A framework for assessing the effectiveness of the delivery of education aid in fragile states

A framework for assessing the effectiveness of the delivery of education aid in fragile states

Assessing aid to education in fragile states

This journal article presents a framework for assessing the effectiveness of education aid in fragile states which is derived from three key aspects of aid effectiveness identified in the Principles for Good International Engagement in Fragile States - coordination, state building, and ‘do no harm’.

The framework is then used to examine four approaches to delivering education aid: sector-wide approaches; trust funds; social funds; and, UN-led approaches. The paper analyses how these have impacted on education sector outcomes in particular fragile states contexts, and identifies what can be learned about the effective delivery of education aid from each of these examples. In addition, the FTI approach to supporting education in fragile states is examined through this lens in order to draw lessons.

The main research questions addressed in this article are:

  • to what extent can key stakeholders be brought together in support of a joint planning framework for the education sector?
  • to what extent can state capacity and governance be developed to enable teachers to be paid, trained, and deployed across the school system?
  • to what extent can the state be supported to promote equitable access to education services and to implement policies that tackle exclusion at school level?
The paper concludes by identifying key issues that relate to achieving coordination, state building and do no harm objectives when investing in education in fragile states. Specifically, it concludes that:
  • there is a very wide the range of fragile states, and consequently it is difficult to generalise across these diverse development setting. A one size fits all approach will not work and each of the approaches reviewed in the article has both strengths and weaknesses
  • in trying to get stakeholders behind a joint planning process it is important to have government ownership of the planning process, even if this can only be achieved at sub-national levels. When working with and through government structures, complementary efforts to build human resource and systems capacity are crucial. The need for planning structures which include a wide range of stakeholders is also essential. The Fast Track Initiative could help to bring partners together behind a joint planning process through the progressive framework
  • it is possible to mobilise long term predictable financing in fragile states in order to support the payment of teacher salaries at scale. Trust funds and partial SWAps have both been used with reasonable success to deliver aid that supports recurrent costs. Community based approaches can also be an effective way to support teachers if there are complementary efforts to help government on the supply side. An interesting innovation in Somalia was empowering community schools to hire and pay teachers. This may be one option for increasing the supply of teachers in remote or difficult areas, but quality control is likely to be an issue in the medium term
  • equitable access to education services and inclusive polices at the school level are crucial to long term efforts to build social cohesion in fragile states. A combination of weak government capacity, limited geographical access, and contended curriculum, makes it extremely challenging to tackle these issues in the education sector. The FTI’s Education Programme Fund is potentially an important source of financing for analysis and capacity building of equity and inclusion issues in advance of broader efforts to support the sector.
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