News Release

Global Task Force Calls for Action to Ensure the World’s Children Are Learning

September 18, 2013

As the debate intensifies over the post-2015 global development agenda, a new report from the Learning Metrics Task Force lays out a framework to put learning on the agenda and track learning among the world’s children and youth in order to achieve education quality for all.

The new report, Toward Universal Learning: Recommendations from the Learning Metrics Task Force, released today presents key indicators to track learning at the global level and monitor progress in foundational skills, such as literacy and numeracy, but also going beyond these traditional indicators. The report calls for new global indicators to include “readiness to learn” in early childhood; skills and values for youth to be successful “citizens of the world”; and a “learning for all” indicator that would combine measures of education access, completion and reading into one statistic. The task force also provides a framework of seven essential domains of learning that are essential for all children and youth to master as they prepare for their future lives and livelihoods

More than 30 organizations, including national and regional governments, Education for All-convening agencies, regional political bodies, civil society, and donor agencies, have come together as the Learning Metrics Task Force to push for the global agenda on education to move from universal access to access plus learning. With input from more than 1,700 individuals in 118 countries, the task force has developed a series of recommendations to use existing assessments of learning as well as innovative, new measures to improve the opportunities and outcomes of all children.

“Learning serves as the foundation for all of the priorities in the run-up to 2015—from better livelihoods to climate change. So it is critical to identify a clear set of indicators that can be tracked globally in order to monitor progress and hold ourselves to account in improving the learning outcomes and opportunities of all children and youth,” says UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. “As highlighted by the task force, data alone will not solve the problem. But reliable data does empower us to better target policies and resources required to deliver on the promise of education.”  

The members of the Learning Metrics Task Force also call for coordinated action by all education and development stakeholders to make learning and reliable data on learning outcomes a global priority. Task force recommendations serve as a blueprint for tackling the technical, political and institutional changes required to ensure young people develop the skills they need for their future lives and livelihoods.

About the Learning Metrics Task Force

To catalyze a shift in the global conversation on education from a focus on access to access plus learning, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics and the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution convened 30 organizations as the Learning Metrics Task Force from 2012-2013. Based on recommendations from technical working groups and input from broad global consultations, the task force is working to ensure that learning becomes a central component of the post-2015 global development agenda and to make recommendations for common goals to improve learning opportunities and outcomes for children and youth worldwide. To learn more, visit

About Brookings

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to conduct in-depth, nonpartisan research to improve policy and governance at local, national, and global levels.