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Data collection and system-wide monitoring (EMIS)

Why is data collection important for SRGBV?

A robust and reliable information collection system that gathers data at the school level (either via paper-based or online systems) and then feeds it into a central system is the basis of effective management, planning and monitoring of a national education system. 

‘A solid information system should not only aim to collect, store data and process information but help in the formulation of education policies, their management and their evaluation.’ (UNESCO, 2015b) 

Several countries have established an Education Management Information System (EMIS) to manage and provide basic data for the Ministry of Education. EMIS information is useful for research, policy and planning, monitoring and evaluation, and decision-making about the distribution and allocation of educational resources and services. 

To date, few countries have integrated SRGBV data or core SRGBV indicators into national systems – an essential step to improve monitoring and implementation of SRGBV policy and programme responses. In addition, gaps remain in M&E capacity to collect and analyse data at school, district and national level. Further barriers to collecting data on SRGBV include significant cultural or religious barriers to admitting, confronting or even discussing the issue (UNFPA, 2013). Data gaps are a particular challenge in fragile and conflict-affected communities.

Integrating key indicators on SRGBV into existing national systems is one sustainable approach to monitoring the problem and any related programmatic responses. Existing indicators related to SRGBV, such as school violence indicators, may be collected through EMIS or through other instruments (such as the school-based health survey) and this data could be used as a first step to understanding violence in schools, and its prevalence among girls or boys.

Information on the nature and scope of SRGBV is also important for other key ministries to help inform a multisectoral response. In a study by Plan International, only seven out of 49 countries where Plan works had systems in place to record incidents of school violence, with even fewer making this data publicly available. The available systems and their usage were mapped by the study according to the following categories (Bazan, 2009):

  • a national data collection system for school violence incidents
  • police records of school violence incidents
  • judicial system records of school violence incidents
  • health system records of school violence incidents
  • police, judicial system and/or health systems that share information on school violence incidents
  • data on school violence incidents that are made publicly available. 

Country example – Using a mobile phone-based data collection platform, EduTrac, Uganda

In 2011, UNICEF and Uganda’s Ministry of Education and Sport developed a mobile phone-based data-collection system, EduTrac, to collect real-time data about schools. School administrators and head teachers send data into the system on a regular basis using mobile phones. Schedules vary according to the information required – for example, weekly for pupil attendance, monthly for reports on child abuse and termly for capitation grants made to the schools.

The data collected by EduTrac generates reports for the government’s EMIS to help improve education planning and complement existing monitoring and reporting structures. It can also improve accountability by fast-tracking any issues arising from the EduTrac reports. By the end of 2014, almost half (48 per cent) of all schools in Uganda were using Edutrac to report cases of violence to the government.

Edutrac is also closely linked to Ureport – a free SMS-based social monitoring tool for young Ugandans to speak out about issues concerning them. EduTrac regularly analyses this data for education-related issues sent in by youth in their communities, including cases of abuse and violence.

Sources: http://www.educationinnovations.org/program/edutrac and https://www.rapidsms.org/projects/edutrac/