nationwide student population.

TheIndicators Selection Tool  includes notes on interpretation for each process indicator, as well as how data for each process indicator can be disaggregated.

Where to find data

In theIndicators Selection Tool we have included a link to available data for some quantitative process indicators.

For qualitative process indicators and structural indicators, legal and policy documents can be found on Ministry of Education websites, in Parliamentary records and in a range ofaggregate databases.

Challenges in accessing offical data

You may encounter obstacles in accessing the data that you need to analyse laws and policies. The following table lays out some of the typical challenges that you may face and some suggestions on how to address them. 

Challenge Possible solution

Official data exists but the State agency that holds it denies public access to it 

  • Talk to other CSOs orstakeholders to see if they have copies of the documents that you require
  • Make formal requests in writing to the relevant government department to access the documents and keep a record of your efforts. In addition to the sources listed here, national legislation (constitutions and national laws) is another important source for data on structural indicators
  • Ask the media to report on the denial of access to policy information
  • Get your legislator to raise the problem and ask for the information
  • Develop closer relationships with key people in relevant government departments and convince them that they can benefit from your work
  • Lobby government information offices
  • Invoke freedom of information laws

Official documents with relevant data are accessible but the data is incomplete or inaccurate

  • Supplement the data produced by the State with data from other sources, such as CSOs, international bodies, universities, etc
  • Develop or bring in external analytical abilities (eg a statistician from a local university) to study the data and assess what can and cannot be used
  • Interview government officials to fill in what is missing from documents or explain discrepancies
  • Extract the data you need from existing data sources such as household surveys or departmental records

The data that you need does not exist or has not been recorded

  • Develop your own survey to gather relevant data (see below)
  • Advocate for better information: call on the government to begin recording the kind of data needed to monitor policy implementation
  • Use media reports or other semi-anecdotal evidence

Source: CAFOD, Christian Aid and Trocaire (2007) Monitoring Government Policies: A toolkit for civil rights organisations in Africa: p.22.

Bear in mind that a lack of official data for certain indicators is often, in itself, a reflection of a State’s failure to take its human rights responsibilities seriously. For instance, if the government does not collect data on school buildings in a state of disrepair, this is a sign that the State is not fulfilling its responsibilities regarding the right to quality education, since it cannot take steps to ensure that those schools that are in disrepair get fixed. Therefore, if you find that the data from government documents is unreliable or incomplete; you should point out these deficiencies to the government in your monitoring report and include these issues in the report recommendations (see Step 6.1).

Collect new data

Beyond raising the issue with the government, when there is no data available for your process indicators, you may need to collect your own data. This may be particularly necessary with regard to theacceptability and adaptability of education, as it is crucial to learn about the perceived experience of those using the education system (ie children and parents). This type of information is typically unavailable andprimary data may need to be collected.

Methods for collecting your own data


Population surveys

As noted above, governments commonly use population surveys to gather information on various aspects of a population, including information related to education. It is also possible to produce your own survey to obtain data that is not gathered by the government surveys. There are two types of population surveys that are particularly useful for monitoring the right to education: household surveys and children’s surveys. These surveys can be carried out at national, provincial or local level.

Surveys allow you to collectqualitative information and are particularly suitable when you want to gather specific information from many individuals or households in a consistent way. It enables you to gather evidence that can be readily counted and categorised and analysed statistically, helping you to assess the scope of a problem (eg 47% of children who dropped out of school mentioned the cost of schooling as the key obstacle for access to education).

Population surveys also allow researchers to monitor actual practices. For example, child marriage is illegal in a number of jurisdictions and yet the practice continues to affect girls’ access to education. Another common example is the charging of illicit fees despite the law guaranteeing free primary education.

A population survey may combine different types of questions, for instance on factual information (eg gender, income, ethnicity, etc), experiences in the education system (eg have you encountered any situations of discrimination because of your gender, ethnicity?), and behavioural motives (eg the reasons you dropped out of school). By combining these types of questions, you can gather data about specific marginalised groups. For example, you can show that a certain percentage of an ethnic minority reports that they dropped out of school because they experienced discrimination in school.

