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Tool 4.1: Recommendations

Ensuring Strong ECE Components in the Operational Plan

© UNICEF/UN0220160


As you look forward to implementation of ECE components within the Education Sector Plan (ESP), you’ll want to check that those components are clearly reflected in the operational plan/action plan (also referred to as an implementation plan). This tool provides recommendations that will help ensure strong ECE components in the operational plan.


Using this tool will enable ECE Technical Working Group (TWG) stakeholders to:

When to Use this Tool

This tool may be used after the ECE strategies and activities are identified. The tool should be used in conjunction with the guidance in MOOC Module 5.

This tool may also be used by individual institutions or country clusters/LEGs that manage and/or directly provide ECE services in countries affected by emergencies or conflicts, to identify ECE activities, indicators and costs linked to ECE strategies in ECE specific proposals and response plans or as part of broader EiE response plans, proposals, joint response frameworks and/or Transitional Education Plans.

Key Information

The operational plan puts into practice (operationalizes) the ESP and translates the policy goals and strategies into a set of concrete activities over the medium term (generally two or three years). It specifies implementation arrangements (i.e., which entity is responsible for each activity), as well as each activity’s timing, cost and sources of financing and related outputs.

A robust operational plan increases the probability of successful implementation. The operational plan could be a separate document from the more strategic ESP document or could be part of it.

ECE components (strategies, activities, costs, timelines, etc.) are either:

There is not prescribed format for the operational plan, but it typically captures the following elements (for more information on these elements, please see Annex 1 of MOOC Module 5):

As noted in MOOC Module 5, multi-year action plans may be supplemented by annual operational plans that support implementation during each year of the ESP. Annex 2 of MOOC Module 5 provides an example of a template for an annual action plan with a budget matrix. Note that the joint sector review (JSR) will be a critical moment for monitoring the implementation of the operational plan (generally on an annual basis).

This tool builds on the guidance provided in the Guidelines for Education Sector Plan Preparation (p. 23-27) and MOOC Module 5 by offering recommendations and illustrative examples for developing an operational plan with strong ECE components (or an ECE subsector action plan).

Additional Resources