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The findings > Thematic Studies> Funding Agency ...> Part 3/Section C/ 1
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6. Targeting
 
"International co-operation should give priority to the countries currently least able to meet the basic learning needs of their populations. It should also help countries redress their internal disparities in educational opportunity. Because two-thirds of illiterate adults and out-of-school children are female, wherever such inequalities exist, a most urgent priority is to improve access to education for girls and women, and to remove every obstacle that hampers their active participation" (Framework:5)
 
6.1 Introduction
 

The Jomtien Declaration clearly calls for the targeting of countries most in need of assistance to meet basic learning needs. It also emphasises the need to target contributions within countries in order to redress imbalances in educational opportunity. The assumption is that agencies will focus their development co-operation on the basis of need, particularly with regard to basic education. However, implementing this in practice is far from straightforward, and the precise approaches favoured at the country level by agencies are often not explicitly stated. The agency documentation received is also not necessarily exhaustive. It is also difficult for agencies to disaggregate statistical data to the level of detail necessary.

The authors recognise that the issue of targeting is complex and sensitive. The aim is not to construct a hierarchy of agencies in terms of targeting particular sub-sectors or groups. We have attempted to illustrate the variety, similarity and richness of agency approaches. We also recognise the difficulty of reconciling the need to target as promoted at Jomtien and subsequent international agreements and the current way in which the notion of partnerships is being implemented. Targeting may be more a part of policy discussions with partner governments as preparation for a sector wide approach with non-earmarked funding than something which agencies aim to illustrate in their statistical reporting.

In this chapter, we examine which factors influence agencies in their targeting of ODA contributions in general, their criteria for selection of partner countries, as well as the implications this has for a focus on basic education. We then consider how agencies target their contributions within the basic education sub-sector, including their policies on targeting within countries (rural / urban areas), marginalised groups and in particular equitable access for girls and women. In relation to this last issue the question of whether agencies are mainstreaming gender throughout their education policies is also considered. We then highlight other issues such as targeting via contributions to multilaterals.

 
Section B presents and analyses the statistical data received and also draws upon the OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC) data.
 
6.2 Reasons for Targeting

Whether, or how an agency focuses on basic education is partly the result of certain beliefs about the development process. For example, basic education is largely perceived as contributing to poverty reduction, therefore an agency with poverty alleviation as its overriding concern may choose to target basic education, rather than other sub-sectors of education. However, it may also choose to target other areas which have an impact on poverty reduction, such as health, the environment etc. The choice of partner countries for a basic education programme is then often made initially on the basis of poverty concerns. Similarly the degree of focus on basic education, as opposed to other sectors, will depend partly on what the agency perceives are the most effective and efficient interventions for achieving the goal of poverty reduction.

As targeting is linked to overall development objectives it can also take the form of conditionality. Agencies may choose to work with those countries which fulfil certain criteria related to development co-operation in general, such as the promotion of human rights or the capacity to reform, and not always specifically because they are most in need of basic education.

Targeting is also a practical necessity, with many of the smaller agencies concentrating their development assistance in fewer countries and sectors in response, either to a decline in budgets, or a general concern to be more effective by being more focused, and therefore not stretching resources too thinly. Finland, for example, mentions that membership of the EU and other global political changes result in new financial pressures and therefore they have to decide which forms of action to take. There are potential implications for those countries not selected which also demonstrate great need.

Targeting can also foster continued targeting on the basis of specialisation, especially for smaller agencies. Examples include Switzerland and Germany (emphasis on vocational education and training).

 
6.3 Overall Development Policies
 
There are two main general objectives agencies cite as guiding their overseas development co-operation; poverty alleviation / reduction and the promotion of human rights (and democracy). An associated objective is the promotion of peace and security. These objectives influence the selection of partner countries and also the sectors and sub-sectors within which the agencies work.
 
6.3.1 Poverty Reduction
 

Most agencies mention poverty reduction specifically as a main objective. Although not all have articulated the perceived relationship to basic education provision, it is possible that for some the link is taken as read, given the international consensus at Jomtien for a focus on basic education as part of attempts to combat poverty. For those who have specified the link, there are wide variations in agency statements. Austria discusses basic education's role in addressing structural causes of poverty, whereas Canada puts it in terms of offering opportunities to the poor. For some basic education is key (e.g. Netherlands, EU,UNICEF, World Bank); others see it as part of a range of issues (e.g. Finland, New Zealand).

