Sotiria Grek will be travelling to San Francisco next week to present her paper on:
Education as a Global Metrological Field: Examining the Interdependencies of International Organisations in the Production of Education and Development Data
The production of global metrics by International Organisations (IOs) has not only penetrated the transnational social and policy fields; it has also become an integral mode of the ways IOs interconnect. Through their collaborative practices of quantification and commensuration, IOs are both constituting new realities and being reconstituted themselves. Thus, the dominance of global measurement regimes has profound implications for the ways IOs interact, and for the environments these new interrelationships come to generate.
How is one to make sense of this emerging reality? This paper will examine the case of the large IOs in the production of SDG4, in order to offer some insights into the labour of the joint production of metrics. Through the specific case presented, but also deriving empirical findings from the larger project this paper builds on (ERC funded grant, ‘International Organisations and the Rise of a Global Metrological Field’ ), the paper will show how the fields of education and sustainable development came much closer together; this was the direct result of large quantification exercises like the construction of the MDGs and, more recently, the SDGs. Responding to the conference theme, the paper will present the discursive and numerical reconstruction of both education and sustainable development policy arenas. It will show the performative effects of quantification, suggesting that numbers have reshaped education and development as a new calculable space, and thus a single policy arena.