EFA 2000 Assessment Reports
News bulletin board of UNESCO's Education Sector
No. 21
Welcome to the electronic news bulletin board of UNESCO's Education Sector, informing you about UNESCO's activities in the field of education and in particular the follow-up to the World Education Forum in Dakar (April 2000). Please forward it to other interested colleagues.

Contents (24 April 2001)

---> First anniversary of the World Education Forum
---> New EFA Forum established in South Asia
---> Bidding process begins for inter-agency evaluation on development aid to basic education
---> Recommendations on HIV/AIDS and education in West Africa
---> New website on a United Nations Literacy Decade Consultation
---> Update on the United Nations Girls' Education Initiative
---> Joining hands for EFA in Ibero-American states
---> Arab States: Network of United Nations focal points set up to assist country efforts
---> The Caucasus: Second meeting of the Network of Pedagogical Institutes (16-18 May)
---> Countries in action for EFA (the Gambia, Lithuania, the Republic of Moldova and Thailand)

Attachments to this issue:

---> Joint statement of the South Asia Ministerial Meeting on Education for All (in English only)
---> Note on international bidding process for inter-agency evaluation (in English only)
---> Recommendations of the Senior Experts Conference on HIV/AIDS and Education in West Africa (in English and French)
---> Minutes of the second meeting of the Arab regional forum (ARABEFA) (in English only)


First anniversary of the World Education Forum

Countries need to show greater commitment if they are to meet the goal of providing quality education for all by 2015, says John Daniel, UNESCO's new Assistant Director-General for Education, one year after the World Education Forum in Dakar.

The Forum agreed that governments bear the major prerogative and responsibility for education. But one year on, many of them have not yet established the mechanisms to orchestrate their efforts and implement their strategies. The first task facing these countries is the drafting of national action plans by 2002 which is essential, not only to chalk out the measures required to meet the target but also to mobilize external aid.

Some countries have forged ahead nevertheless. In the past year, Senegal and Brazil have drawn up or are finalizing their action plans after consultations with civil society. Moreover, the EFA partnership has been consolidated and consensus is being reached on the principles of a global initiative on funding and strategies to assist countries in their EFA efforts, as specified in the Dakar Framework for Action.

New subregional EFA forum established in South Asia

The recent South Asia Ministerial Meeting on EFA (10-12 April, Kathmandu, Nepal) decided to establish a country-driven subregional forum to monitor progress in basic education and keep the momentum of political and social mobilization for EFA.

The some seventy-five participants including five Ministers of Education, two secretaries for education, senior experts, leading NGOs and representatives from UNICEF, UNDP, the World Bank and DANIDA, opted for a light structure: the subregional forum will meet every two years. The next meeting is planned to take place in Islamabad, Pakistan in 2003. UNESCO will serve as the secretariat of the forum and UNESCO Islamabad will be in charge of preparing the next meeting that will focus on the quality and the financing of basic education. Bilateral and multilateral agencies, development banks and NGOs will contribute to the work of the subregional forum.

The meeting in Kathmandu adopted a joint statement (attached) which spells out achievements and challenges for the seven countries in the subregion (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka). It recognizes the pivotal role of basic education in national development and enumerates fifteen points considered essential to achieve the EFA goals. The challenges are huge: South Asia is home to the world's largest number of out-of-school children and adult illiterates.

(File attached: jointstatementnepal.rtf)
Contact: Wolfgang Vollmann, co-ordinator of the nine high-population countries (E9) / E-mail: w.vollmann@unesco.org

Bidding process begins for inter-agency evaluation on development aid to basic education

An international competitive bidding process has been launched to find qualified consulting bodies to carry out an evaluation of development assistance to basic education. A notice inviting relevant bodies to express their interest in carrying out the evaluation is attached to this Bulletin Board.

"We would like this notice to be brought to the attention of interested consulting entities around the world," says Ted Kliest of the Netherlands' Ministry of Foreign Affairs who is co-ordinating the bidding process.

The notice is currently being published in several international journals including the Journal of the European Union and the UN Development Business.

