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Tool 2.3: List of Core ECE Cost and Financing Indicators and Variants

© UNICEF/UNI143924/Zaidi


This tool presents the main indicators related to public costing and financing of ECE which can be collected and analyzed during the Education Sector Analysis (ESA) phase. They are important both for the sector analysis and for the estimation of future public ECE expenditure.


Using this tool will enable ECE Technical Working Group (TWG) stakeholders to:

When to Use this Tool

This tool can be used by the ECE TWG to guide ECE cost and financial analysis, including trend analysis. This type of analysis can inform and be included in the broader ESA.

To see an example of how these indicators are analyzed and reported on for the purposes of an ESA, refer to tool “2.4 Checklist: Review and Strengthen the ECE Section(s) of the Education Sector Analysis (ESA) Report”. Indicators’ data may also be used to estimate future costs, such as for informing simulations or other cost- or public-finance related assessments and analyses, or for utilizing other sector or multi-sectoral costing tools. Data may also be used to compare subsectors’ spending over time.

For a more comprehensive set of ECE indicators, refer to tool “2.1 ECE Data Mapping and Evidence Plan Spreadsheet”.

Many of the indicators listed below are collected and calculated by UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and values and trends from similar contexts may also be of use to the ECE TWG. These may be accessed through the UIS online database.

Key Information

The main ECE costing and financing indicators are presented in Table 1 of the tool across three color-coded priority levels, based on their relative importance for understanding and projecting ECE public costs and financing.

Complementary indicators are listed together. For example, the lower priority indicator of "Public ECE expenditure as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product" follows the higher priority indicator of "Public ECE expenditure as a percentage of education expenditure".

The indicators in the tool refer to the national public (government) ECE costing and financing. In contexts where government financial management is decentralized, it may be important to compare indicator values across sub-national regions.

The indicators presented are those which relate to understanding and modelling public ECE costs and financing, and do not address private ECE costs and financing (unless explicitly stated).

The indicators are listed in two tables:

  1. Resources and expenditures: the levels of public investment in ECE, its composition, and the potential additional resources; and
  2. Strategic inputs: the main cost drivers of the ECE subsector, grouped under the sub-categories of: Teachers; Infrastructure; Learning materials; Social spending; Process costs; and Operational inputs.

In many cases, expenditure elements featured across indicators will have different data sources. A transparent process for reconciling various data sources will need to be determined.

Additional Resources