UNESCO UIS East Asia Regional Technical Consultation Meeting on SDG4 Regional Benchmarks

Monitoring of SDG4 progress is very critical to achieving the targets by 2030. 30 experts from four East Asian countries participated at the regional technical consultation on setting regional benchmarking for SDG4 progress on the ,30 March 2021.UNESCO Beijing Cluster Office for East Asia and UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS) jointly organized the East Asia sub-regional technical consultation. Staff from UNESCO and UNICEF Regional Offices participated at the meeting. The main objective of the sub-regional workshop was to review the proposed 7-benchmark indicators for regional benchmarking to monitor progress of SDG4 at the regional and country level.

The Education 2030 Framework for Action and the Asia and Pacific Regional Road map for SDG4 called on countries in the region to establish “appropriate intermediate benchmarks” at regional and country level and the main purpose of this East Asia technical consultation was to review and endorse the regional benchmarks.

The consultation focused on the need to establish regional benchmarks to help (i) harmonize regional and global monitoring framework, (ii) develop data collection strategies and (iii) monitor regional SDG4 progress and set indicator reporting standards and processes. The participants from the East Asia sub-region – China, Japan, Mongolia and the Republic of Korea – took part virtually discussed and contributed towards the on-going dialogue regional benching marking. The consultation process also contributed to the effectiveness and responsiveness of the SDG 4 monitoring in the respective East Asian countries.

Mr. Robert Parua, the Education Programme Specialist from UNESCO Beijing, opened the consultation and warmly welcomed the participants on behalf of the Director of the UNESCO Beijing Office by emphasizing that the sub-regional consultation process for necessary for setting the regional benchmarks that are very critical for the monitoring of SDG4 and education 2030 agenda.

At the first session of the meeting, country representatives from (Republic of Korea, China and Mongolia) progress and achievements on the SDG 4 implementation at country level. It was noted at the presentations that the SDG4 targets have integrated in the education sector plans and SDGs frameworks at country level. The participants provided comments and questions in the data collection, reporting, benchmarking and indicators. Mr. Nyi Nyi Thaung from UNESCO Regional Bureau outlined the background of the process and stressed on the importance of establishing the regional benchmarks to measure the progress of SDG4 at regional and country level.

Mr. Roshan Bajracharya from UIS presented the rationale of the regional benchmarking exercise to ensure that all countries in the region endorse a common set of indicators for the regional benchmarking. The presentation covered the background and objectives of regional benchmarking, the indicators for benchmarking proposed by UIS and the regional process in Asia-Pacific region.