SABER is a World Bank initiative that helps countries systematically examine and strengthen the performance of their education systems to achieve learning for all. The World Bank is working with partners around the world to develop diagnostic tools that benchmark education policies according to evidence-based global standards and best practice. By leveraging global knowledge, SABER fills a gap in the availability of policy data, information and knowledge on what matters most to improve the quality of education.
As part of SABER, the World Bank is supporting activities that seek to help policymakers make informed decisions about how best to use information and communication technologies to help meet core developmental objectives in the education sector. Specifically, SABER-ICT is:
exploring a set of ten national case studies, in order for national agencies responsible for the implementation of large-scale ICT/education initiatives of various sorts to better benchmark their activities against those of similar institutions around the world; and
supporting the collection of key data related to the use of ICTs in education, as part of a larger international, multi-stakeholder initiative to improve the availability and quality of ICT data and indicators, particularly in the education sector in developing countries.
As part of these activities, the World Bank is:
collecting data and making the data publiclyavailable in open formats (in many cases , for the first time)
proposing analytical frameworks to better understand these data
creating tools to help analyze data, using these frameworks
doing related analysis
At a fundamental level, attempts to answer many of the pressing policy questions we have about the use of ICTs in educational settings around the world -- and the impact of such use -- are complicated challenged by the fact that we still do not have reliable, globally comparable data in this area.
As hard as it may be to believe -- especially given the large investments being made in this area and the increasing strategic importance of this topic in many countries -- basic answers to many basic questions about the use of technology in schools education around the world remain largely unanswered. Recent World Bank technical assistance related to ICT use in education has highlighted the fact that internationally comparable data related to ICT use in education do not exist -- and that this absence is a problem.
Today, many of the education systems popularly considered to be 'high performing' in their use of ICTs appear to merit this designation not because they are able to point to rigorous data about the cost-effective impact of their investments in ICTs, but rather largely because they have 'lots of ICTs'. In close partnership with initiatives underway at other development institutions, SABER-ICT aims to help fill in important gaps related to the availability of policy data, information, and knowledge on what matters most to improve the quality of education as it relates to the use of ICTs.