With the global commitment to improve learning in school in 2015, countries have agreed to achieve SDG Goal 4.1, which entails generating learning data to monitor progress on indicator 4.1.1. The learning data to report on this indicator comes from learning assessments for in-school children. These assessments can be conducted cross-national assessments, or within countries as national learning assessments. However, many developing countries do not participate in international assessments and frequently lack of financial, technical, or human resources to implement national learning assessments.
The Bank of Items is designed as a global public good and once completely developed, will be governed as part of the World Bank and UIS Initiative to improve global learning through data, that countries can use to store and manage their own national assessment items, at the same time it will allow them to securely access additional globally shared items under an agreement of collaboration with UIS and the World Bank. It is intended to:
- Store both new and developed items following the digital development principles of open education technologies;
- Include an online crowdsourcing module for item development and validation;
- Incorporate already developed and equated items for cross-national assessments to use as initial anchors for cross-country comparability;
- Index already developed items from national and cross-national assessments based on the specific skills included in the Global Content Framework and Global Proficiency Framework and their corresponding item psychometric metadata; and
- Include existing guidelines on multiple-choice item development and validation for countries, item developers, and reviewers.
A strategic partnership framework is proposed to maximize the synergies among one or more academic institutions with technical expertise in the development of online open-source repositories for learning assessments, the comparative advantage and expertise of the World Bank in supporting and implementing international development projects, and the role UNESCO UIS as the custodian UN agency for SDG 4 data.