Technical Cooperation in Educational Planning and Management

From the analysis of education systems to the preparation, implementation and evaluation of education sector plans, IIEP-UNESCO provides comprehensive technical support to ministries of education. This cooperation takes the form of long-term support or more targeted interventions. It always aims to strengthen countries' skills and autonomy in the planning and management of education systems. Find out more about our field of intervention, our expertise and the uniqueness of our approach.



Technical cooperation: what IIEP does 

We support countries throughout the education planning cycle.


Our technical cooperation activities take various forms, depending on the context and the specific needs of education planning and management of each country. However, they have some common features:
  • A project is always carried out at the request for development assistance by a UNESCO Member State and/or one of its financial partners.
  • Each project aims to support a single country, or a limited number of countries, over a defined period of time. The duration of the support varies: some one-off interventions last just a few weeks,  while capacity-building programmes in strategic planning last for several years.  
  • Each project results in one or more deliverables made available to the beneficiary countries, the scope of which are defined from the outset. Among the most common are: an education sector analysis, an education sector plan, a cost simulation model, an education policy implementation plan, a monitoring and evaluation framework, a capacity development plan.

IIEP works hand in hand with national teams within the ministries. This collaborative dimension reflects our vision of technical cooperation, based on sustainable institutional capacity building. Guided by the values of the United Nations, we respect the leadership of governments on projects, and work with humility on complex problems for which there are no simple solutions.


Technical Cooperation: our areas of expertise

In an increasingly uncertain world, educational planning is more necessary and complex than ever. Because there is no single answer for education sector analysis and planning, IIEP offers a range of complementary solutions for integrated strategies that take into account the situation and context of each country. 
Education Sector Diagnosis
Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of an education system is the first step in any planning process. IIEP supports countries in carrying out education sector and institutional analyses, using a recognized and proven methodology. 
Preparation of strategic plans
Strategic planning for the education sector is at the heart of IIEP's mandate. Our experts assist countries in developing education sector plans or transition plans. The scope of coverage varies according to the country's needs, its objectives, and the degree of decentralization, with different methods and techniques applied at different levels (national, regional, provincial, local, etc.).
Crisis-sensitive education planning
Many IIEP-supported countries face conflicts or natural disasters. The COVID-19 pandemic has recently shown that no state is immune to a crisis affecting education systems. Crisis-responsive planning is now integrated in all our technical assistance services. We provide tools to respond to crises, but also to prevent and prepare for them.
Education costs and financing
IIEP helps governments strengthen their analysis of education costs and financing flows, and to cost their education policies and sector plans. Using a range of tools and methodologies, our experts support the decision-making of the ministries in charge of education, training and finance.
Monitoring and evaluation of education policies
Education managers are increasingly looking to monitor the objectives defined in their country's education sector plan and evaluate its implementation. A dedicated IIEP team assists countries in these monitoring and evaluation tasks. 

Planning tools
IIEP assists ministries in the design and deployment of specific tools to enhance the effectiveness of the management and steering of education systems. In particular, our work focuses on education management information systems (EMIS). The aim is to help countries to better master the processes of data collection, storage, processing and dissemination. 


Capacity building and decentralized planning

Support for national training institutions
Another role of IIEP is the training of trainers in education management and planning. In collaboration with our training unit, this support consists of enhancing and implementing national strategies for developing, adapting or strengthening training provision at central and decentralized levels.
Tailor-made training
At the request of governments or their development partners, IIEP regularly organizes courses or workshops, adapted to the context and needs of each country. These short courses, generally intended for professionals in education systems, are given in situ, at national or sub-regional level. They may focus on a specific issue or cover a range of coherent areas in the field of educational planning and management.

The Technical Cooperation Team 

Created in the mid-1990s, the IIEP's Technical Cooperation Unit has gradually expanded to meet the growing demand from States. It now has a total of more than 30 staff members, based at IIEP headquarters in Paris and in the regional offices in Dakar and Buenos Aires.


Learn more about technical cooperation in our regional offices: IIEP in Dakar and IIEP in Buenos Aires (in Spanish)


Highly qualified and experienced in the planning and management of education systems, our specialists intervene by providing direct support to national teams. Organized into several thematic clusters, the team works towards a common goal: to propose solutions and methodologies adapted to each context, and to promote their long-term adoption. The members of our unit regularly participate as trainers in the Institute's various training programmes, including tailor-made courses. They also contribute to research and development projects. 
Go to the IIEP expert directory

The impact of our action 

As a complement to traditional evaluative approaches which aim to measure the success of technical assistance projects according to predetermined indicators and objectives, IIEP is experimenting with the Outcome Harvesting method. This approach looks at changes in behaviour in a broad sense, in the actions, relationships, policies or practices of actors. In this way, it can collect evidence of actual change, and thus determine in reverse how IIEP’s intervention contributed to these changes.
The Outcome Harvesting approach is particularly suited to the complex projects specific to capacity development in the education sector, and to the uncertain environments in which many ministries of education operate. 
Read more about IIEP's approach to monitoring and evaluation