The results of the evaluation are expected to be used in several ways: as inputs into the design of agency strategies, in the context of discussing specific management and partnership issues, to improve practice in the field, to identify best practices and to improve aid efficiency and effectiveness.

The evaluation is supported by the following countries and agencies: Canada, Denmark, the European Commission, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, UNESCO, UNICEF, United Kingdom and the World Bank. It is co-ordinated by an inter-agency steering committee and a management group, led by the Netherlands.

(File attached: Invitationevaluation.rtf)

Contact: Ted Kliest, Policy and Operations Evaluation Department (IOB), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Netherlands / E-mail: tj.kliest@minbuza.nl

Recommendations on HIV/AIDS and education in West Africa

The recommendations of the Senior Experts Conference on HIV/AIDS and Education in West Africa, organized from 18-23 March in Elmina, Ghana, are now finalized and attached to this Bulletin Board.

The conference brought together more than 130 participants from 13 countries to assess the scope of the pandemic in the region, and the needs and inadequacies within current national responses as regards the education sector. The conference was organized by UNESCO and followed two major UNESCO meetings on HIV/AIDS preventive education for experts in curriculum development and teacher training in Dakar 1997 and in Accra 1998.

(Files attached: HIVrecommendationseng.rtf and HIVrecommendationsfr.rtf)

Contact: Marie Paule Roudil, UNESCO / E-mail: mp.roudil @unesco.org or
Anna-Maria Barthes-Hoffman / E-mail: am.barthes@unesco.org

New website on a United Nations Literacy Decade Consultation

A new UNESCO website invites the world to consider a "renewed vision to literacy". The site is devoted to a United Nations Literacy Decade, envisaged to be proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly at this year's session as part of the global efforts toward education for all. In a previous resolution of the General Assembly, the Director-General of UNESCO was specifically asked to take leadership in the process toward the Decade.

The new website is dedicated in particular to a worldwide consultation with civil society. It is available in English, French and Spanish at http://www.unesco.org/education/litdecade

Update on the United Nations Girls' Education Initiative

The United Nations Girls' Education Initiative (UNGEI) launched by the United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, at the World Education Forum last year, is one of the "Flagship Programmes" of the EFA movement. It is designed to ensure that girls' education has a prominent place in the United Nations reform processes at national level, including a thorough gender analysis at the initial stages and inclusion of specific activities in the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF).

The Task Force that guides this UNICEF-led Initiative has now finalized a summary report featuring UNGEI activities in the period January to December 2000. It can be consulted on the DevLink website, under the section on Girls' Education (www.undg.org).

Contact: Maida Pasic, Programme Assistant, UNICEF / E-mail: MPasic@unicef.org

Arab States: Network of United Nations focal points set up to assist country efforts

A network of United Nations focal points in the Arab States has been established to facilitate and assist EFA activities at country and regional levels. During the second meeting of the regional inter-agency EFA mechanism, ARABEFA, on 29 March in Beirut, it was agreed that the United Nations focal points (education officers of UNESCO, UNICEF and UNDP) will start working immediately with countries to set up national EFA teams. The teams are expected to include all active agencies, including United Nations offices, Arab organizations, bilateral donors, NGOs, universities, research centres etc.

The four regional committees (Early Childhood Development, Girls' Education, Primary Education, and Literacy/Women and Non-Formal Education) established at the first meeting of ARABEFA in October last year were also discussed. It was agreed that each committee should have a work plan ready by the end of May.

The meeting also agreed to hold three subregional workshops in September and October when the national EFA teams are expected to be up and running. A regional ambassadors team will shortly undertake a fund-raising tour to increase awareness and mobilize resources for EFA. Their efforts will be part of a regional media strategy currently underway.

Members of ARABEFA are UNESCO, UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA, the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), the World Bank, Arab non-governmental organizations and several education specialists.

(File attached: ARABEFA2minutes.rtf)

Contact: Victor Billeh, Director, UNESCO Beirut E-mail: v.billeh@unesco.org

The Caucasus: Second meeting of the Network of Pedagogical Institutes (16-18 May)

Some 30 representatives of Pedagogical and Languages Institutes as well as Ministries of Education in the Caucasus region are invited to attend a conference, 16-18 May in Baku, Azerbaijan. On the agenda is, inter alia, the follow-up to the World Education Forum. Participants will present reports on progress made in the past year and will discuss ways and means of regional co-operation to meet the Dakar goals of quality education by 2015.