Of those with a clear poverty focus Sweden presents an interesting example. Sweden has a 'two-pronged' approach with an explicit focus both on the poorest countries and also on poor regions within countries. They also target countries on the basis of their ability to implement anti-poverty policies.

It is clear from some general policy documents we received that agencies often target the poorest countries and then, having selected partner countries on this basis, concentrate on addressing basic education / basic human needs. Examples include Canada, Ireland, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland.

Canada state that in 1995-97 they invested generally in 34 of 60 lowest ranking countries, yet emphasise that they have no policy for targeting based on the UNDP HDI index. They stress that they only made substantial contributions to basic human needs in 13 of these. It is not clear if they are saying they can only afford to work in some, i.e. concentration of resources, or that they also work elsewhere and therefore have a broader approach rather than a strict focus on 'poor' countries. For other agencies it is not clear whether they are using the DAC, World Bank or the UNDP categorisations of countries as a guide to targeting the poorest.

If the focus of the above agencies is on the poorest countries and within that on basic education this should be reflected in their contributions to the sector. However, it is not possible to draw any conclusions from the data except in the cases of Sweden and Switzerland.

Sweden : Of the 18 countries listed for basic education funding all but 4 are classified LLDC or 'other LIC' in the 1997 DAC statistics.

Switzerland : Of the 12 African countries receiving basic education ODA all but 1 are classified LLDC or 'other LIC'. The Latin American countries as a whole are LMIC or UMIC with the exception of one or two, so a focus on the poorest countries world-wide would tend to exclude this region. Within their contributions to this region Switzerland mostly work with the former. Their concentration in Asia is also with LLDCs or 'other LICs'.

Austria also mention that the majority of their partner countries are categorised as LLDCs or LICs.

In terms of an overall development objective the aim of reducing poverty has one of the clearest links to basic education in many agency documents. Given that this link is made by the majority of agencies basic education should be a priority for contributions, possibly alongside other sectors such as health.

 
6.3.2 Human Rights and Democracy
 
Some agencies provided general policy documents and it is clear that for many the promotion of human rights and democracy is a key objective. Examples include Finland, Japan, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, United States. Others emphasise this key objective both in general and education specific documents. Table 6.1 below shows agencies in this latter category and also those promoting education as a human right or as contributing to achieving the furthering of human rights and democracy.
 
Table 6.1 Agencies Promoting Human Rights and Democracy in Relation to Education (not available)
 

The table shows that some agencies have the promotion of human rights and democracy as a stated development priority within their education documents. The Development Banks as a group make no reference to the promotion of human rights in the policy documents we received, although some refer to the UN Declaration on Human Rights, which includes the right to education.

Some agencies are not uniform in their prioritising of this objective. Canada mentions the promotion of human rights and democracy with respect to most regions, but not across all. Democracy is not mentioned specifically in the Africa and Middle East sections of their co-operation, although security and peace are seen as key issues.

Of the large number of agencies promoting human rights and democracy as a key development objective very few explicitly explore any link with basic education. On the evidence available to us it is perceived as a means of achieving this for 6. For some agencies education is seen both as a human right in itself and as contributing to human rights and democracy. If a link between the promotion of human rights and democracy and basic education is not perceived to exist then those agencies prioritising this development objective may not choose to focus to such a large extent on basic education.

The two development objectives of poverty reduction and promotion of human rights work together to influence how agencies intervene in development co-operation in general and also in particular sectors. The poverty reduction aim seems to have a clearer link to basic education than the focus on human rights and democracy. For some however, the Human Rights perspective is clearly prior to work on poverty and is an important condition for aid. Norway states that priority will be given to partner countries which demonstrate a concern with "development-oriented policy which respects human rights and international agreements thereby laying the foundation for general co-operation in development and poverty reduction" (Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs 1996:42). Norway also alludes to a willingness to break off development co-operation if partner countries do not match Norway's requirements.

