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Tool 1.4: Tip Sheet

Strategic Ideas for Establishing the ECE Technical Working Group

© Ministry of Education, Kyrgyz Republic


Experience shows that having a Technical Working Group (TWG) focused on ECE is a key factor in successfully embedding and strengthening ECE within Education Sector Planning processes (ESP processes).

Such a group can systematically provide support and inputs throughout the planning process, at the same time building country capacity and political will.

This tool provides general tips on establishing or strengthening such an ECE TWG. A sample “terms of reference” (ToR) for an ECE TWG is also provided. This can be used as a template and adapted for your country context as needed.


Using this tool will enable you to:

When to Use this Tool

This tool can be used before or at the start of the ESP process . It can help establish an ECE TWG or orient and strengthen existing technical working groups prior to their engagement in the ESP processes.

Remember that this is an iterative process. In that spirit, this tool can also be useful to refine or adjust the roles and responsibilities of an ECE TWG throughout the ESP processes. These refinements can help ensure that the TWG’s expertise is leveraged to support implementation and monitoring and evaluation of ECE plans. For example, if issues of implementation of the ESP emerge, but the TWG’s initial scope of work did not cover this aspect, fine-tuning the TWG’s objectives and tasks will help that body continue to help address later implementation challenges.

Key Information

Having a group of technical stakeholders dedicated to supporting ESA/ESP development can help integrating/strengthening ECE in ESP processes. This ECE TWG can play a crucial technical and advisory role. It can also serve as the link to other technical groups that similarly contribute to the ESA/ESP (for example, the TWG on primary education, TWG on secondary and tertiary education, etc.) and connect to the broader ESP development process.

TWGs can take different forms and may have different names (for example, ECE Task Team, ECE Core Group, etc.), and such similar groups may already be in existence in a country. Three common types of existing technical working groups are:

  1. Groups established under Education sector-wide processes, for example for developing the ESA and ESP, for conducting sector reviews beyond the ESP process (e.g., as part of budgeting cycle), etc. These groups may be organized by themes (for example, a group that focuses on access; another that focuses on quality; etc.), or by subsectors (i.e., pre-primary, primary, secondary, tertiary).
  2. Groups established in connection with broader Early Childhood Development (ECD) initiatives and activities. In many countries, these ECD groups are created to contribute to the ECD agenda (for example, to enhance coordination of intersectoral interventions in early childhood), with representatives and stakeholders from different sectors that engage in ECD (health, education, social protection, etc.).
  3. Groups established for specific ECE initiatives, activities or projects, without necessarily being connected to any of the two above groups. For example, a country might have an “ECE group” to oversee the implementation of a project to pilot a new preschool curriculum.

In general, these are groups that work on systems strengthening of ECE (or other themes) and are typically led by the government to contribute to policy development and improvements in implementation through consultative process with partners and key stakeholders.

It is ideal to leverage such existing groups.  Establishing yet another working group separate from those already in place may duplicate efforts or create confusion. However, it will be important to consider whether the existing groups’ membership, purpose, objectives and activities warrant adjustments and improvements in order to better align with and support the ECE subsector focus in the ESA/ESP processes. Such adjustments and improvements to these existing groups can help:

  • Create a specific role for focusing on the ECE subsector (except for subsector groups established for the purposes of the ESP processes).
  • Create a specific mandate to work jointly and contribute to the ESP processes as part of their scope of work/terms of reference.
  • Establish technical and advisory roles on ECE activities.
  • Broaden the membership  ;that works jointly on specific ECE subsector processes, technical initiatives or consensus-focused decision-making efforts.

For these reasons, the purpose and functionality of the existing groups need to be understood and clarified. Please see the guiding questions to help reflections on this issue in the Tip Sheet.

As the Deputy Director-General of the Ghana Education Service (GES) and overseeing the implementation of the Ministry of Education (MoE)’s policies and programmes for the sector, I must applaud and commend the ECE Technical Working Group ( ECE TWG) for their commitment and dedication throughout the ECE Policy Framework development process. This group worked with passion, persistence and with a collaborative approach that achieved results to obtain approval of the ECE Policy Framework by our Cabinet. Throughout this process, I developed trust in them and concluded that the MoE/GES were in safe hands.

All I needed to do was to provide timelines and ensure the necessary approvals at each stage, until completion of the process. Presenting the ECE Policy Framework (which includes an ECE Policy Directive, Costed ECE Implementation Plan and M&E Framework) to our Minister of Education was the least work I had to do. In retrospect, I have no doubt in my mind that we (myself, together with the core leads) made the right and best choice by selecting this team to respond to the vision of the MoE and GES, and particularly the needs of Ghanaian children to ensure that they all have a fair chance to be “ready for learning” in primary school.

Anthony Boateng

Deputy Director-General (Management and Services) of the Ghana Education Service

Additional Resources