Contact: Alexandre Sannikov, UNESCO Paris / E-mail: a.sannikov@unesco.org

Joining hands for EFA in Ibero-American States

During a conference of the Organization of Ibero-American States for Education, Science and Culture (OIE), 26-27 March in Valencia, Spain, participants decided to join efforts in the follow-up to the World Education Forum.

They agreed to set up an education portal for Ibero-American States (led by the Ministry of Education of Argentina), to reinforce inter-university co-operation (lead by the Secretariat of the Ibero-American Co-operation) and to come up with a plan of co-operation in basic education to be presented at the XII Conferencia Iberoamericana de Ministros de Educación in 2002. For more information on this conference visit http://www.oei.es/xiciedec.htm

Countries in action for EFA (the Gambia, Lithuania, the Republic of Moldova and Thailand)

The Gambia: harmonizing efforts in education initiatives

UNESCO Dakar will assist the Gambia in the preparation of the country´s EFA plan of action which will be contextualized within the existing Education Master Plan which ends in 2003. The EFA plan of action will cater for preparatory activities that will form the basis for the development and finalization, by the end of 2003, of a new fifteen-year Education Policy for 2004-2018.

UNESCO Dakar is providing support to the national expert team behind the EFA plan. The team is composed of experts representing planning, basic education, information technology, human resources and project co-ordination. Each team member was heavily involved in the revision of the current policy and the development of the present Education Master Plan. The EFA Team now meets daily to review the assignment of specific tasks and responsibilities and to assess progress.

The Gambia is also hosting the Regional Office for the Decade for Education in West Africa (DEWA), set up in conformity with the wish of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) to have a Decade for Education in Africa (1997-2006). The Decade complements the EFA goals set in Jomtien in 1990 and reaffirmed in Dakar last year. Serious effort is now being given through DEWA to address both the Dakar and the African Decade for Education goals. It has for example been suggested that the EFA Coordinators and the Focal Points for Decade activities collaborate to help countries refocus and harmonize their efforts in the field of basic education.

Lithuania: Brainstorming meeting set for 25-26 June

The Ministry of Education of Lithuania is planning a meeting, 25-26 June in Vilnius, to discuss the establishment of a national EFA Forum and launch the preparation of a national EFA plan of action. The meeting will be co-financed by UNESCO, UNDP and the Lithuanian National Commission to UNESCO.

The Republic of Moldova: Broad coalition behind Dakar follow-up process

During a recent mission of UNESCO to the Republic of Moldova, the Moldavan government decided to hold a brainstorming meeting, 25-27 September, in Kishinev, to discuss the modes and ways of launching the process of preparing a national EFA plan of action and the establishment of a national EFA Forum.

The meeting will be jointly organized by the Ministry of Education and Science, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNDP, the World Bank, the Soros Foundation, the Moldavan National Commission for UNESCO and the Moldova State University.

It was also decided that Professor P. Gaugash, Pro-rector of the Moldova State University and former Minister of Education, will be the EFA National Co-ordinator a.i.

The Republic of Moldova is the second European country (after Lithuania) to receive assistance from UNESCO to launch the Dakar follow-up process.

Thailand: New committee set up to co-ordinate EFA plan of action

Thailand's Minister of Education, Dr Kasem Watanachai, appointed on 16 March a national EFA forum under the name "Committee for Thailand Education for All Planning under the Framework of Dakar".

The committee is chaired by the Permanent Secretary and served by twenty-five members, of whom four are from foundations for children and the disabled and another seven represent other agencies dealing with health, skilled labour development, national planning and budgeting. Its mandate is to determine the framework and policy for Thailand's EFA plan of action and eventually to approve the plan (to be drawn by a task force under this Committee)

Contact: Duangtip Surintatip, EFA coordinator, Thailand / E-mail: duangsur@emisc.moe.go.th

Contact: Anne Muller (a.muller@unesco.org)