Strengthening local actors: the path to decentralizing education: Kenya, Lesotho, Uganda

De Grauwe, Anton; Lugaz, Candy; Barasa, Tiberius; Ledoka, Pulane J.; Tsepa, Mathabo; Kayabwe, Samuel; Asiimwe, Wilson
Management reform for EFA
158 p.

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Many countries have taken the path of decentralization in recent years, for different motives but with the common objective of a more effective education system and improved quality. However, decentralization has created new challenges. In order to better understand these challenges, and to identify strategies for successful implementation, it is essential to analyse the implementation of this policy at the local level. IIEP implemented a research project in three countries of Eastern and Southern Africa with different decentralization policies - Kenya, Lesotho, and Uganda. It focused on the District Education Office (DEO), which is in a position to play a strategic role at the local level in the implementation of the decentralization policy, as it links with the ministry of education, schools, and the district-level authorities. Four main themes central to the effectiveness of DEOs were considered: quality monitoring, human and financial resources management, and the relations of the DEO with central and local authorities. This book analyses the main lessons learned from this research, with specific attention given to the commonalities and differences observed in the three countries. Two findings came as a surprise. First, there are fewer differences between these countries than their diverse policies would lead one to expect. Second, little is being done to strengthen the role of the DEO or develop its capacities, thus hampering effective implementation of decentralization. The conclusion proposes a set of policy suggestions to transform the DEO into an initiative-taking decision-shaper. The research project was funded by the Education Program Development Fund (EPDF) of the Fast Track Initiative (FTI).