Case studies


Education 2030 

Education 2030 is part of the wider 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, an intergovernmental commitment and ‘a plan for action for people, planet and prosperity’. This transnational policy agenda comprises 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), one of which, SDG4 relates to education; education is thus articulated as a stand-alone goal, with its 7 outcome targets and 3 means of implementation.

The METRO study of Education 2030/SDG4 will focus primarily on the interplay and interdependencies of an array of international organisations as they coordinate statistical datasets and heart and minds in their pursuit of SDG4. Analysis will focus primarily on the work of the ‘Technical Cooperation Group on the Indicators for SDG4’, composed of 38 regionally-representative members of Member States, multilateral agencies, international organisations and civil society groups.

Measuring childhood poverty

The UNICEF Innocenti report describes the measurement of poverty as a ‘crisis in monitoring’ (2015). Indeed, there has been profound disagreement and controversy around the measurement systems of childhood poverty – both in academic and policy worlds. And yet, various IOs are increasingly required to work together to meet the targets set in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), creating a necessity for convergence of the measurement frameworks. 


This case study explores the evolving approaches to measuring childhood poverty, in particular a move towards multidimensional poverty measures, seen through the analytical lens of collaboration between IOs (including UNICEF, the World Bank and the OECD).

international organisations

Constructing the European Education Area 

The concept of Europeanisation of education, although evident in the measurement practices that have been governing European education since the start of the 21st century, was for a long time a contested term. Although subsidiarity in education is still the rule, yet we see recently concerted efforts by the EU to establish a European education area by 2025. The policy initiative aims to enhance learning mobility and educational opportunities in the EU, reinforce the cultural dimension of the European Union and bolster youth participation.

What are the data requirements to construct this single governing entity? Which are the organisations that come together to build the statistical architecture which will inform the policy work surrounding this new policy aim? What is the role of the OECD and its various international comparative assessments in assisting the Commission in this task? This METRO study will examine in-depth the interdependencies of IOs in governing education in Europe, in order to make sense of the processes of the construction of metrics and their impact on IOs themselves.

Calculating sustainable development

This case study on the Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century (PARIS21) investigates how quantification shapes transnational governance and the interplay of IOs in the effort to increase statistical capacity in developing countries. PARIS21 emerges from the collaboration of a number of IOs and aims to enable low-income and lower-middle income countries to design, implement, and monitor a National Strategy for the Development of Statistics (NSDS). 


The investigation of this case of ‘governance by numbers’ is studied in connection to the issues put forth by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), that are demanding developing countries to produce more and higher quality data to guide evidence-based policymaking, monitoring, reporting to ostensibly achieve more transparency and public accountability.


This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 715125.

The University of Edinburgh

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