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Refugee Education Statistics: Challenges and Recommendations – World


Refugee education has, until recently, been a largely neglected issue and encompasses a wide range of fragmented data producers, tools and data sources, as well as non-standardized ways to measure and report indicators. education for this particularly vulnerable population. This paper reviews available data sources on refugee education that could contribute to monitoring SDG4 for refugees, covering access, learning, protection and security. It examines a range of sources such as United Nations registration and monitoring data, household surveys, administrative surveys, education management information systems (EMIS), other surveys in schools, censuses, international learning assessments, national examinations and operational data to understand where data sits along the data value chain.

This review highlights key challenges with respect to:

• Identification of refugees, in particular using proxies such as nationality or mother tongue.

• Lack of disaggregation by refugee status in existing data sources that can cover refugees, such as EMIS.

• Overemphasis on data on access to education, particularly enrollment and attendance, while excluding other measures such as retention, dropout, learning and security.

• Poor integration of refugee education data into national statistical frameworks.

To address these challenges and improve data on refugee education, this paper suggests that governments and organizations:

• Prioritize the secure identification of refugees in existing data collection tools, such as EMIS, using unique identifiers or nationality as a proxy when it is not possible or politically sensitive to ask questions on refugee status.

• Disaggregate data on refugee education, not only by refugee status where protection risks are low, but also by age, gender, disability, level of education, pre-displacement and socio-economic status.

• Maximize the added value of improved identification and disaggregation to extend coverage of indicators beyond enrollment and attendance, to measure dropout, retention, learning and metrics of security. This can provide a more comprehensive assessment of the learning and overall development of refugee children, while better reflecting educational needs and informing educational responses for displaced populations.

• Coordinate and set standards for collecting data on refugee education to avoid duplication, using models such as the UNHCR-UNICEF Joint Plan of Action and the Refugees Reference Group. data from the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) for Education in Emergencies (EiE), as models for better data sharing and coordination.