The Jomtien declaration implies that a focus on basic education should result from an assessment of need in particular countries. It is clear however, that agencies are more likely to focus on basic education if it is a means of achieving wider development objectives. In the case of poverty reduction this would seem to work in favour of increased commitment to basic education, but is less clearly the case for human rights and democracy. Countries which are not perceived as prioritising human rights and democracy are arguably less likely to be selected as partner countries by some agencies and therefore also less likely to receive contributions for basic education.

 
6.4 Selection of Partner Countries
 

Besides their wider development objectives agencies also have other reasons for focusing their ODA in particular countries. A number of influencing factors appear in the documentation.

long historical connections with certain countries. Examples include Portugal (colonial relationship with certain African countries), the UK (connections dating back to the empire and now the Commonwealth).

longstanding aid relationships : Norway (long standing development links), the Netherlands ('long term structural co-operation relationship'),

a focus on those countries most capable of system reform or those 'committed to development'. Examples include USA, Finland. Finland makes this point in conjunction with conditionality for its ODA. This criteria for selection may be partly related to the move towards sector type approaches.

membership of larger political and economic groupings. Sweden mentions new involvement in W Africa as a result of EU membership. Finland, similarly, reports influence from the EU and the International community.

comparative advantage or area of expertise (Denmark, Canada, formerly UK with regard to English Language Teaching (ELT)), or the capacities of the agency in terms of size (e.g. Ireland discontinuing funding for India).

Of these factors, the historical connections and membership of larger political groupings may coincide with a focus on poverty reduction and therefore lead to increased intervention in basic education. In terms of comparative advantage it depends where the area of expertise lies. Judgements on the basis of agency capacity may still mean a focus on basic education, but only within certain countries.

Finland categorises its partners as follows: those in serious crisis (humanitarian aid), countries recovering from war, countries in political transition, countries in economic transition, poor but stable countries. IDB categorises those in their region according to size of economy with 4 categories from large to small. USAID has a categorisation specifically for Africa: countries in civil strife/ economic collapse, countries not in strife but not showing signs of democratising their political systems and have regressive or stagnant economies, those emerging from conflict, countries where there is 'good news' which is defined as a transition to pluralistic societies with economic policies leading to growth (USAID 1998). Their work focuses on the last group.

This kind of categorising reflects the focus on countries ready for reform or able to implement particular policies. In USAID's words these are countries "that can help themselves" (USAID 1998: 3).

Unfortunately the statistical data so far received is not sufficiently disaggregated in the case of Finland and not available in the case of the USA to determine which countries are actually in receipt of large funding contributions to basic education.

 
6.5 Priority Regions or Countries
 

The selection of partner countries can also take the form of geographical targeting. Some bilateral agencies choose priority countries, whilst others have a regional focus.

Austria names 5 key regions for their ODA and specify which countries within those are a priority. In the 3 year programme for 1999-2001 each will receive between a minimum of 4% and a maximum of 8% of ODA.

Norway combines a regional approach with targeting specific priority countries. In the regional focus potential partner countries have to compete for funds. Priority countries will receive more predictable levels of funding.

Ireland has always had priority countries. Originally they concentrated on 5, dropped 2, and recently 3 more have been added.

Obviously the regional development banks have their priority regions already specified.

 
6.5.1 Focus on Africa
 

In the education policy documents received some agencies highlight a focus on Africa, in particular Sub-Saharan Africa. Education figures for this region are constantly quoted as being particularly low for ER, illiteracy etc, and certainly some agencies have specific documents on basic education in Africa (for example USAID).

Box 6.1 shows agencies which state they focus on Africa in their assistance to education, or those whose basic education provision is predominantly in Africa.

 
Box 6.1 Agencies Focusing on (Sub-Saharan) Africa in Basic Education (not available)
 

Given that agencies select partner countries initially often on the basis of poverty criteria and then address the issue of basic education it is unsurprising that Africa is a particular region of interest. For some agencies, such as Finland, Ireland and Portugal, Africa is a focus for general ODA, for poverty reasons or historical connections, and therefore a focus on this region for basic education is a logical consequence. Some agencies, such as Canada, are also clearly assessing educational need in the region, which is reflected in their programming.

