Thematic areas

Crisis-sensitive planning

Disasters and conflict have a considerable impact on the education of children and youth. According to the 2011 EFA Global Monitoring Report for, the number of out-of-school children who are not in school because of conflict is estimated at 28 million worldwide. Furthermore, it is estimated that 175 million children every year are likely to be affected by natural disasters. Given the widespread occurrence of such disasters which also jeopardize the social needs of the population in general and children in particular, it is essential that education systems and education planners, take both conflict and disaster into account when developing plans and policies, in order to ensure that children’s rights to education are protected, even in crisis situations.
In this regard, training, like that offered by the IIEP, has proven to be a key tool in improving countries’ abilities to prevent and recover from disasters and conflicts, thus ensuring the continuity and quick recovery of the education system in the occurrence of a crisis.

See also: Conflict and disaster risk reduction


Education Sector Planning

Many countries face significant challenges in the formulation of education policies and the preparation, negotiation, and implementation of education plans and strategies. International agendas include the Millennium Development Goals, Poverty Reduction Strategies, EFA goals, and pressure to increase the effectiveness of external aid to education. Policy-based support is evolving around sector-wide education plans and planning processes designed to ensure national ownership as well as close government–donor cooperation. Public sector reform focuses on decentralization, medium-term finance planning, and programme- and result-based planning. Implementation, taking the form of programmes and projects, provides the framework for financing and resource management arrangements.

See also: Preparation of strategic plans


Integrity planning

Public Expenditure Tracking Surveys

Several tools are available to decision-makers for the measurement of corrupt practices within the education sector. These include Public expenditure tracking surveys which study the flow of public funds, and make it possible to determine whether resources reach their intended destination, or if there are leakages along the way. They are most relevant where public accounting systems function poorly or provide unreliable information. This course aims at introducing participants to the methods of PETS; allowing them to practically implement a PETS through various exercises; and discussing how this methodology can be applied to the education sector where they work.

Transparency, accountability and anti-corruption measures in education

Embezzlement, ghost teachers, rigged calls for tender, illegal registration fees, academic fraud – there is ample evidence of the prevalence of corruption in education. Surveys suggest that leakage of resources from education ministries to schools contribute to reduce educational opportunities and widen social inequalities. Bribes and payoffs in teacher recruitment and promotion tend to lower the quality of teaching. Illegal payments for school entrance and other hidden costs contribute to low enrolment and high drop-out rates. This course aims at enabling planners to better assess the nature and extent of the problem, and to identify good practices and solutions to address it.

Teacher codes of conduct

Research has shown that teacher codes of conduct can be an effective instrument for promoting ethics in education. However, their implementation sometimes proves difficult due to limited access, unclear content, inadequate teacher training, lack of enforcement capacities, lack of procedures for lodging complaints, etc. This course aims at helping countries successfully design a teacher code of conduct (or review and existing one), and put in place the appropriate mechanisms to ensure its proper dissemination, application and monitoring at all levels of the system. It targets both national and local stakeholders. It follows the main steps involved in the development of a code.

See also: Integrity planning & Open data


Management of education

Reforming school supervision for quality improvement

Many countries have attempted to reform their school supervision services to improve educational quality. This desire for reform is inspired by disappointment with the effectiveness of supervision and by the recent trend towards more school autonomy. Indeed, the ability of schools to use their greater freedom effectively will depend to a large extent on the support services on which they can rely, while supervision may be needed to guide them in their decision-making and to monitor their use of resources.

Teacher management

In the education sector, an adequate supply of competent teachers is vital if the objectives of Education for All (EFA) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are to be achieved. Bearing this in mind, the rational management of human resources – especially teachers – is of particular importance. It aims at limiting government spending as much as possible by preventing the waste of human and financial resources while ensuring a fairer offering of higher-quality education. At the same time, one of the objectives of human resource management is to contribute to teachers’ motivation and professional development.

Organization and Management of the Education Sector: Systems and Institutions

The objective of this course it to impart the necessary knowledge and skills to enable participants to contribute actively to the design of reforms of structures and processes of educational management which are favourable to the delivery of equitable quality education for all. The management of education systems poses new challenges and has often entailed the multiplication and change of administrative structures, levels, and institutions. The organizational structures of the central ministry of education, the degree of administrative decentralization and institutional autonomy, etc., vary from country to country. How these features of educational administration eventually influence the quality of instruction and cost-efficiency of the system in operation has become a subject of public debate and research over recent years.

Education sector programmes and projects

Education sector development plans are implemented through multi-year programmes and projects, funded through a combination of Government resources and external investments, including aid. Over the past decade, Government–donor relations are being largely shaped by multi-sector Poverty Reduction Strategies, the Millennium Development Goals, and the aid effectiveness agenda. In this context sector-wide planning has emerged as a requirement for external funding: donors are making their investment contingent upon the provision of a coherent sector policy or plan. At the same time, donors find themselves under increasing pressure to demonstrate adherence to national policy priorities laid down in sector plans. Within this context donor agencies are using a wide range of country programming approaches and funding modalities. These often challenge the ability of Government in aid-recipient countries to fully exercise their authority and national ownership in their partnership with donors. To remain in the driver seat they need to reinforce their institutional capacity by updating themselves regularly on new programming and funding methods, techniques and instruments.

