Advancing the ECE subsector requires the interest and commitment of political leadership to bring visibility to ECE throughout the Education Sector Planning (ESP) cycle or other planning processes. Section 1 identifies the preliminary activities/actions that can help strengthen such political will for and an understanding of the ECE subsector, in preparation for strengthening ECE in Education Sector Planning (ESP) or other planning processes. These preparations broadly include advocacy efforts, setting up a technical working group and clarifying the ECE space in your context. This section also provides the background framework for an effective ECE subsector. This background is the overarching frame of reference and anchor for the toolkit.
Section 1 Objectives
The overall objective of Section 1 is to support countries heading into Education Sector Planning (ESP) processes with key preliminary actions/ activities that will prepare them as they embark on the Education Sector Planning (ESP) processes. This entails:
- Strengthening political will and commitment in ECE;
- Defining and clarifying the ECE space in the national context;
- Establishing a core group of stakeholders that serves as the general advisory and technical body on ECE; and
- Understanding the key features of an effective ECE subsector.
- Develop your ECE Advocacy Strategy and Plan
To achieve these objectives, the following actions should take place:
This action supports efforts in stimulating/strengthening the political interest and commitment towards ECE. It is also relevant in contexts where there may have been a turnover in Ministries’ leadership requiring renewed advocacy efforts or where the engagement of stakeholders (such as civil society organizations, community leaders, teacher training institutions, private providers, etc.) is sought to support Education Sector Analysis (ESA) / Education Sector Planning (ESP) development processes.
This action is needed to build a common understanding around the building blocks of an effective ECE subsector that can deliver quality ECE at scale. Having this understanding will help ECE stakeholders appreciate the “non-negotiable” elements for quality ECE as well as the connections and interactions between the systems of the subsector. This will help ensure that stakeholders have a common language and understanding for engaging in joint analysis and planning for ECE.
This action is needed to build consensus, in a participatory manner, on how the ECE subsector is or should be characterized according to policy directives and related normative documents. This definition will be important to ensure stakeholders are “on the same page” regarding how ECE is defined in a context. This will help establish a common understanding of the “what” that they are analyzing and planning for.
This action ensures that a specific ECE TWG is established. The ECE TWG’s work will help ensure that ECE is integrated/strengthened in the ESA/ESP development (immediate-term aim). It will also have a role in collectively monitoring progress made against the ECE annual work plan and ESP (as part of annual review and reflection processes such as Joint Sector Reviews). This ECE TWG should be supported and recognized by the senior management of the Ministry of Education, either through their direct participation and/or mechanisms for decisions of this TWG to be recognized and/or endorsed.
This action ensures that an ECE advocacy strategy and plan is developed, implemented, and monitored, in alignment with your ECE goal in your context. You may use existing fora, such as your ECE technical working group, under which you will develop your advocacy strategy to ensure your advocacy efforts are supportive of, and driving, the overarching ECE outcomes you seek under this working group. Working in collaboration with partners to develop and implement the strategy, will ensure there is a shared vision and goal for your work, and will allow you to leverage your individual and collective capacities, resources, and networks to implement your strategy. This Advocacy Strategy should contain one lead to coordinate the development and activities(or tactics) shared across participating members of your strategy development group.
Section 1 Tools
The tools featured in Section 1 will support ECE TWG stakeholders achieve the key actions to strengthen political will for and understanding of the ECE subsector.