Unfortunately, for the majority of the agencies listed above it is not possible to confirm whether this focus on Africa is reflected in their contributions to basic education. The data received from most agencies is not presented in terms of country or regional breakdowns. Analysis is possible for the following: Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, UK, UNESCO (see appendix 4).

Luxembourg: From 1996-98 the majority of the countries receiving education ODA are in Africa. However, in terms of volume of ODA to basic education disbursements to Nicaragua in 1993 and 1994 have been the largest to any single country over the decade. Africa received the largest share as a region with $4.04mn. in comparison to $2.28mn. to Latin America and $0.23mn. to the Philippines.

The Netherlands: Africa received more funding for basic education in 1995, 1997, 1998. Asia was higher in 1993, 1994 and 1996. Latin America in 1992.

Portugal : The focus of all their ODA to basic education is in Africa, primarily Mozambique and Cape Verde.

Sweden: Africa consistently received more funding to basic education than either Asia or Latin America and the Caribbean. The contributions to Africa declined over the decade with a slight increase in 1999. Disbursements to Asia though lower are only slightly less in 1997 - 8.

UK: In the current portfolio commitments to basic education (primary) are highest to India. 3 South Asian countries are amongst the top 6 for commitments in this area.

UNESCO: Disbursements in extra-budgetary spending for Asia and the Pacific have been consistently higher than those to Africa, except in 1992. Those to Latin America have also been higher in 1993 - 1998. The implementation rate is generally lower to Africa than the other regions.

Data is also available from a couple of other agencies which did not state a particular focus. The Netherlands, for example, has much higher contributions in basic education to Asia than Africa until 1997, when the trend reverses. However, this is still insufficient to draw any conclusions about a focus on any particular region for the whole agency community. There are commentators who argue that S. Asia has been an area for particular focus in basic education and this would seem to be reflected in the case of the UK current portfolio (Shotton 1999). Certainly for the other agencies discussed above the focus has not been entirely on Africa throughout the decade.

Other agencies have a local focus most notably those in the Asia / Pacific region (Australia, Japan, New Zealand). The multilaterals (e.g. UNDP and UNICEF) also stress their world-wide brief and the developing banks work in their own specific regions.

 
6.5.2 Focus on 'Countries in Transition'
 

Besides a geographical focus on Africa a number of agencies target what they term 'countries in transition', either economic or political transition (Finland, Norway, USA, UNESCO and UNICEF). For most agencies this refers to countries emerging from war or transforming their economies, such as Mozambique, Angola etc. This focus is of particular interest to agencies aiming to promote peace and security, as well as human rights and democracy. However, it is not possible to comment on funding contributions to these countries and the implications for basic education without a clear definition for each agency of which countries are deemed to be in transition.

The only other focus mentioned by an agency is a concern for small island states on the part of UNESCO.

 
6.6 Reduction, Consolidation or Increase in Number of Partner Countries
 
As was stated in the introduction targeting is a practical necessity. Some agencies report a reduction or consolidation in the number of countries they fund, partly as a result of decreasing resources (Norway, Denmark) and other factors, such as the need to be able to have dialogue with the partner country. Other agencies are increasing the range of countries (Finland), though this is also in the context of reduced funds. This has implications again for the number of countries receiving contributions to basic education. The number may be reducing to reflect agency capacity and preferred modalities for ODA, rather than in response to a decline in need in basic education.
 
Table 6.2 Agencies Reducing, Consolidating or Increasing the Number of Partner Countries(not available)
 

Again the influence of these changes in numbers of partner countries on the basic education sub-sector cannot be explored due to the lack of disaggregated statistical data provided. It is only possible to comment on Sweden. The number of countries they fund has remained fairly stable during the decade. In 1998 Angola and Eritrea received funds for the first time and Zambia and Sri Lanka had no additional funding. Both Cambodia's and Zimbabwe's funding has decreased and Ethiopia's increased substantially. This would seem to reflect what is stated in the policy documents.

Targeting of ODA is a complex issue, with many factors playing a role. It is obvious that although the Jomtien declaration is important for discussions related directly to basic education, it is not the only guiding principle by which agencies target countries or even sectors for development co-operation. Some of the factors discussed above coincide with thinking on the importance of basic education and others do not. It is therefore not surprising if agency focus on basic education varies.