See also: Education System Management


Financial management and budgeting for education

In all regions of the world, many countries are carrying out reforms of the management of the public sector, through public finance reforms and decentralization. Ministries of finance (for recurrent budgets) and ministries of planning (for capital budgets) increasingly apply medium-term expenditure frameworks, expenditure tracking, and monitoring of plan implementation, at all levels of government – central, regional, local. Education is directly concerned since it is usually one of the largest public sectors in terms of recurrent public budget. But often the technical know-how of public education sector authorities (education ministries, subnational level education authorities, schools) to deal with modern finance approaches is limited.

See also: Financing of systems & plans


Monitoring quality of education

Quantitative Methods for Monitoring and Evaluating the Quality of Education

There are several important questions that all educational planners face as they work towards improving the quality and equality of their education systems through monitoring and evaluation. Some questions fall under qualitative/anthropological methods aimed at providing in-depth case studies of the processes of education and the dynamics of stakeholder interactions experienced by individual students and teachers. Other questions fall under quantitative/empirical methods concentrated on the measurement of important educational outcomes and the search for generalizable relationships between educational outcomes and factors related to the composition, organization, and functioning of schools. This course presents these quantitative methods, in particular those used in the international and sub-regional initiatives, such as PISA, TIMSS, PIRLS, SACMEQ, PASEC, and LLECE.

See also: Monitoring and evaluation


Educational Planning Analysis

Education management information systems (EMIS)

Access to relevant and reliable data and information is vital for policy, planning and sector management-related processes in ministries of education and other national education institutions. The EMIS underlies the definition of evidence-based education policies; supports the different education planning stages from the sector diagnosis to implementation monitoring and evaluation; and ensures effective education resource management, at national, sub-national, and institutional levels. Using information available in the EMIS – ranging from day-to-day management information to statistical surveys – decision-makers define policy priorities; planners assess resource implications of plan targets; teacher departments forecast teacher requirements and recruitment; managers prepare education budgets and follow up on resources allocation decisions; update school maps; or manage the school network.

Using indicators in the planning of basic education

For decades, international organizations have been promoting the use of indicators to assess the functioning of education systems and monitor progress towards the development targets stipulated in national plans and donor-supported development programmes at country level. Indicators are also used to measure progress towards the achievement of international development objectives linked to international frameworks such as the Millennium Development Goals or the Education for All agenda. Indicators are used to keep track of ambitious objectives linked, for example, to the reduction of disparities, the universalization of basic education, or education quality improvements.

Projections and Simulation Models

Simulation models, developed from basic projection techniques, are at the core of educational planning since they help convert objectives into scenarios that can be quantified. They allow prior knowledge of number of students to be enrolled and the subsequent required resources, for the implementation of the envisaged policies; they help spell out these requirements in numerical terms. Projections make it possible to translate the tasks that are to be done into calculations of the required financial, physical and human resources. Simulation models allow for the automation of projection calculations and for an easier testing of different hypotheses in order to build scenarios by varying the given parameters.

Micro-planning and School Mapping

Micro-planning and school mapping, as planning approaches focused on the local level, provide an analytical framework for the implementation of education plans. They offer methods and techniques to estimate future needs and to identify ways to meet them. They can help to overcome the limitations of centralized planning through the correct understanding of local realities, the necessary consultation of relevant stakeholders to facilitate and, ultimately, a better fit between educational supply and demand.

See also:  Tools for planning


Higher Education

External Quality Assurance in higher education

Many countries have been confronted in recent years with a major expansion and diversification of their higher education systems. Private higher education is developing rapidly within a context of restricted public funding. Countries are also faced with a new set of transnational providers and growing levels of student mobility, both of which pose numerous and immeasurable challenges to regulation and the recognition of credentials. For most countries, external quality assurance (EQA) systems are a relatively recent feature of higher education management to respond to these challenges, but experience in the options available to construct and benchmark an EQA system is still limited.

Internal Quality Assurance in higher education

In response to the objective of quality improvement, internal quality assurance (IQA) mechanisms have been established at the institutional level in both developed and developing countries. Many higher education institutions have set up IQA mechanisms, not only in order to comply with the requirements of national EQA agencies or regulatory bodies, but also to generate information that responds to their internal requirements for quality monitoring and management.

Using indicators in the planning of higher education

Higher education information systems are often under-used, largely because of difficulties in accessing existing information. As a result, available analytical information is not, or is insufficiently, used to inform higher education policy-formulation and decision-making processes. Regular relevant indicator reports constitute an important instrument in efforts to analyse the status and monitor the development of higher education systems, and orient policy decisions. Well-designed, regular reports capturing relevant descriptive and analytical information, statistics, and indicators are a means by which to facilitate access of education professionals to policy-relevant information and constitute an important input for policy review and discussions about reform options.

Planning Tertiary Education in Small States

Small states have in common a number of challenges and opportunities, including in the domain of tertiary education. They face particular constraints in the organization of tertiary education because of their limited pools of highly qualified human resources and the difficulties in achieving economies of scale in administration and management. In many small states, the tertiary sector has undergone considerable change. Enrolments have grown rapidly, the institutional fabric has been diversified, and technology-based and networked models have been developed. Small states have also been part of expanded cross-border provision, much of it positive but some involving degree mills and other challenges.