Giving subnational levels of government (e.g. provinces and municipalities) more authority is a way to fast-track implementation and improve the monitoring of ECE programmes. It is vital that national Education Sector Plans (ESP) plans consider how ECE can be supported at the local levels. Additionally, issues identified by the Education Section Analysis (ESA) should be tackled and addressed through strategies and activities, addressed in the ESP, that will trickle down to the subnational levels and take into consideration subnational aspects, aiming for narrowing of regional disparities.
Increasing the roles and responsibilities of the subnational levels in the implementation of the education sector plan/strategy should be anticipated from the diagnostic phase and not improvised. It is crucial that the situation analysis/education sector analysis includes aspects such as institutional and capacity analysis and stakeholder mapping and analysis with a focus on subnational levels. These analyses will highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the agents and implementation mechanisms at the subnational levels and help identify any gaps to be filled as well as activities/roles/responsibilities that can be delegated from the national to the subnational levels. Often the obstacles that appear in the implementation of plans and programmes at the sub-national level are related to a weakness or inadequacy of institutions and/or actors at this level.
Further, in cases where an involvement of subnational levels in the situation analysis proves to be challenging, it is imperative that results are reported back to these levels. The feedback sessions will be an opportunity to analyze the problems identified by the sector analysis, to choose priorities, and to propose strategies and actions to solve them. This will feed into the formulation of the education policy and the design of the programme.
In order to deepen knowledge of the current situation to inform implementation strategy choices and decision-making, it may be necessary to complement the national analysis with subnational analyses that are more detailed and context specific.
The following checklist is intended to help anticipate the expected increased role of the subnational levels in the implementation plan or strategy.
When to Use this Tool
This checklist can be used at all stages of planning, including at the beginning of planning, during the diagnosis phase itself, and at the implementation stage, and is complementary to Tool 4.2 (ECE Implementation Feasibility and Capacity Appraisal for the ESP).
This checklist is based on IIEP-UNESCO and GPE’s Guidelines for education sector plan preparation.