 
6.7 Focus within Basic Education
 

Having looked at factors influencing general targeting policies and the implications for basic education we turn to agency targeting within this sub-sector. The Jomtien and International Development Targets for UPE, adult literacy and gender disparities influence the type and level of intervention agencies make. The desire to meet such targets may influence decisions as to whether to fund particular sub-sectors, such as primary, or particular modes of education, such as non-formal. It is therefore important to look at agency targeting at this level. Another important point to bear in mind is raised by the EU detailing the fact that agencies work with developing countries to produce country strategy papers where the focal sectors for funding are decided. As was pointed out in Chapter 3 agency policy and practice is also influenced by declarations and conferences post-Jomtien, as well as those relating to other sectors. Part of the problem in examining agency contributions within the sub-sector relates to definitions, which vary across agencies (see Chapter 4). All include formal primary education both in their definitions and in their policy statements, but there is more variation with the other sub-sectors. The following tables show agencies which state they work in secondary, early childhood, and special needs education as part of basic education (adult education/literacy is dealt with in Chapter 8). Again it is only possible to see whether these policy statements translate into funding contributions for a few agencies, due to the lack of disaggregated data supplied. The agencies for which we have data on primary contributions are the following (see appendix 5):

Canada : Canada committed money to primary education every year except 1995. The amounts vary greatly, ranging from $0.201mn. in 1990 to $14.967mn. in 1994. The amounts committed in the second half of the decade are more than in the first half. The total of $41.569mn. represents 60% of their basic education commitments over the decade at current prices.

Netherlands : The Netherlands have data for disbursements to primary from 1992 onwards. The levels increased up to 1995 and then dropped back slightly until 1996, when it increased again. The total of $255mn. represents 90 % of the total disbursements to basic education over the decade in current prices.

Sweden : Disbursements to primary were made from 1993 to 1998, except for 1996. Levels varied with 1995 being the highest point. The total of $175.91mn. represents 55% of their total disbursements to basic education over the decade at current prices.

The largest percentage of Germany's contributions is to formal primary education in comparison to other sub-sectors such as non-formal education

Looking at these agencies it is clear that primary has a high priority as a sub-sector. It could be that expenditure is high as projects and sector programmes are larger than for more specialist sectors. However, the trend in the above 4 agencies does reflect a general view that primary has received the most and increasing attention since Jomtien.

 
Those agencies involved in secondary education are indicated in Box 6.2.
 

Box 6.2 Agencies Involved in (lower) Secondary Education as Part of Basic Education

Australia

Denmark

Japan: intermediate education in 1992 report

Luxembourg

New Zealand

Norway United Kingdom

ADB

CDB: lower secondary

IDB

UNICEF

The United Kingdom has no current definition of basic education and works with country definitions. They also work in secondary education, which could therefore on occasion be included under basic education.

Note also that some agencies (e.g. WB) include (lower) secondary in their definitions of basic education but do not highlight it as an area to which they contribute. Such discrepancies between definition and practice possibly apply to other areas of basic education.

The only agency for which there is data related to secondary education contributions is for IDB (see appendix 5). IDB : Data is disaggregated into the sub-sectors but also with some combination funding. Commitments solely to secondary were made in 1996 and 1997 of a total of $561mn., which represents 65.5% of their total contributions to basic education over the decade (excluding 1999) at current prices.

 
Table 6.3 Agencies Involved in Early Childhood Development / Pre-school Education as Part of Basic Education (not available)
 
Disaggregated data on ECD is available for the following agencies (see appendix 5): Canada : Canada committed $0.10mn. to ECD in 1992. Netherlands : Disbursements were made to ECD throughout the decade. The levels rose steadily until 1995, dropping for a year and rising between 1997-8. The total of $3.08mn. represents 1% of their contributions to basic education over the decade at current prices. IDB have statistics on pre-school in combination with other sub-sectors so it is impossible to give totals purely for this sub-sector. Looking at these agencies ECD does not seem to have a high priority, but there is not sufficient evidence to make a claim for all.
 

Box 6.3 Agencies Contributing to Special Needs Education as Part of Basic Education

Denmark: new area of interest

Finland

New Zealand

Norway

Sweden

USA

UNICEF: working towards mainstreaming the disabled

CDB

 

There is no data available on contributions to special needs education.

