Chair of the IIEP Governing Board on the power of planning

21 June 2023

José Weinstein, the Chair of the IIEP-UNESCO Governing Board, reflects on the 60th anniversary of IIEP. 

For a field always looking forward, the 60th anniversary of IIEP represents a special moment to look back on key milestones and achievements. It is also through such a reflection that IIEP can continue to innovate and forge ahead while anticipating and responding to the evolving needs of learners, educational institutions, and societies. 

Over the past six decades, IIEP – following UNESCO’s mandate – has championed the cause of the right to education while demonstrating an unwavering commitment to its mission: to strengthen the capacities of countries to effectively plan and manage their education systems. 

Throughout the years, IIEP has become a trusted partner to nations, particularly in Africa, empowering governments – and their partners – to use data, evidence, and a myriad of tools to address disparities, navigate challenges, and seize opportunities to unlock the transformational power of education. 

As a long-standing member, and now the Chair of the Governing Board, I have had the privilege to learn how IIEP’s dynamic country offer, combining technical assistance, training, and knowledge has equipped countless planners and policy-makers with the tools and skills to develop, implement, and monitor robust education plans and programmes. 

The impact has not only been seen among individuals – IIEP has fostered institutional and system-level change and has strengthened the collective expertise of ministries of education, at all levels, through collaboration and knowledge sharing. IIEP has been able to do this by drawing on its 60-year history of being at the forefront of its field. It has introduced new tools, approaches, and evidence on topics such as school mapping, quality assurance, crisis planning, inclusion and equity, gender, climate change, ethics and corruption, education financing, and much more. 

Its strength has also been its institutional culture capable of timely hearing country needs and developing an authentic dialogue with national counterparts. Tribute must also be paid to the expertise and dedication of its staff, in Buenos Aires, Dakar, and Paris, who have facilitated for decades this transfer and uptake of knowledge and expertise, to the benefit of education systems worldwide. 

As IIEP celebrates its 60th anniversary, countries have only seven years left to achieve the Education 2030 Agenda for equitable and inclusive quality education and learning for all. After a devastating global pandemic, these goals are now more difficult to achieve and must be pursued with more political energy, technical capacities, and financial resources by governments and societies than in the past. In an era marked by complex, and often interlinked challenges, educational planning remains a critical path towards a more sustainable and just world.

Six priority areas now guide IIEP-UNESCO, spanning technology, learning, transparency, equity, resilience, and skills. I am confident this orientation will enable IIEP and the power of planning to continue to be an important force for years to come.