Bear in mind that although population surveys can be very useful, conducting such surveys requires a considerable level of technical expertise on survey methodologies (such as question design and sampling), time and resources. If your organisation does not have the technical skills and resources necessary you should team up with other organisations or individuals that have this expertise (eg research centres).

School surveys

Field visits to schools can help you gather data on a range of education inputs that affect the realisation of the right to education, such as:

  • School infrastructure (including level of reasonable accommodation for children with disabilities)
  • Learning environment, including language of instruction (and related difficulties encountered by children of language minorities)
  • Teaching / learning activities
  • Status of positive discrimination schemes (eg scholarships or specific incentives)
  • Teacher working conditions
  • Ancillary services delivered in the school (eg health check-up and school meals)
  • The nature of the relationship between the school and the community overall

For examples of the type of information you can gather, seehere.

For an example of school-based rights monitoring see thePromoting Rights in Schools initiative by the Right to Education Project and ActionAid.

By gathering the same type of information in numerous schools, you may be able to turn qualitative information about specific schools in to qualitative data that is expressed numerically, thus providing more precise information of the scope of various problems in the education system. For examples, seehere.

Interviews / focus group discussions

Interviews with children, parents, teachers, head teachers and statutory bodies for community participation (eg Parent Teacher Associations) can help in identifying obstacles to educational attainment and strategies for overcoming these obstacles, and in making appropriate policy recommendations to governments. They are particularly helpful for obtaining more in-depth, qualitative information about a certain issue or to get a variety of perspectives on the same issue.

Although interviews often lack the representativeness that population surveys can offer, it is possible to use interviews with a range of stakeholders as a primary source for a critical analysis from a human rights perspective of specific policies on education, as illustratedhere.

Conducting interviews with affected communities can also provide you with the personal stories of an individual or family to use in your report. These testimonials or stories are very powerful tools in human rights monitoring and advocacy, showing the real impact of deprivations and inequalities in education.

When you are conducting interviews withrights-holders, such as children or parents, you should observe certainprinciples to ensure that you are respecting the rights of the interviewees.

Issues to take into account with gathering your own data

1. Principles of data collection

Data collection requires considerable time, resources and expertise. Since the success of youradvocacy strategy will depend on gathering reliable, credible evidence, there is little use in gathering evidence and presenting findings that can be dismissed as fabricated, unreliable or biased. To reduce the likelihood that your research is discredited, you should make sure that you observe thekey principles of data collection.

It may not always be feasible to observe the key principles of data collection, for instance when monitoring the right to education in emergency situations. In these instances, it may still be worth collecting data as important information may be revealed. However you should be transparent about your data collection methods and be aware of its limited reliability.

2. Geographic scope

Unless you have the necessary time, resources and technical expertise to conduct a nationally representative survey, it is advisable to limit the geographic scope and / or the thematic focus of your data gathering, to make the data collection effort more feasible.

An effective strategy to determine which geographic area(s) to focus on is taking one region in the country in which in Step 2.4 you found the worst levels of right enjoyment and compare them with a region in which you found the best education outcomes. For an example, seehere

3.3 Compare structural and process indicators with benchmarks

As with the interpretation of data gathered for outcome indicators, it is necessary to compare the information you have gathered for yourstructural andprocess indicators with various types of benchmarks.

Types of benchmarks

For the purposes ofhuman rights monitoring you will need to be able to identify whether there are shortfalls in the information for the structural or process indicators you have selected. We recommended you use one of the following types of benchmarks:

International human rights standards

Compare laws adopted at the national level (ie structural indicators) with relevant provisions of international human rights law. This will enable you to assess whether those laws are in compliance with international human rights standards. For instance, if the laws on education do not require compulsory and free primary education, this would fall short of theinternational standard that primary education shall be compulsory and available free to all.

Laws and policies

Compare the data you compiled on particular policy issues against the commitments undertaken by the government innational laws orpolicy documents. Policy documents may reveal the rationale behind a government policy or intervention. You could then contrast that rationale with the manner in which that policy is carried out, as illustratedhere.

