Mission and Strategy

IEA (International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement) is an international cooperative of national research institutions, government research agencies, scholars, and analysts working to evaluate, understand, and improve education worldwide. We are a nonprofit and independent organization. More than 60 countries are actively involved in the IEA network, and over 100 education systems participate in our studies.

Since 1958, IEA has measured students' mastery of subjects such as mathematics, science, and reading; conducted assessments on civic and citizenship education; investigated students' computer and information literacy; and researched early childhood and teacher education. We aim to help our members understand effective practices in education and develop evidence-based policies to improve education. Our comparative studies of education systems across the world enable better understanding of the policies and practices that foster educational progress and play a critical role in helping nations build their own knowledge and research capacity. 

By linking research, policy, and practice, and measuring how well our education systems are preparing children for the future, our association contributes toward a more educated world.

IEA Activities
Overview of IEA activities
Overview of IEA activities (based on operational expenditure, 2017)

Our activities cover all aspects of educational research. Based on operational expenses, the largest portion of our work focuses on IEA studies (TIMSS, PIRLS, ICCS & ICILS). We have also implemented studies in Germany for more than 20 years, we work with a wide range of partner organizations to implement additional international studies and we provide training opportunities and services for researchers

IEA Guidelines for Cooperation

IEA studies are developed cooperatively by all participants, to ensure they are curriculum based.

IEA seeks to create an inclusive, collaborative, and respectful community environment for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity/expression, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, age, language spoken, national origin, and/or religion. IEA does not tolerate harassment in any form. Sexual or discriminatory language and imagery are not appropriate in any interactions with participants in IEA activities.

All attendees of events organized by IEA or IEA Study Centers should feel safe and welcomed by their fellow participants, and be treated with mutual respect within an atmosphere of collegiality and equality. IEA is committed to diversity and the free expression of ideas in pursuit of a common goal of researching education to improve learning.

IEA and SDG measures
IEA's support for, and contribution to, SDG measures

International adoption of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals marks a watershed moment for the future of our world. SDG4, which aims to "ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all," recognizes the vital role of education in society.

Measuring progress towards achieving this goal is of critical importance, and IEA believes this should be done with great care. Decades of experience and research have enabled IEA to develop the highest academic standards for measuring trends in educational outcomes, helping countries to measure and assess their education systems and identify improvement strategies.

IEA fully supports the UN's 2030 Agenda, and affirms that the measurement of progress toward SDG4 should be based on agreed international standards and, wherever possible, existing measures; our common goal is to ensure a timely global response to achieving the Agenda targets.

IEA's TIMSS, PIRLSICCS and ICILS studies are well-established metrics for assessing educational outcomes, and more than one-quarter of the world's countries can already be counted as participants. These well-established international studies form a meaningful and robust basis for measuring global progress toward SDG4, providing strong foundations on which to build any relevant metrics.

For more information about methodological orientation in SDG4 indicators, please read IEA's cautionary statement on political linking.