It is difficult to conclude where the focus has been over the decade within basic education in terms of actual contributions due to the lack of relevant data. In terms of policy statements there is a clear bias in favour of primary education. Early childhood development, with special emphasis on disabled children is highlighted in the declaration as a proposed target, but does not seem to have overwhelming policy support amongst agencies.

 
6.8 Targeting of Rural and Urban Areas
 
The declaration makes clear that 'rural and remote areas' should receive special attention in the context of reducing education disparities within countries. Most of the agencies have taken this on board in their policy statements.
 
Table 6.4 Agencies' Stated Policies on Rural and Urban Targeting (not available)
 
No agency has a sole focus on urban areas, which reflects the Jomtien declaration and the general perception that rural areas, and groups within them, are the most marginalised. Rural areas have traditionally been perceived as the areas most neglected in terms of formal education provision and are therefore the obvious target for basic education intervention. However, a broad definition of basic education with a focus on all those under served by education should lead to the inclusion of urban areas, with particular emphasis on people outside the formal sector. No data is available which reflects agency targeting of areas within countries, so it is not possible to comment on the proportions of basic education contributions going to rural or urban areas.
 
6.9 Equity Issues : Marginalised Groups
 

"An active commitment must be made to removing educational disparities. Under served groups - the poor; street and working children, rural and remote populations, nomads and migrant workers; indigenous peoples, ethnic, racial, and linguistic minorities; refugees; those displaced by war; and people under occupation - should not suffer any discrimination in access to learning opportunities" (Declaration: 5).

"The learning needs of the disabled demand special attention. Steps need to be taken to provide equal access to education to every category of disabled persons as an integral part of the education system" (Declaration: 5)

There is a strong thread through the Jomtien declaration emphasising the needs of those underserved by basic education. Some of the groups referred to are numerical minorities, some are large majorities within countries. Most of the agencies state a focus on marginalised groups in general and some specify particular groups for targeting.

 
Table 6.5 Targeting of Marginalised Groups in Basic Education (not available)
 

A number of comments can be made about this table. 2 agencies state that they focus also on youth. Germany argues that previous targeting of women and families has not had the expected knock-on effects for youth. This group therefore needs special attention.

The Jomtien declaration highlights certain groups for special attention; refugees, the disabled. 2 agencies make reference to those affected by conflict, but several agencies do have projects on education for refugees (e.g. Austria, UNICEF). 5 mention targeting children with special needs, or the disabled. Box 6.3 highlighted those agencies working in this area.

Linguistic or ethnic minorities receive attention from 8 agencies. Of these ADB and Norway do not make explicit any involvement in bilingual education. There is a general lack of discussion on language issues in agency documents (see Chapter 9).

It is not possible to comment on this type of targeting in relation to actual amounts or proportions of funding. The data received is not disaggregated in this way and would be arguably very difficult to provide.

 
6.10 Equity Issues : Gender Relations
 

"The most urgent priority is to ensure access to, and improve the quality of, education for girls and women, and to remove every obstacle that hampers their active participation. All gender stereotyping in education should be eliminated." (Declaration: 5)

The declaration also says the following on education programmes for women and girls. "These programmes should be designed to eliminate the social and cultural barriers which have discouraged or even excluded women and girls from benefits or regular education programmes, as well as to promote equal opportunities in all aspects of their lives" (Framework : 18)

Targets were suggested at Jomtien to deal with gender disparities. However, this is the area of the declaration in which there was the least progress mid-decade (EFA Forum Secretariat 1996). Targets have since been reinforced, with commitments to reducing gender disparities by 2015 (OECD 1996).

 
6.10.1 Approaches to Gender Issues:
 

Agencies all highlight the importance of gender relations either in overall policy and / or specifically for basic education. As the declaration implies, this translates mainly as a concern of inequitable access to quality education for women and girls. The agencies' most frequently stated reason for investing in women and girls' education, apart from the human rights perspective, seems to be a focus on reduced fertility rates and improved health.

Gender is a particularly difficult area because of cultural factors, as alluded to in the Jomtien declaration. The USAID mention the need for a national consensus in partner countries on gender because of the cultural issues involved.

