This paper examines how PISA is being extended to include lower and middle income countries, raising questions about its significance in such contexts and its claim to produce more policy-relevant data. The paper tells the history of PISA for Development (PISA-D), before discussing how PISA-D is negotiated as a policy tool. Drawing on Haas' (1992HAAS, P.M. Introduction: Epistemic communities and international policy coordination. International Organization v. 46, n. 1, p. 1-35, 1992. ) epistemic communities, and on socio-material semiotics (LAW, 2008LAW, J. On Sociology and STS. The Sociological Review v. 56, n. 4, 2008.), this paper discusses qualitative data consisting of document analysis and interviews on PISA-D carried out at the OECD, The Learning Bar (a private contractor), and with high level policy actors in Ecuador and Paraguay (two PISA-D countries). By unpacking the negotiation process upon which PISA-D's policy-relevance threshold was established, the paper unravels the multiple interests invested in PISA-D. These interests, and PISA-D's policy-relevant data being more PISA-relevant, challenge PISA-D's policy-relevance claim and argue its relevance threshold is driven by a commitment to the PISA epistemic community (BLOEM, 2015). The paper concludes questioning the meaning of "policy-relevance" in the PISA era. In the days of epistemological governance (SELLAR; LINGARD, 2013SELLAR, S.; LINGARD, B. PISA and the Expanding Role of the OECD in Global Education Governance. In: MEYER, H.D.; BENAVOT, A. PISA, Power, and Policy the emergence of global educational governance . Wallingford/GB, Symposium Books, 2013.), the global education community appears to have moved away from what knowledges are relevant for policy to whose knowledge counts for policy.
PISA for development; OECD; Policy-relevance; Paraguay; Ecuador