Currently, UNESCO's main thrust in the field of national educational policies and strategies is to provide focused support in the development and/or reinforcement of national education sector plans for achievement of the Education For All (EFA) Goals.

According to the Dakar Framework for Action, all States should, "develop or strengthen existing national plans of action by 2002 at the latest" building on existing national education sector development strategies.

These plans should be integrated into a wider poverty reduction and development framework, and should be developed through transparent and democratic processes, involving stakeholders, especially peoples' representatives, community leaders, parents, learners, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society.

The plans should address problems associated with the chronic under-financing of basic education by establishing budget priorities that reflect a commitment to achieving EFA goals and targets at the earliest possible date, and no later than 2015.

Specifically, each National Plan of Action, designed within a sector-wide development framework, is to:

  • be developed by government leadership in direct and systematic consultation with national civil society;
  • attract coordinated support of all development partners;
  • specify reforms addressing the six EFA goals;
  • establish a sustainable financial framework;
  • be time-bound and action-oriented;
  • include mid-term performance indicators;
  • achieve a synergy of all human development efforts, through its inclusion within the national development planning framework and process.
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