Disaggregated data

Disaggregated data for process indicators can help you determine whether State efforts havediscriminatory effects. For instance if the distribution and prioritisation of education inputs by the State favours certain regions, groups of people (the general population, people living in urban areas, relatively well-off families, etc), types of school or levels of education, then a case can be made that the State is allocating its resources in a way that exacerbates inequalities within society. For example, regions dominated by the majority group may have a higherpupil / textbook ratio compared to regions that are home to high numbers of minorities. This indicates that the State prioritises the distribution of education inputs to the majority group.

Cross-country comparisons

Bycomparing the data you compiled on any given process indicator with data from the same indicator from other countries you can identify whether the government’s effort to realise the right to education are comparable with neighbouring countries and / or countries with a similar level of development (as measured byGDP per capita). For instance, if your country has a much lower percentage of textbooks per pupil, or a higher pupil-teacher ratio than most of the countries in the region, it would suggest that the government has failed to ensure the availability of these essential education inputs in sufficient quantity. Similar to Step 2.3, cross-country comparisons over time can also be useful for assessing whether progress has been better or worse than that of other similar countries.

A past value of the same process indicator

Comparing present year data with a past value of the same indicator can reveal whether the State has made progress or hasregressed in providing for theeducation input necessary for the full enjoyment of the right to education. A decreasing commitment to provide for education inputs may be indicative of a problem in theprogressive realisation of the right to education according tomaximum available resources. For instance, if you find that thepupil / textbook ratio has increased over the years (ie the average number of pupils per textbook in schools is higher than in the past), this may indicate that the government is failing to provide equal access to quality education, since textbooks are one of the major teaching and learning resources used in schools and in many countries many low income families cannot afford to buy their own textbooks.

3.4 Interpret data

This step will help you identify some of the key problems in the State’slaws and policies that may be having a detrimental effect on the full realisation of the right to education, through the analysis of the data you gathered in Step 3.2.

Firstly, this step will help you identify whether the data for your selectedstructural indicators reveals that there is a problem with the State’s commitment to the right to education.

Secondly, this step will provide you with guidance on how to interpret, in light of relevant human rights standards, the shortfalls you may have found in theprocess indicators when benchmarked (see Step 3.3).

Finally, this step will help you identify specific problems in the policies and implementation patterns that the government is undertaking to realise the right to education.

3.4a Interpret data for structural indicators

After you have identified deprivations and inequalities in the enjoyment of the right to education, the first thing you should look at is the commitment of the State to the right to education, using structural indicators. This is because a lack of commitment could be the reason why enjoyment is unacceptably low. For example, it may be the case that a contributing factor for low levels of enjoyment of primary education is that no laws or policies exist to address the obstacles that prevent access for marginalised groups.

You should also review relevant constitutional provisions, legislation and policies in order to identify gaps in the protection the right to education, as well as inconsistency with international human rights law, as illustratedhere.

Legal analysis is particularly helpful in identifying cases wherediscrimination is entrenched in law, for instance when the law specifies that schooling will be provided exclusively in the language of the majority, not allowing linguistic minorities the opportunity to learn in their own language which is shown to have a detrimental impact on the development of the child.

Moreover, legal analysis in areas such as the family code (egminimum age for marriage) and labour laws (eg discriminatory practices in salaries or working conditions for women) could help identify laws that, although not specific to education, may actually have a detrimental effect on girls’ access to school.

A useful source for identifying gaps in existing legislation and policies regarding the right to education is thefinal observations and recommendations made by UN human rights mechanisms, as shown inthese illustrations.

3.4b Interpret data for process indicators

In Step 3.3, you will have identified those process indicators for which your country has the largest shortfall relative to a suitable benchmark.

At this stage, you can analyse those shortfalls in light of the relevant human rights standards and make a preliminary determination as to whether a violation of the right to education has occurred. As mentioned in What to Monitor?, this requires an analysis of whether the State has breached its legal obligations when applied to the normative content of the right to education.

The normative content of the right to education is derived from human rights instruments. However, right to education provisions tend to be broad, for example: “Primary education shall be compulsory and available free to all”. This provision does not elucidate the form of education, its quality, or whether local authorities can charge for textbooks, school meals, transportation, etc.

