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Section 7

Prepare for Final Evaluation

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Evaluations are a longer-term in-depth assessment of plans and programs, usually conducted by an external evaluator, that is used to inform decisions on the next education sector plan.

Evaluations differ from regular monitoring processes in that they generally focus on a more comprehensive  analysis of fundamental policy questions that relate to the overall goals and long-term impact of the plan, rather than on more direct management questions. Evaluations are also generally produced by, or at least in association with, external experts to guarantee a higher level of objectivity.


ESP Monitoring and evalutation cycle

Source: MOOC Module 5

Midterm review/evaluation reports are generally conducted in the middle of the ESP to carefully examine regular obtained and problems encountered to support decision-making and possible revision of the targets and program foreseen for the second term of the plan. They are more methodical and more in-depth than annual performance reports and are generally prepared by the education ministry, though they may be complemented by evaluation studies carried out by external evaluators or by a team of ministry staff and external evaluation specialists. Midterm reviews are often formative in nature and feed back into programme implementation to improve performance. In terms of ECE considerations, the midterm review/evaluation provides a good opportunity for an evaluation of the pre-primary subsector, especially if there has been a change to policy or if the ministry of considering a change in ECE policy.

The timing of the final review and evaluation reports may vary. If the impact of the ESP is the major focus, then the evaluation may be conducted a while after the plan has been implemented. Final evaluations are summative in nature, and their purpose is to evaluate final results and impact and their relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability, as well as to analyze the reasons why certain results have been achieved and not others. The final evaluation also provides the opportunity to derive lessons for policy revision and to prepare for the next planning cycles. In terms of pre-primary considerations, the pre-primary department and its stakeholders should review the methodology and questions and provide any needed inputs to make sure that concerns related to pre-primary are included within the scope of the evaluation. Implementation evaluations may often be embedded in the Education Sector Analysis (ESA) to help to assess achievement, while also addressing the underlying factors’ for any non-achievement.



The overall objective for Section 7 is to provide ECE-related considerations when conducting external mid-term or final evaluations of the ESP. To achieve this objective, the following action should take place:

Section 7 Tools

Cross-cutting considerations

The final evaluation is the time to take stock of what worked and what did not work, what was implemented correctly and what was not, and to reflect on whether the outcomes met the vision. Findings from the final review can be shared in a user-friendly manner with stakeholders, so that successes but also challenges can be understood.

Further, based on these findings, the advocacy strategy can be developed or amended to address desired elements for the ECE section(s) in the next education sector plan. Together with monitoring, the evaluation of the advocacy strategy can drive evidence-based decision making and lead to the improvement of future performance. Evaluations of advocacy strategies provide opportunities for systemic learning and the improvement of communication and advocacy function and internal processes. In addition, evaluation can help teams allocate resources wisely in future iterations of your advocacy work.


Similar to considerations around monitoring and sector review, other national review processes outside the Education Sector Plan (ESP) cycle are important for ensuring a review of the ECE subsector is included and advocacy for ECE needs reported and discussed.

This includes:

  • In crisis contexts: if there is a response review by clusters such as the Education Cluster, Protection Area of Responsibility, or sector-wide efforts. These may include an “after action review,” joint-program review, cluster “moment of reflection” or the Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO), Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), or Refugee Response Plan (RRP) processes part of the Inter-Agency Standing Committees (IASC) Humanitarian Programme Cycle. Historically, ECE has not been included in HNOs/HRPs/RRPs and evidence is limited suggesting it is systematically part of inter-agency review and reporting processes.
  • Gender and Inclusion: Agencies’ programmatic reviews, such as the gender programmatic review conducted by UNICEF; ensuring ECE inclusion, crisis and gender-related indicators are reported on as part of global reporting processes such as OECD DAC gender equality policy marker reporting or reporting on the Gender with Age Marker.

For information on data that may be presented and reported during these processes, please refer to the Section 2 Landing Page, Section 2 Landing Page Cross-Cutting Considerations, and Section 2 Tools.

Additional Resources