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Simulations for Equity in Education (SEE)

© UNICEF/BANA2013-00080/Jannatul Mawa
Children play in the play corner of the the early learning development centre at the Dhaka Central Jail, Bangladesh.

Worldwide, we have made impressive gains in school attendance and completion. Even in the poorest countries, average enrolment rates at the primary level are above 80 per cent, and completion rates average more than 60 per cent, according to UNESCO statistics. While many children are moving ahead, others lag behind. Poverty, particularly for girls and minority groups, remains a primary impediment. Place of residence, disability and ethno-linguistic background also present challenges. Sometimes, the same child faces multiple obstacles.

The purpose of the Simulations for Equity in Education (SEE) project, a collaboration between UNICEF and the World Bank since 2011, is to help countries identify cost-effective strategies for reaching children who are excluded from or underserved by education systems. The centrepiece of the initiative is the new SEE tool, a user-friendly Excel model which projects costs of interventions to reach different groups of excluded children and improvements in school outcomes as a result of those interventions. 

For both UNICEF and the World Bank, equity is a keystone approach to education. The SEE project is partly inspired by the health report, ‘Narrowing the Gaps to Meet the Goals’, which found that pro-equity interventions were a faster and more cost-effective way to achieve the health-related Millennium Development Goals. A main purpose for the SEE model is to discover whether the same is true for education. 

Results from a SEE pilot in Ghana show that using the pro-equity, SEE approach can be more effective and less costly than ‘business as usual’ approaches. UNICEF is currently piloting the SEE model in Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Pakistan and Sao Tome and Principe, along with training on education system analysis and data quality control, with the hope that better decision-making and dialogue within countries will lead to more pro-equity programmes for marginalized children.

Key Publications and Tools

Simulations for Equity in Education (SEE): Model background, methodology, results from first two years: This publication provides essential background information and a conceptual introduction, along with step-by-step instructions for using the SEE tool. 
Simulations for Equity in Education (SEE) tool
Simulations for Equity in Education (SEE) brochure



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