Education and Skills Post-2015: What Evidence, Whose Perspectives?
Working Paper #6

Education and Skills Post-2015: What Evidence, Whose Perspectives?

December 2013

By Kenneth King and Robert Palmer

As we approach the end of 2013, we can look back on the tremendous flurry of post-2015 activity that has taken place over the last 12 months (and more). We have seen various formal post-2015 engines turn on and come up to full power; some have already reached their destinations, others still have more distance to travel. We have seen civil society and lobby groups edging around these formal processes and trying to influence the direction they have been heading in. Reflecting on our September 2012 paper (King and Palmer, 2012), we noted that at that time ‘there were more ideas and “must-haves” than there were concrete evidence-based suggestions for future education and skills goals’ (King and Palmer, 2013: 5), and we added that by April 2013 there was ‘still a paucity of this reflective work around the priorities for goals and targets’ (ibid.). Now in December 2013, is that still true? Given that there has been a tremendous amount of proposals and priorities put forward by various groups that relate in whole or in part to education and skills post-2015 (NORRAG, 2013), we would hope not. Is the ‘data revolution’ that the report of the UN High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Agenda (HLP) (HLP, 2013) called for already becoming evident in the recent post-2015 proposals? This current working paper is concerned with the evidence-base and justification for the post-2015 education and skills objectives, goals and targets that are being recommended. It will review the major research-based material making the case for education and skills goals. 

Prof. Kenneth King is the Editor of NORRAG NEWS. He is an Emeritus Professor at the School of Social and Political Studies, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. Dr. Robert Palmer runs NORRAG NEWSBite, NORRAG’s blog ( and twitter account (@norrag).