New book puts the spotlight on open school data in Latin America
Readers are presented with a regional snapshot of how ministries of education and other school actors are embracing information as a means for greater transparency and accountability. A survey of 15 countries in the region identified over 80 school report cards, of which some 70 percent are available online.
The book, Información y transparencia: cuadros de indicadores de las escuelas en América Latina (available in Spanish), then delves into seven of these initiatives in greater depth, namely:
- Mejora tu Escuela (Mexico),
- Ficha Escolar (Guatemala),
- Sistema de Análisis de Indicadores Educativos y Alerta Temprana (Dominican Republic),
- Índice Sintético de Calidad Educativa , ISCE (Colombia),
- Semáforo Escuela (Peru),
- EDU-Q Card (Peru),
- Reportes de escuela in Jujuy (Argentina).
The factors investigated by the author, Alejandra Brito, include what type of information is shared, how school data is collected and disseminated, as well as the design, use, and impact of open school data in relation to transparency, accountability, and the fight against corruption in the education system.
The analysis then highlights the tension between two different objectives set to school report cards – on the one hand, to help school communities design school improvement plans, and on the other hand, to improve transparency and accountability – and suggests differentiating information products according to their specific objectives and audiences.
The book concludes with recommendations on how to maximize the power of open school data in Latin America. These include:
- Prioritize the data that are of greater interest to parents, i.e.: financial resources, school infrastructure and equipment, academic standards, and educational achievement;
- Involve communities in the data collection process;
- Present data in a format that is accessible, simple, and easy to understand;
- Share data at an adequate moment, when users can take action over them;
- Set clear consequences for complying or not complying with expected performance, and also for corrupt behaviours;
- Make communities aware of education performance standards, their right to participate and give their opinion, as well as channels to raise complaints against corruption.
IIEP’s research on open school data will soon culminate with a synthesis publication on key findings from Asia and the Pacific, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America. If you would like to receive information upon its publication, please fill out this form.