 
6.10.2 'Mainstreaming' Gender
 

'Mainstreaming' of gender issues is a strategy from the Beijing conference. Lexow and Ror (1996) point to difficulties in defining 'mainstreaming' and what this means in practice. They state that some agencies see it (inaccurately) in terms of 'gender neutrality' or the non-inclusion of specific interventions for women. Most agencies seem to have 'mainstreaming' as a strategy or approach, although the number of agencies which use this term specifically is quite small (Australia, Austria, Netherlands and Sweden UK). Some refer to integrating gender throughout policy and practice (e.g. Canada, Germany, New Zealand, UNICEF) or making it a cross cutting issue (Australia, Denmark, EU). Lexow and Ror (1996) question the degree to which it actually happens in practice, pointing to agencies still using enrolment rates as the main indicator, not looking at appropriateness of curriculum, for instance, and not having sufficient baseline data on gender issues.

Thinking on gender over the decade has moved from a focus specifically on women and girls (WID) to an understanding that the relationships between women / girls and men/ boys are important (GAD). A number of agencies make reference to the former, especially in connection with the DAC WID guidelines for monitoring development co-operation (Austria, Japan (from 1995), Netherlands, Norway, EU). ADB, Australia and New Zealand talk specifically in terms of GAD, with others also emphasising the need to look both at men and women (for example, Sweden).

Views on gender, like other approaches to development, can reflect national concerns of agencies. Norway points to their progress nationally on gender issues and its importance for their approach in development co-operation.

In terms of targeting the World Bank states that it has focused on the 31 countries with the greatest gender disparities, with a particular emphasis on 15 of them (mostly in Africa).

Gender is also an issue in conditionality for some agencies for example, USAID.

 
6.10.3 Gender and Access
 
For most agencies the main concern seems to be access for girls. The following are some examples of the types of interventions agencies cite (note the list is not exhaustive): improving facilities in schools (WB), safe and convenient schools and dormitory facilities (Australia), information for parents (Netherlands, WB), providing alternative schooling for girls who cannot attend for cultural reasons (UNDP), getting parental agreement that girls do not get married (ADB in Bangladesh), locating schools nearer homes (Norway), stipends to female students (Norway), multiple delivery systems for education (Sweden), legislation for equal opportunities (Switzerland), waiving fees (USAID), policies on pregnant girls staying on at school (USAID, UNICEF), transport for female teachers (ADB) and priorities within teacher training, including rectifying imbalances in numbers of female teachers (EU). Few, if any, of these interventions address access to basic education for women. This has implications for contributions to adult education, particularly non-formal (see Chapter 8).
 
6.10.4 Gender and Quality
 

Quality is also an issue. The types of interventions cited include; removing gender bias from curriculum and materials and increasing relevance (Australia, Canada, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, UNICEF), educating male and female teachers on equitable approaches in the classroom (Germany, Ireland), programmes on gender relations aimed at boys (UNICEF).

Focusing on early childhood education is also perceived as improving quality and access in primary and contributing cross-sectorally in both education and health (e.g. Austria, UNICEF, ADB). UNICEF stresses the importance of gender in peace education and the role of advocacy work.

Other issues raised by agencies:

Addressing gender issues by working with NGOs (Australia, Switzerland).

System reform, with a call for gender aware planning, policy formulation and monitoring of education (UK, USAID, UNICEF).

 
6.10.5 Cross-Cutting Issues In Marginalisation
 
Women and girls are often referred to as a marginalised group. Boys are a stated focus amongst agencies working in the Caribbean and Polynesia (CDB, UK, Australia). Gender is an issue that intersects with geographical, ethnic, rural marginalisation. IDB promotes gender equality in all projects and refers to the substantial progress in Latin America in access for girls. They also point to the situation of older women, who missed out as a result of past bias within the system, and within that group the relative lack of progress for urban, rural and indigenous women, with the last group being the most marginalised.
 
6.11 Multilateral ODA
 

Most of the agencies address the issue of targeting related to their bilateral ODA. Although much of the multilateral ODA to basic education is not earmarked, agencies may specify that their contributions be used to encourage intervention in specific areas. For example:

Denmark tries to ensure that the World Bank concentrates on vulnerable groups. In their contributions to UNESCO they emphasise major themes they consider important; special needs, basic learning materials development and NFE for adults.

