Access to basic education has improved but the quality of education available remains poor. Educational studies have improved a lot in recent years, which means that we have a much better sense of the issues that countries and regions are facing. In Africa, the Southern and Eastern Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality (SACMEQ) has been collecting data on Grad 6 learners, their teachers and schooling environment. In French-Speaking Africa, a similar study is the Programme d’analyse des systèmes éducatifs de la confemen (PASEC).
Many developing countries take part in bigger international studies such as the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Studies (TIMSS) and the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS). And of course a lot of countries also conduct national assessments and collect administrative data to monitor and evaluate different phases of schooling.