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Tool 5.2: Subsector coordination arrangements tip sheet

© UNICEF/UNI314929/Houser

Tool introduction

An essential element in the implementation and monitoring of ECE strategies and activities included in the ESP operational plan is establishing a robust sub-sector coordination mechanism. This coordination body should be led by the Ministry of Education, given their mandate for overseeing the implementation of the ESP, but should also be inclusive of relevant line ministries responsible for early childhood education and inclusive of all relevant ECE stakeholders at national and sub-national levels of government.

This coordination body should be appropriately integrated into the Strategic Monitoring (or implementation) Committee established as part of the implementation arrangements for the ESP and be formally integrated into the larger existing sectoral implementation and monitoring framework developed as part of the ESP process.

Source: IIEP-UNESCO 2010b, 32


When to Use this Tool

This tool can be used prior to or at the start of the implementation phase of the ESP process. It can help establish an ECE sub-sector coordinating body (ECE CB) or orient and strengthen an existing sub-sector coordinating body, such as an ECE Technical Working Group, in implementing and monitoring ESP operational plans.

Key Information

Establishing a strong coordination mechanism between national and subnational levels of government is an essential step prior to or at the start of the implementation of a new sector plan (as articulated through implementation or action plans). The establishment of a coordinating body for the sub-sector can help: (i) ensure appropriate alignment of all partners implementation ECE activities with the national objectives, as articulated through the ESP sub-sector strategy, (ii) help reduce duplication of efforts and increase efficiencies in service delivery, and (iii) ensure appropriate communication and coordination between national and sub-national levels in the implementation and monitoring of ECE programs.

There are a variety of ways a sub-sector coordinating body can be established depending on existing coordination platforms and country context. Possible entry points include:

  1. The Local Education Group:
    The Local Education Group (LEG) serves as a platform for policy dialogue between the government and education partners, as well as supporting ESP development, implementation and monitoring processes. It is common for sub-working groups to be established under the LEG. These working groups can be organized by subsectors (i.e., pre-primary, primary, secondary, tertiary) and can serve as a platform from which a sub-sector coordinating body can be established.
  2. Existing Early Childhood Development (ECD) coordination platforms:
    In countries where national ECD policies exist or are in the process of being developed, there can be existing national ECD coordination mechanisms 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.). Such existing ECD coordination mechanisms can be a good platform from which to develop a coordinating body for the ECE sub-sector, especially in the context in which ECE is under the authority of multiple line ministries.
  3. Existing Coordination platforms established for specific ECE initiatives, activities or projects:
    In certain instances, Education partners might establish a Steering Committee or Executive body with relevant line Ministries responsible for overseeing the implementation of a specific ECE program or project.

  4. ECE Technical Working Group
    In country contexts where an ECE Technical Working Group (TWG) exists, it will be important to explore how the ECE TWG can be leveraged to support sub-sector coordination. It is possible that the ECE TWG could help facilitate the process of developing and operationalizing an ECE Coordination Body that will be tasked with overseeing the implementation of ECE activities in the ESP operational plan and ensure appropriate representation of all appropriate stakeholders. Alternatively, the role of the ECE TWG could be expanded to carry-out at this task.

When feasible it is recommended to leverage existing government-led ECE sub-sector coordination platforms in order to establish a coordinating body that will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of national ECE strategies and work plans as part of the Strategic Monitoring (or implementation) Committee, responsible for overseeing the implementation of the ESP.
Establishing multiple coordinating bodies for the ECE subsector distinctly separate from one another may reduce efficiencies in sub-sector coordination and create a duplication of efforts. However, it will be important to carefully review the structure, purpose and objectives of existing platforms to assess their suitability to play the role of coordinating body for the implementation of ESP operational plans. Considerations include:

  • Leadership from all line Ministries responsible for the ECE subsector (in the case this responsibility extends beyond the Ministry of Education), both at national and decentralized or subnational levels.
  • Appropriate alignment of the subsector coordinating body with the strategic monitoring committee responsible for comprehensive oversight of implementation of the sector plan (inclusive of all sub-sectors).
  • Inclusion (or the capacity to include) all relevant ECE stakeholders involved in the implementation of ECE activities at national and subnational levels.

  • Clearly articulated strategic linkages and complementarity between different coordination platforms should multiple platforms exist within the subsector


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