Finland also mentions earmarking support channelled through the UN agencies.

This is possibly a reflection of agency concerns to show their commitment to particular national policies for development. Earmarking of funds via multilaterals does not necessarily work in practice. Previously trust funds were used to earmark contributions to the World Bank, but problems occurred as monies were not disbursed. Some agencies, such as DFID, avoid this type of earmarking. Generally targeting via multilaterals probably takes the form of advocacy in policy discussions.

 
6.12 Conclusions
 

Targeting is dependent on a number of factors of which the Jomtien declaration is only one. Poverty reduction and human rights objectives, combined with issues such as the ability to implement reform, past loyalties, particular interests, as well as capacity of agencies, influence the selection of partner countries. There is then a focus on basic education and within basic education there seems to have been a clear focus on primary education (in some cases both formal and non) for the agencies for which we have data. Other areas are receiving increasing attention, such as special needs education, in policy statements.

Much of the discussion implies a geographical focus on Africa, but this is only possible to quantify in terms of funding for some agencies, and is not necessarily supported by the contributions to the sector.

In general agencies seem to have taken on board the Jomtien declaration emphasis on particular groups, although with some, such as linguistic minorities and refugees, are under represented. There is a clear integration into policy of gender issues within basic education as well as the focus on both access and quality. How much is actually translated into practice is difficult to tell from a solely agency perspective.

It is worth asking also what the effects of targeting are. Do the new international targets reinforce a focus on primary education for example? It is also important to see which countries showing great basic needs are negatively affected by policies on targeting and whether particular groups or sub-sectors of basic education continue to receive less attention than others. Targeting is also a difficult issue to reconcile with Jomtien's other concern that agencies respond to partner countries' agendas. This is possibly even more difficult in the light of new modalities. Agencies will continue to target based on their overall development agendas, which are not necessarily limited to concerns related to EFA, and aim to support developing countries' policies and agendas.

 
6.13 Outstanding Issues
 
6.13.1 Issues
 

Targeting takes many forms and is both implicit and explicit. It is also an integral part of the way in which both agencies and countries prioritise. The Jomtien declaration suggested ways in which targets for basic education could be developed. In addition to these a number of specific International Development Targets have been agreed. In order to achieve these targets agencies make decisions as to the most appropriate type of intervention and level of funding required.

The issue of targeting is however problematic. Tracking agency and country efforts to achieve broad targets is difficult, as demonstrated by the type of data received for this report. Tracking contributions to small sub-sectors of basic education and any focus on marginalised populations within countries is even more so. If such detail is required then ways of disaggregating data are also necessary. However, given the developments over the decade, especially in terms of how partnerships are currently being shaped, it may be the case that there is little value in attempting to demonstrate targeting at the micro level for any future assessment exercise.

Assessing agencies in terms of targeting can inadvertently lead to comparisons between agencies suggesting a hierarchy of good practice. This report aims instead to demonstrate the variety of approaches. Assessments of progress towards particular targets may reinforce a feeling amongst agencies, especially those with a slightly different focus, that there is an obligation to demonstrate, at least in policy terms, a commitment to exactly the same ideas. This commitment may not be a true reflection of agencies' relative expertise and experience and may also run counter to attempts to facilitate good practice, respond to country priorities and fund meaningful interventions.

Targeting sometimes takes the form of conditionality, which has implications for agency aims to respond to partner countries' priorities and development agendas.

The process of selecting countries described above and the consolidation or reduction of the number of partner governments agencies will work with has potential implications for basic education, especially if it results in the same countries being deemed suitable for partnership by the various agencies. Targeting of populations within those countries not chosen as key partners is also an issue.

The notion of targeting is further complicated with the introduction of new modalities, such as sector wide approaches, particularly those involving non-earmarked budgetary support. There would seem to be a contradiction between providing general non-earmarked funds and attempting to target particular sub-sectors, groups and regions. Targeting may form part of policy discussions with governments in future or gradually diminish in importance as the new modalities are more fully developed. This has implications for international and national reporting mechanisms.

 
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