August 2009 - The purpose of this evaluation was to assess progress towards achieving the expected outcomes of SPOs 1 & 2 and how progress might be enhanced through improving programme policy, design and delivery.|
The evaluation focused on the following thematic areas:
SPO 1: UNESCO’s global coordination role for EFA, UNLD, and DESD; and
SPO 2: The provision of technical assistance and capacity-building at country level in the areas of literacy, teacher education, technical and vocational education, and sector-wide policy and planning.
With regards to SPO 1, the evaluation noted the following achievements:
UNESCO’s principal comparative advantage lies in its designated lead role in education, its reputation as an “honest broker” and its ability to bring together key stakeholders at the international level.
UNESCO has been successful in generating greater awareness within the international community of the challenges of achieving EFA goals and, to a lesser extent, the objectives of the UNLD and DESD. UNESCO has made progress in building and maintaining political commitment. It is hoped that these achievements will translate into future financial commitments.
The evaluation also noted several challenges with regards to SPO 1, namely:
It remains difficult to engage United Nations partner agencies to actively support the two United Nations Decades and, to some extent, the EFA agenda.
It remains unclear what successful global coordination and leadership looks like. The absence of a clear definition and specific objectives for UNESCO’s global coordination and leadership roles inhibits critical analysis of the most appropriate modalities.
The ED Sector and wider UNESCO family have not realized the full potential of available resources (financial and intellectual). With some exceptions, different parts of UNESCO tend to compete for resources rather than work together towards overarching priorities.
With regards to SPO 2, the evaluation noted the following achievements:
The ED Sector has made progress in defining its areas of comparative advantage, sharpening its strategic focus, and concentrating its efforts on a more manageable number of activities. There are many examples of technical assistance and capacity-building efforts, particularly supporting countries to develop and implement education strategies and plans, which have contributed to improved outcomes at country level. Examples of good practices were found in all focus areas for this evaluation, particularly in the areas of literacy and sector-wide policy and planning. The Cap-EFA scheme has given much needed impetus and focus to capacity-building efforts in literacy and teacher education.
The evaluation also noted several challenges with regards to SPO 2, namely:
The demands on UNESCO to provide country-level technical assistance and capacity-building are very large relative to the Organization’s capacity to respond. Although the Organization has strengthened its areas of comparative advantage, it still lacks
effective policies, systems and processes for allocating scarce resources on the basis of need. Extrabudgetary projects are not always aligned with RP activities.
Many country-level activities are small-scale, reactive responses to countries’ and donors’ needs, uninformed by strategic country-level programming, directed at relatively minor downstream activities, characterized by modalities that are short-term in nature, often in the presence of insufficient and/or transient political commitment.
Technical expertise/capability is extremely limited in a number of areas, such as in TVET and teacher education. In other areas, with the exception of IIEP in the area of sector-wide policy and planning, widely dispersed capacity leads to a lack of critical mass.
Download a copy of the Evaluation Report (pdf/983KB).
Download the Executive Board document 182EX/24 where this evaluation report is presented (pdf/143 KB).
Image : © UNESCO/L. Berdejo