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close this bookMeeting Basic Learning Needs: A Vision for the 1990s (UNICEF - UNDP - UNESCO - WB - WCEFA, 1990, 170 p.)
close this folder2. The Context and Effects of Basic Learning in the World
close this folderB. Indicators of the Context and Effects of Basic Education
View the document(introduction...)
View the document(i) Background characteristics
View the document(ii) Financial capacity
View the document(iii) Educational effort
View the document(iv) Educational effects
View the document(v) Social impacts


It is useful and appropriate to organize the national data on basic education around five concepts:

· The economic and demographic background of the nation

· The specific financial characteristics that constrain or facilitate the nation’s capacity to support social services (including basic education)

· The actual effort being made (funds expended, resources used, or program-mes operated) to support basic education activities

· The direct effects of these efforts as measured by access to educational services, continuing participation of students, and graduation (pupil achievement data are not generally available)

· The social impacts of basic education activities as measured by indicators of literacy, health, nutrition, fertility, and income equality.

There are no simple cause-and-effect relationships between the determinants and results of basic education; rather, the relationship is interactive. Education facilitates development and development further facilitates future education activities. Thus, the current indicators of the effects of basic education become part of the general background and financial determinants of a nation’s future capacity to progress toward meeting the basic learning needs of all.

Tables 1 to 6 in Annex 1 (Basic Data) provide selected comparable statistics most recently available for each nation. The countries are listed in the order of their per capita gross national product (GNP). The per capita GNP figure is presented not as an acceptable indicator of social or even economic development but only as a basis for organizing the data. Per capita GNP is a useful indicator of a nation’s total measured economic production and thus of the economic resources potentially available to meet social needs. Therefore, when per capita GNP is compared with other national characteristics, other measures of financial capacity, and indicators of educational effort and its direct and social effects, the analysis of the state of basic education is structured in a logical and effective form.

With per capita GNP in 1987 (in U.S. dollars) as a standard, the nations are divided into three categories: the low-income economies (less than $480 per capita GNP), the middle-income economies ($481 to $5,999), and the industrial market economies ($6,000 and above). The low- and middle-income economies are categorized as developing economies and the middle-income category itself is divisible into lower-middle-income economies ($481 to $2,000) and upper-middle-income economies ($2,001 to $5,999). The “other economies” category represents those nations for which data are unavailable for most of the indicators used in the analysis. The data in the main tables are supplemented elsewhere by other categorizations (e.g., geographic regions) and variables (for example, gross domestic product, rather than GNP, is used for some analyses1).

1 Refer to Technical Notes for definitions and information on data sources, comparability and interpretations.