This is a good time to begin to think ahead to how your ECE subsector data may most effectively be represented in, and inform, the annual education sector plan (ESP) review and performance reporting process.
Although more resources will be available in the coming year, this tool can get you started. In addition, it is recommended to review the background information on the overall monitoring and evaluation process for the ESP, please refer to MOOC Module 5 (p. 9-20).
Annual reviews (such as a Joint Sector Review) and education performance reports are critically important ways to hold governments and their ECE partners accountable for fulfilling the policy goals and strategies outlined in the ESP (both the broad education sector and in the ECE subsector). This tool provides background information, country examples, and key considerations to support you in effectively reporting performance of the ECE subsector and engaging collaboratively in annual reviews.
Using this tool will enable ECE Technical Working Group (TWG) stakeholders to:
Understand the importance of reporting on ECE as part of the annual review process;
Understand how the ECE subsector may engage with and be positioned as part of annual reviews (i.e., Joint Sector Reviews (JSR) or other review processes); and
Understand key considerations for reporting on ECE in the annual education performance report
When to Use this Tool
This tool can be used by the ECE TWG to prepare for annual reviews such as, but not limited to, the Joint Sector Review.
It 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 review progress of early learning in emergencies’ programmatic efforts, such as during quarterly or annual implementation plan reviews or reviews of Transitional Education Plans (TEP).
Why is reporting on ECE in annual review processes such as the JSR important?
Annual review processes such as JSRs foster mutual accountability and shared responsibility for results. JSRs contribute to strengthened, aligned, and more comprehensive sector monitoring and generate more responsive planning and resource optimization. The annual review is backed up by an education performance report that is typically based on the ESP Results Framework.
It is important to ensure that ECE is considered and featured in the annual review process (and in the supporting education performance report) to:
- Enhance transparency on ECE progress;
- Highlight areas for improvement;
- Strengthen mutual accountability and shared responsibility for ECE priorities and results.
In annual review processes such as the JSR, if ECE is included it is typically featured in two ways:
- An ECE-specific session is organized to review and discuss the ECE subsector’s progress and challenges; and/or
- Thematic sessions on equity, quality, access, etc. are used to review subsectors, which include ECE as one subsector to review per thematic sessions.
A wide range of stakeholders should be invited to take part in any annual review meeting. This is especially important for the ECE subsector as it generally has a more diverse group of stakeholders, including other ministries, nongovernmental organizations and private providers. The ECE TWG can thus play a critical role to engage its members/stakeholders in this important exercise and to contribute substantively to the discussions around the ECE achievements and challenge
Table 1 outlines three examples of how the ECE subsector was included in a country’s JSR, either as a stand-alone, specific JSR topic or as a subsector topic within thematic sessions in the JSR.
Table 1. How ECE was featured in the JSR in Zambia, Liberia and Chad
As a specific subsector or program focus of the JSR. Pre-primary has been the focus of the JSR in the past with detailed analysis and review, including a position on the policy direction based on the strategic plan.
Several thematic areas are reviewed annually against the Education Sector Plan and the annual implementation plan. ECD is a thematic area and recognized as a subsector. In Liberia, ECD takes on a holistic approach but most of the centers are focused on pre-primary education. There is a thematic working group within the Local Education Group responsible for planning and reporting on ECD plans. The working group is made up of partners, government, civil society and NGOs. The education performance report is based on the ESP annual implementation targets.
Four of the most pressing subsector themes were chosen for ‘deep-dive’ analysis as inputs to the JSR in 2017. Specifically, sector stakeholders and JSR participants were divided into these thematic groups: (a) access to education and school buildings; (b) teaching profession (recruitment, contract teachers, statutes, training, and management); (c) literacy and nonformal education; and (d) national book policy. Pre-school is integrated in the themes above.
Ghana is an example of a country that develops education performance reports and where accountability is demanded of various stakeholders. There is a national education sector annual review each year (called the “national education week”), during which education sector performance is examined, including progress made in Kindergarten (ECE). Civil society (for example, the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition) is very active during the national education week and participates in reviewing and assessing the achievements and challenges in ESP implementation.
Effective mechanisms for feedback loops are important so that the results of the annual review process/education performance report on ECE progress can be shared with and communicated to all relevant ECE stakeholders. This helps maintain ownership and strengthen accountability so that appropriate actions can be taken for improvements.