Supporting evidence-based policy making with better data

The ETF has been supporting countries in the Western Balkans and Turkey, the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia for over two decades on the development of national data collection processes, synthesis, and data usage for evidence-based policymaking on education, skills development and employability.

Using a variety of sources, methods and instruments the aim has been to build a continuously updated comprehensive picture within each partner country on the modernization process of vocational education and training (VET) systems. In recent years the focus has widened to human capital development within a lifelong learning perspective within which VET plays a critical role. Although the coverage of labour market indicators is generally satisfactory across regions, the availability of other indicators, particularly education and training, remains limited.

The ETF works in partnership with national stakeholders and organisations from the public, private and civic spheres, and other European (e.g. Cedefop, Eurofound), international (e.g. ILO, UNESCO, UNICEF), regional (e.g. Education Reform Initiative of South Eastern Europe (ERI SEE), Union for the Mediterranean, UfM), and bilateral donors (e.g. GIZ, Enabel) to ensure better coverage and quality of data as an integral part of all its activities. Throughout the month of October, the ETF's communication campaign will highlight the many ways in which this is being done, and by engaging national counterparts and experts in live discussions on our social media channels to highlight the success stories and challenges. 

ETF activities and initiatives

The ETF’s policy advice to stakeholders in the EU’s neighbouring regions and reporting to EU institutions is informed by the following activities and initiatives supporting the national education, skills and employment policy evidence base:

  • Torino Process
    • Started in 2010 its aim is to develop among ETF partner countries ways to analyse VET, and have a more efficient policy cycle based on evidence, cooperation and dialogue. The Process takes place every two years with the sixth round beginning in 2022. A key feature is fostering stakeholder dialogue around data and evidence in policy reform.
  • KIESE: Key Indicators on Education, Skills, and Employment
    • Based on a set of indicators and implemented over the last decade this exercise highlights key issues influencing human capital development including vocational education and training (VET) policies, and the critical role of reliable data in policy-making.
  • Osnabrück Declaration in EU's candidate countries
    • ETF monitors the implementation of policy actions on vocational education and training in EU candidate countries on their pathway to EU accession as set out in the Declaration for the period 2021-25. The ETF works closely with its sister EU agency Cedefop which undertakes monitoring for EU member states. Both institutions report annually to the EU institutions.
  • National Data Collection (NDC)
    • Strengthening ownership and influence on policy design processes in addition to the above processes ETF draws upon and supports nationally generated evidence (from central statistical offices, social partners, civil society, think tanks, universities and other research organisations) in many areas including: teachers' professional development, qualifications, quality assurance, work-based learning and career guidance as important tools for implementing the Youth Guarantee.
    • Other topics covered include green skills, digitalization, migration, enterprise skills, sectoral approaches to skills development, smart specialization, platform work, skills demand, skills mismatch, and big data.
    • Targeted country specific data collection such as the ETF monitoring and collation of data on the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on schools, education and labour markets. See the latest update on Ukraine.
    • Launching of the Rapid Education Diagnosis (RED) in Kosovo upon request of European Commission which entails an assessment of the whole education sector following upon and the successful pilot in Lebanon last year.
  • Joint international studies
    • ETF works in partnership to produce data and expand data usage with other EU institutions and agencies, international intergovernmental organisations, such as the recent survey on career guidance.


Did you like this article? If you would like to be notified when new content like this is published, subscribe to receive our email alerts.