There are a number of ways courts, quasi-judicial bodies and other stakeholders have conceptualised and determined the normative content and scope of the right to education. The most common and widely used (including by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights) is the4As framework, developed by Katarina Tomaševski.

The following table illustrates how to link your findings from the previous two steps with the normative content of the right to education in order to determine whether a violation has occurred:

The 4As Framework

Process Indicator

Shortfall Relevant to Benchmark

Human Rights Issue


Percentage of schools that have a shortage of classrooms

A high percentage of schools that have a shortage of classrooms

Problems in the availability of education inputs (classrooms, teachers, textbooks) may affect the quality of education

Teacher absenteeism rate

A high teacher absenteeism rate

Pupil / textbook ratio

A high pupil / textbook (average number of pupils per textbook in schools)


Percentage of the population for whom school-house distance is more than 5 km

A high percentage of the population for whom school is farther than 5km

Problem in the physical accessibility of schools

Percentage of household expenditure on education

A high percentage of household expenditure on education

Problem in the economic accessibility of schools

Are reasonable accommodation measures available for children with disabilities in mainstream schools?

A high percentage of schools that fail to reasonably accommodate the needs of disabled students

(eg they are designed and built in ways that make them inaccessible to wheelchairs)

Problem in the physical accessibility of education for children with disabilities


Percentage of trained teachers

A low percentage of trained teachers (as a percentage of the total number of teachers at the given level of education)

Problem in the quality of education

Percentage of teachers not belonging to minority groups or trained in minority culture or languages

A significantly low percentage of teachers not belonging to minority groups, or trained in minority culture or languages, may contribute to a lack of cultural adaptability of education to the needs of children belonging to minority groups

Problem in the cultural appropriateness of education


Are there special measures to include child labourers in education and find solutions for them and their families?

A failure to adapt schools' schedules during harvest seasons in rural areas or to make non-formal schooling available for child labourers may hinder their access to education

Problems in the adaptability of the education system to suit locally specific needs and contexts

Are there mobile schools for children of nomads?

Lack of mobile schools for children of nomads may prevent children of nomads from enjoying the right to education

Analysing government policies meant to address access to education for marginalised groups

Governments often adopt policies to improve access and retention of children from marginalised groups, such as providing scholarships, free textbooks or school meals to disadvantaged children.

The following are some suggestions that can be helpful to assess whether the manner in which your country has implemented such programmes has been inadequate:

  • Identifying inadequate coverage

It is relatively simple to assess the coverage of a programme aimed at addressing obstacles to the enjoyment of the right to education: compare the number of people covered by the programme with the number of people affected by that specific demand-side obstacle. For instance, if a scholarship programme meant to offset the costs of education is reaching only 10% of the poor families not sending their children to school, then the programme coverage is patently insufficient.

  • Identifying underfunded programmes

An international comparison can show whether spending on a programme aimed at addressing a demand-side obstacle is sufficient. This is done by a double comparison of the resources devoted to a specific programme with those spent on similar programmes in other comparable countries of the same region, related to levels of the deprivation that the programmes are meant to address. For example, seehere.

  • Measuring whether programme benefits are unfairly distributed

Analysing distribution of the benefits of a programme aimed at boosting demand by group (eg indigenous / non-indigenous, poor / non-poor) or location (eg provinces or municipalities) and contrasting them with levels of deprivation that programme is supposed to address across the same groups or locations, can help identify unfair distribution patterns that benefit people who do not need these programmes the most.

Seek additional information

To interpret some of the data you obtained in Step 3.2 and Step 3.3, you may need to obtain additional information. For instance, if you found that the least qualified teachers are concentrated in the poorest areas you may want to get information on whether there are any incentives for more qualified teachers to go to poorest areas and, if there are such incentives, how they compare with similar measures in other countries of the same region. If you found that there are a high number of reported incidents of discrimination against children because they or their parents are HIV-positive or against teachers who are HIV-positive, you may want to research whether it is because of a lack of appropriate legislation or the lack of enforcement of relevant legislation.


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