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Tool 6.1: Recommendations

Preparing for an Annual Review Process

© UNICEF/UN0341470


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:

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).

Key Information

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

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.

Additional Resources