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