Life skills assessment development for UNICEF and The World Bank

To support UNICEF and the World Bank in their aim to provide a standardised approach for assessing life skills, NFER worked with the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) and Roehampton University to develop an assessment based on the Life Skills and Citizenship Education (LSCE) framework, for use in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

This project formed part of UNICEF’s MENA LSCE Initiative: a programme that proposes a rights-based and transformative vision of education, contributing towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Instrument development: Measuring Life Skills | UNICEF Middle East and North Africa 

The project’s goal was the creation of a standardised assessment instrument suitable for the national, large-scale measurement of grade 7 (approx. 12- to 14-year-old) students’ life skills in the MENA region. It was founded on the LSCE Conceptual and Programmatic Framework, which identifies a set of 12 core life skills through a four-dimensional learning model (‘Learning to Know’, ‘Learning to Do’, ‘Learning to Be’, and ‘Learning to Live Together’):

Source: Reimagining Life Skills and Citizenship Education in the Middle East and North Africa A Four-Dimensional and Systems Approach to 21st Century Skills Conceptual and Programmatic Framework

Eight of these core life skills are targeted through the instrument: Creativity, Problem-solving, Negotiation, Decision-making, Self-management, Respect for Diversity, Empathy, and Participation. During the rigorous development process, we worked closely with the project’s National Regional Coordinators, as the materials were trialled in Egypt, Tunisia, and the State of Palestine to ensure that the contents reflected regional diversity as far as possible. Further information on the instrument development may be found at LSCE Measurement Instrument – 8 Life Skills.

The resulting LSCE Measurement Instrument is available in Standard Arabic and English, and comprises a set of eight life skills item booklets and three background questionnaires for students, teachers and schools. 

If you would like to find out more about NFER’s expertise in life skills/non-cognitive research and assessment development, please contact [email protected].