Policy linking allows countries to use their existing national assessments to report for SDG 4.1.1. The methodology works by bringing together a group of approximately 15 panelists per assessment, grade, and language that includes expert teachers and content specialists from across a country to collectively set benchmarks, which are minimum scores students need to achieve to be considered minimally proficient..
The first step in policy linking is for teachers and curriculum experts to make judgements on the linkage between the national assessments and the GPF. By linking their national assessments to the GPF, countries are able to compare learning outcomes over time, across contexts, and across languages.
After linking the assessment, the teachers and curriculum experts make judgements on whether minimally proficient learners would answer assessment items correctly, leading to a benchmark by which countries can judge whether their learners are meeting global minimum proficiency.
Policy linking is implemented through a toolkit that still is evolving and, as happening with any innovation, will have iterative cycles of development, piloting, refinement, implementation and then re-development. Policy linking workshops have been implemented in 16 countries including India, Cambodia and Nigeria.