The People’s Action for Learning (PAL) Network is a south-south partnership of 15 member organizations working across South Asia, Africa, and Central America to assess children’s basic reading and numeracy skills. Member organizations conduct citizen-led assessments and actions aimed at improving learning outcomes.

The network envisions a world where all children have a foundation for lifelong learning. Our mission is to generate evidence through assessment and action to inform, influence and improve children’s learning.

Priorities as a partner of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data

Currently our priorities are guided by a four-year strategy (2020-2023) whose major focus is on the following four pillars:

  1. Assessment - Generation of robust evidence on learning outcomes through oral one-on-one assessments conducted in households.
  2. Action - Working with government and non-state actors in the education space to implement evidence-based programs for improved learning.
  3. Research - Generation of new insights to understand learning contexts and issues using data from our assessments and action programs and other research.
  4. Advocacy - Use of evidence to track and report on global progress as we advocate for equitable, inclusive, and quality education.

Recently, PAL Network members designed and implemented the International Common Assessment of Numeracy (ICAN) across 13 countries using a common tool. ICAN is an open-source, robust and easy-to-use assessment tool, available in 11 languages, that offers international comparability of results aligned to SDG 4.1.1 (a).

The study aimed to demonstrate proof of concept in two ways:

  • To demonstrate the feasibility of using a common assessment framework and set of tools across very different country contexts; and
  • To highlight the ways in which ICAN can be used to generate estimates that respond to important questions on foundational learning confronting countries in the Global South.

In 2020 and beyond, PAL Network will work towards expanding, strengthening and scaling up its efforts in large-scale citizen-generated data collection initiatives across member countries and other new geographies.

Our overall goal is to not only make contributions to data portals of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics but also provide a civil society perspective on large-scale citizen-generated data collection for inclusion in the ‘Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals’.


This Partner Works to Achieve These SDGs