On December 2022, a virtual consultation meeting for Canada was organized by Daniel Baril of the Institut de coopération pour l’éducation des adults (ICÉA) in Montreal to learn about and discuss a process being developed by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) for monitoring the commitments made in the Marrakech Framework for Action (MFA) from CONFINTEA VII.
M. Nicolas Jonas from UIL outlined the proposed new monitoring process—still in its early formative stages—that promises to provide much more robust data about the development of ALE over time. The initial iteration of the monitoring framework embraces the action recommendations contained in the MFA (paragraphs 21-42) which are grouped into four components: system organization, participation and inclusion, quality of ALE, and international cooperation. For each component, specific monitoring dimensions are identified, and for each monitoring dimension specific indicators will be constructed.
The presentation also included a tentative timeline for regional consultation meetings to present the framework and solicit feedback and suggestions from stakeholders. Plans are to discuss the definitions of the indicators and the methods of data collection during the consultation meetings. Various “capacity building” activities and resources related to the framework and data collection are planned including a wiki; self-paced trainings; in-person, online and hybrid workshops; and technical papers.
It was suggested that future GRALE reports—“a new generation of GRALE”—will be issued every four years with thematic reports every one to three years. Additional working papers and technical reports would be issued as often as needed.
It seems clear that successful implementation of this more robust monitoring system will require considerable investment by UIL, the governments of UNESCO member states, and all the relevant sectors involved in ALE provision who wish to have their contributions recognized toward achieving the MFA’s many important action recommendations. Those of us whose ALE systems are highly decentralized face the challeging task of implementing, managing and sustaining the proposed monitoring system so it accurately captures the scope, complexity and impact of our work.
Following the UIL presentation and Q and A session, Daniel Baril provided a briefing on the work of the MFA drafting committee—that he chaired—before and during CONFINTEA including the important additions made in Marrakech, including commitments related to increasing funding and addressing the needs of Indigenous adult learners.
By ICAE Vice-president Tom Sork