The potential envisaged of lifelong learning – both as a social good and economic imperative – is widely acknowledged. Many countries, including Singapore, have implemented strategies and policies to facilitate the access to and provide opportunities for learning. At the same time, alongside any successful implementation of lifelong learning in society, we will require a robust and systematic monitoring and evaluation process to ensure that related policies and initiatives are able to meet to goals and outcomes as desired. High quality data is important to provide critical and reliable feedback into policy and practice, highlighting where synergies can be applied, or where more action is required.
Internationally, while some efforts have been made at developing frameworks to monitor and evaluate the implementation of lifelong learning in society (e.g. Canadian Composite Learning Index, European Lifelong Learning Index, Singapore Lifelong Learning Index), a formal system is still lacking in many countries. Amidst this backdrop, this roundtable sought to initiate an international dialogue focusing on the monitoring and evaluation of lifelong learning, during which topics related to formulating feasible, robust and representative lifelong learning monitoring tools were discussed.
The roundtable was jointly organised by IAL and the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, and took place on 1 and 2 July 2019.