Policy Linking Methodology
The Policy Linking methodology is used to link learning outcomes from existing assessments to the Global Proficiency Framework (GPF) and to set benchmarks (or cut scores) on learning assessments to align them across countries and contexts over time.
This method allows countries to use their existing assessments to report against SDG 4.1.1 Proportion of children and young people (a) in grades 2/3; (b) at the end of primary; and (c) at the end of lower secondary achieving at least a minimum proficiency level in (i) reading and (ii) mathematics, by sex
Reporting on SDG 4.1.1 using the policy linking methodology is a rigorous process during which teachers and curriculum experts are involved in the alignment of assessments to global standards of the Global Proficiency Framework and outcomes are submitted to the 4.1.1 Quality Assurance Panel.
What to know more? Read the Policy Linking Overview
The Global Content Framework (GCF) defines, each for the domain of reading and mathematics, the content framework for the three points of measurement (grade 2 or 3, end of primary and end of lower secondary), and the minimum content that ensures comparability between assessments using global standards.
|Global Content Frameworks|
The Global Content Frameworks have content reference lists and coding schemes to map national assessments and identifies the similarities and differences between what children are expected to learn in different levels of formal education.
The Global Proficiency Framework for (also referred to as the GPF or the framework) defines the global minimum proficiency levels that learners are expected to demonstrate at the end of each grade level, from grades 1 to 9. The GPF was developed by educators, curriculum experts, and psychometricians with extensive experience developing and implementing programs in a wide range of countries and contexts. GPF were developed for both reading and mathematics.
|(Access tables in Excel)||(Access tables in Excel)|
Global Proficiency Frameworks grades 1 to 9
- Global Proficiency Framework Reading
- Global Proficiency Framework Reading Tables
- Global Proficiency Framework Math
- Global Proficiency Framework Math Tables
The Global Proficiency Framework (GPF) was developed in the Spring of 2019 by multilateral donors and partners based on research conducted by the UIS on the content and assessment frameworks of more than 100 countries. It defines the global minimum proficiency levels (minimum knowledge and skills) which learners should be able to demonstrate along their learning progression from grade 1 to 9 in reading and mathematics.
In addition to providing expectations for students who meet minimum expectations, it also includes expectations for students to partially meet minimum expectations and to exceed minimum expectations. The purpose of additional performance levels is to allow countries to show progress toward meeting and exceeding the target for SDG 4.1.1.
The Minimum Proficiency Levels define a minimum global proficiency level for each point of measurement and domain for international assessments, based on the Global Content Framework (GCF). The minimum proficiency levels at the global scale have been mapped to these assessment programmes:This was possible through an analysis by experts to accommodate countries with different socio- and economic-development stages at each of the 3 educational levels included in indicator 4.1.1 .
The GPF provides detailed minimum proficiency expectations (called Global Proficiency Descriptors—GPD) that countries, along with regional and international assessment organizations, can use as a foundation for linking existing – and future – assessments for the domains of reading and mathematics to report on SDG 4.1.1 via Policy Linking or other linking methodologies. Once assessments are linked to the GPF, the results can then be compared across the different assessments and languages, both within and across countries.
A global consortium of donors and partners has developed a draft Quality Assurance Policy and mechanism for the methodology to ensure minimum standards in test validity and reliability are in place and that assessments are sufficiently aligned with the Global Proficiency Framework (GPF) ahead of policy linking workshops and to ensure rigour in the implementation of the methodology. The Quality Assurance Panel tasked with implementing this policy will review country reports and make recommendations as to whether results should be accepted by UIS for reporting against SDG 4.1.1.
The policy linking methodology was piloted in two countries in Asia, India and Bangladesh, in the Fall of 2019 and in Nigeria in March 2020.
In India and Bangladesh facilitators led panellists in setting benchmarks for their national assessments from 2017 based on the Global Proficiency Framework (GPF) for grades 3 and 5 in mathematics and reading (in English and Bangla, respectively). In Nigeria, facilitators led panellists in setting benchmarks for USAID’s Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) in Hausa for grade 2 and 3 students. In all cases, the policy linking workshops brought together 15-20 panellists per subject and grade. Panellists were master subject teachers, curriculum/content specialists, and assessment specialists, representative of the area for which benchmarks were being set (all the main districts of Bangladesh, the Northeast and Delhi states in India, and Hausa-speaking states in Nigeria. They were nominated by their governments to be invited to the workshop.
The event consisted of three main activities:
- Review the alignment of the assessments with the GPF, with each panellist rating the items. This process found:
- Match assessments items with the established Global Proficiency Levels (GPL) in the GPF, with each panellist determining the levels of knowledge and skills required from students to correctly answer each aligned item.
- Set global benchmarks for the assessment, with each panellist rating whether partially meets, meets, and/or exceeds minimum proficiency students would be able to correctly answer each aligned items using Angoff procedure. This rating process was completed twice, and the individual panellist benchmarks were then averaged to calculate the overall benchmarks. Then, these benchmarks were applied to the data from the most recent assessments completed in each country (2017 in India and Bangladesh and 2016 in Nigeria) to define the percentage of children who scored above each of the proficiency levels.
- What is Global Minimum Proficiency Panel, UNESCO Institute for Statistics
- Policy Linking for Measuring Global Learning Outcomes: Using the GPF in a cross-national remote benchmarking workshop by Colin Watkins, UK Department for Education (UKaid)
- Challenges and Benefits of Translation Global Starts to Local Context, Norma Evens, Evans and Associated Educational Consulting Limited
- Policy Linking - Redesigning National Assessments for SDG Reporting: The Senegal Experience, Mr Badara Sarr, Education and Learning Adviser