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Educational Decision Support Systems

Education systems in the Arab States are facing new challenges to improve quality, efficiency and relevance on the one hand, and to respond to the ever-changing needs of their economies and domestic and regional labor markets, on the other. This required establishment and institutionalization of a comprehensive decentralized Educational Decision support Systems (EDSS) in each Arab State which is formally structured and designed to collect, maintain and supply relevant, reliable and timely information to guide educational policy, planning and management decisions. 

Introduction: What is EDSS/EMIS?

The Education Management Information System (EMIS) is about the selection, organization, presentation, and communication of indicators that can make a difference in educational decision-making. Decision-makers need reliable information on schools, students, personnel and resources.

The Educational Decision Support System (EDSS) combines the data provided by EMIS with analytical models to generate options for the decision makers to improve policy, strategy, planning, assessing and monitoring of the educational system.

The expansion of the educational systems in the Arab States has placed heavy demands on the existing educational administration and management. The UNESCO Regional office in Beirut launched, in collaboration with several partners, the EDSS/EMIS (PAPED) project in 1999 to meet those demands.


Enhance national capacities to manage, plan, monitor and improve the efficiency of the education system by promoting the “culture” and practices of data collection, processing, analysis and utilization of data in decision-making.


Historically, Ministries of education had established Units of departments of statistics to collect basic data about schools, classrooms, enrolments and teachers etc., to produce educational statistic yearbooks upon the request of UNESCO or other international Agencies. This type of data is of limited value for practical planners.

EDSS’s scope is much varied and much wider than mere presentation of education statistics. In fact, EDSS promotes the culture of informed decision-making by providing relevant, reliable, accurate and timely information to educational policy analysts and policy-makers, educational planners, managers and administrators, researchers and other users of the data produced. The project helps the education ministries in the Arab World in the deployment of its educational database in the planning and making of educational policies, research and management plans.

The beneficiaries of the project:

The project serves national, regional and international authorities and bodies at large:
- Ministries of Education
- Regional Councils
- Pan Arab organizations
- International organizations
- Intra educational sector
- Inter sectoral councils, departments and bodies
- Policy analysts
- Researchers
- Planners
- Parents
- Legislators

Objectives to achieve

- The establishment of a comprehensive, efficient and sustainable educational information systems to collect, store, retrieve, process, analyze, monitor and supply timely, relevant, reliable, and easy to understand quantitative and qualitative data and information related to educational status and progress in 20 Arab countries.
- The development of manuals and blueprints of internationally recognized “genetic” procedures and standards for designing, implementing and institutionalizing of EDSS.
- The enhancement of national capacities across all functional areas: data collection, data processing, data analysis, data reporting and disseminating and data utilization.
- The identification, development and testing of a set of commonly agreed upon indicators for monitoring accessibility, quality, relevance, and efficiency at national and regional level.
- The enhancement of national capacities for web based dissemination for information and for using Internet and national networks for data exchange and communication of research results.
- The raising of awareness of the senior officials about the practice of culture of informed decision making in ministries of education and the utility of information.

The outcomes of EDSS/EMIS:

- The Advancement of the educational quality and efficiency
- Educational follow up in response to needs of the Arab countries’ economies, and its local, regional and international varying labor markets
- The design and execution of reform programs in the framework of mid and long term strategies
- The good management and efficient execution of reform programs and the availability of evaluation, checking and audit systems
- The establishment of a total system to support the educational project and its institutionalization

Start Date 01 Jan 2002
End Date 31 Dec 2005
Project Outputs Reports, Databases, Statistics and Documents
Lead Organization / Sector / Office UNESCO Beirut
Contact First Name Victor
Contact Last Name Billeh
Keywords Education Decision Support System
Geography Keywords Arab States Lebanon
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