Setting Commitments: National SDG 4 benchmarks to Transform Education

Setting Commitments: National SDG 4 benchmarks to Transform Education


The report ‘Setting commitments: National SDG 4 benchmarks to transform education’ describes in detail the benchmarking process, proposes a way forward for monitoring progress in education and presents case studies reflecting the experience of 12 countries in establishing their own national SDG 4 benchmarks. The report was first published in July 2022 for the High-level political forum and was updated in September 2022 for the Transforming Education Summit.

In 2014, the UN Secretary-General invited the international community to embrace ‘a culture of shared responsibility’ based on ‘benchmarking for progress’. A year later, the Education 2030 Framework for Action called on countries to establish ‘appropriate intermediate benchmarks … for addressing the accountability deficit associated with longer-term targets’. In the past couple of years, 9 in 10 countries set benchmarks for seven SDG 4 indicators for 2025 and 2030 with the help of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics and the Global Education Monitoring Report.

The benchmarking process allows each country to set its own targets taking into account its specific context, starting point and progress rate. It strengthens countries’ ownership of the targets and makes them accountable; helps align national, regional and global education agendas; improves national planning processes; highlights data gaps; and promotes peer dialogue and sharing of experiences.

Check out the progress in phase II


The second phase of the benchmarking process was initiated in February 2022 when UNESCO invited countries to engage in the process of establishing national benchmarks for selected seven benchmark indicators for 2025 and 2030 reflecting their contribution to the global progress in education.

As a result of this global mobilization, the percentage of countries that submitted national benchmarks increased from 45% in March to over 60% in May.

Read more about the Transforming Education Summit that took place in New York on 16, 17 and 19 September 2022.

Check out the first comprehensive report on the benchmarking process  published in January 2022:  ‘SDG 4 Data Digest 2021 National SDG 4 benchmarks: fulfilling our neglected commitment’.