A new agenda for Sustainable Development, reached by consensus across the world, has become a reality. The 17 goals and targets that comprise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by UN Member States in September 2015. The education goal (Goal 4) aims to "ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all". The education goal is made up of seven targets and three means of implementation that focus on how to best achieve the outcomes described in the targets.

The scope of the education goal is broad - from ensuring effective early learning to accessing adult learning opportunities. Ensuring educational quality and equity are two themes that are at the heart of the SDG education goal and which provide the lens through which countries will assess progress towards the achievement of the goal. Attention has turned to the development of a similar global consensus around a robust set of indicators that can be used to monitor progress towards the goal. The Inter-Agency and Expert Group on the Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGs), comprising 27 Member States, was tasked with this effort and undertook global consultations and expert meetings in order to set out an indicator framework. Their proposal for a global set of 229 indicators was endorsed by the UN Statistical Commission in March 2016.