The reform of educational development remains a central preoccupation for many countries and for international development cooperation.
Whatever a country’s level of development, there is great demand for education reform in order to be able to face political, social and cultural changes, as well as scientific and technological transformations. To this can be added the need for reconstruction in the wake of armed conflicts and social unrest. This often requires large-scale efforts and great resources that must be mobilised through international cooperation.
The reform of the education systems represents human and financial challenges both for the countries concerned and for the international community. At national level, governments, education and research professionals and associated groups work to find adequate solutions. At the international level, multilateral and bilateral cooperation agencies contribute financially and/or technically to the national programmes of educational development.
Reform programmes are complex operations entailing technical and political challenges:
i) Where challenges are great, resources are often scarce. Elaborating a programme requires, above all, the capacity to make difficult policy options and strategies affordable.
ii) Education systems are multidimensional and may be spread across huge geographical areas and a variety of adminstrative levels making them difficult to manage. There are also many different actors and interest groups affected by the decisions in the field of education. The intellectual and technical challenges are often accompanied by political complexities where consensus and compromise are necessary.