In the past, there has been widespread agreement that education delivers skills that underpin students’ future learning and lead to greater social and financial mobility, increasing personal incomes and ultimately affecting a country’s economic growth and development. But there was far less agreement on the education policies and programs most likely to create quality learning environments and improve student performance, especially among the disadvantaged.
The Systems Approach for Better Education Results (SABER) was launched by the World Bank in 2011 to help fill this gap. SABER is an initiative to produce comparative data and knowledge on education policies and institutions, with the aim of helping countries systematically strengthen their education systems and the ultimate goal of promoting Learning for All. It allows countries to conduct a thorough inventory of their education policies and institutions based on global best practices, as well as provides decisionmakers and stakeholders at all levels with tools for structured and effective policy dialogue.
What is a systems approach?
The systems approach to education analysis and reform is at the heart of the World Bank’s Education Strategy 2020: Learning for All and the new Education Approach. It recognizes that improving education requires much more than just increasing resources: it requires strengthening all factors that improve learning for all children and youth. This means making sure that the education system’s policies and institutions for governance, accountability, information, financing rules, and school management are all aligned with learning for all. SABER helps define and analyze education systems by identifying and assessing the education policies that matter most in helping countries achieve education results and learning.
SABER 1.0: Policy intent
In each education system area, SABER collected and analyzed policy data in ways that ensure rigorous and cross-country comparability. The foundation for data collection has been a What Matters Framework Paper in each policy area—a thorough review of the global evidence that identifies the policies and institutions that matter most in promoting learning for all. A rubric for assessing progress toward identified goals, along with a questionnaire for collecting policy data, have been part of this framework document.
The data have been collected in-country by local experts for 10 topics or domains (out of a total of 13, given that there are three cross-cutting themes that did not go through the data collection process -in italics below-), and verified through discussions with government counterparts before being used for country reports and made available publicly. This validation has been quite extensive in its engagement of policymakers and stakeholders.
What Matters Framework Paper
|pdf / TAP (zip)|