1. Get the right data: collect data which are relevant to the specific topic or issue. For example, to better understand gender disparity in school, one must collect data on students separately for boys and girls.
  2. Get the data right: collect data with precise definition and appropriate method of measurement. For example, data on new entrants in Grade 1 must not include those who actually attended another school, dropped out, then enrolled in this school for the first time.
  3. Get the data right away: get current and timely data. For example, school censuses should be organised as close to the start of the school year as possible, once enrolment is complete and attendance has stabilised.
  4. Get the data the right way: get data through a rigorous process which can guarantee data quality and ensure consistency. Instructions about methods and data standards must be explained clearly. The people involved in data collection should be trained.
  5. Get the right data management: collect reliable data which is guaranteed by good quality control conducted by relevant stakeholders. It is important to involve all the stakeholders at different levels of the education system to check that the collected data are reliable and complete before they are processed, analysed and used.

Source: UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education (2011) Systematic Monitoring of Education for All – Training Modules for Asia-Pacific. Bangkok: UNESCO Bangkok: Module A2, p.8-9.