Three francophone countries—the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Chad and Madagascar—have undertaken a series of activities in recent months to exchange knowledge and good practices in the context of joint sector reviews.
These three countries’ representatives, who are senior government officials responsible for planning and coordinating the sector, are taking an in-depth look at the characteristics and practices for an effective joint sector review.
Born from the initiative of the DRC, the community of practice is particularly relevant because the participating countries are facing similar challenges. A host of political and institutional crises have, to varying degrees, weakened the education systems of these countries. After implementing a transitional or interim education sector plan, the three countries launched a process to develop a long-term education strategy covering all education sub-sectors: pre-primary, technical, and tertiary education, as well as vocational training and adult literacy.
The exchange initiative on joint sector reviews
The government officials from Madagascar and Chad accepted the invitation extended by the DRC to attend the workshops in Kinshasa on the Third Joint Review of the Interim Education Plan (IEP). Over the course of four days, the delegations participated in various sessions, met with all education stakeholders in the DRC, and engaged in policy dialogue. They also discussed the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder in the design, implementation, and monitoring of the national education sector plan.
The experience-sharing activities were supported by the GPE Secretariat’s technical team, which developed and tested a direct observation-based methodology structured around the five dimensions of an effective joint sector review. During the myriad sideline meetings that were also held, the delegations from Chad and Madagascar shared their observations, which were noted in a comment grid, with their counterparts from the DRC.
The discussions provided the three countries with an opportunity to identify the main challenges and problems with each dimension and determine the most appropriate approaches to address these issues.
The group has now shifted its focus to the sector review in Chad. Stakeholders in Chad have invited their counterparts to attend the fourth annual joint education sector review to be held in N’Djamena in the summer of 2017. The organizers of the review have signaled their intention to take into account the numerous good practices identified in Kinshasa, particularly those pertaining to logistics and welcoming of participants, the compilation of statistical data, the preparation of the follow-up report, as well as management of the discussions and formulation of recommendations.
To cite one of many examples, the recommendations emanating from this year’s review must address sector problems raised during the discussions, be achievable and few in number, and be implemented by a single entity.
Madagascar’s new Education Sector Plan (ESP) for 2018-2022 was recently endorsed by the education stakeholders and the Government of Madagascar. The community of practice will help Madagascar design and organize its next joint sector review, slated for 2018.
Sharing experiences to build national capacity
Joint sector reviews, which serve as instruments for inclusive, evidence-based policy dialogue, mutual accountability, and support with monitoring and implementing effective education sector plans, are at the core of the GPE’s theory of change. Piloted over the past few months, this initiative has demonstrated that the exchange of knowledge and good practices on joint sector reviews, driven by effective, substantive policy dialogue, facilitates national capacity building in these areas.
In response to requests from developing country partners for increased technical support and assistance with experience-sharing activities, the Secretariat is currently engaging with the German BACKUP Initiative – Education in Africa for involving a larger number of countries in the coming months, with a view to bringing different communities of practice together to facilitate discussions on sector planning and monitoring issues.
This is the second blog in a 3-part series about joint sector reviews. Read the first blog on how GPE helps partners make the best use of joint sector reviews