2004 EGY: Mainstreaming and Sustaining the Community School Model in Egypt: A Formative Evaluation
Author: Sidhom, S., Al-Fustat Center for Studies and Consultations
The community School Model was initiated in 1992. The Community School Model has gone through three phases that characterize the process of its development: the Pilot Phase (1992-1995), the Expansion Phase (l996-l999) and the Sustainability and Mainstreaming Phase (2000-2006). Each of these phases was guided by its objectives and goals, its focused attention to its target groups, its consistent strategy for collaboration with its stakeholders and new partners, and its respect for national and international conventions and commitments.Purpose/Objective:
Two guiding questions have been posed for this evaluation, namely:
1. How can the key elements of quality from Community Schools be mainstreamed in the broader educational system?
2. How can Community Schools be sustained to maintain a laboratory 'seed bed' model for quality learning?
Meetings, field visits, workshops, focus groups, and interviews were held subsequently with project partners and stakeholders. Review and analysis of relevant documents and evaluations were also utilized.
Findings and Conclusions:
This evaluation demonstrated that the Community School Model has successfully provided a home-grown model that integrated an innovative structure and pedagogical framework. Success and continuity of the initiative was enhanced by the Political Commitment of Egypt, the consistent and multi-level leadership role of UNICEF and its education officer, UNICEF's expanded multi-pronged mainstreaming strategy since 2002, and its bridging role on a policy and donor level.
Moreover, the evaluation emphasized important elements for sustainability including the dynamic partnership, the critical role of community leaders, the empowered and highly-skilled project staff and facilitators, and future potential for funding. Feedback, proposal, suggestions and insights provided by different stakeholders of the Community School Model reflected a strong commitment to the model, and a genuine concern to ensure mainstreaming its best practices and ensuring its sustainability.
Consideration of lessons learnt emphasized positive sources of support and continuity to include: UNICEF ongoing support; an indigenous "home-grown model"; political commitment; initiation of a mainstreaming strategy; UNICEF input on a policy level; and donor collaboration. Risk factors, on the other hand, focused on: The scope of the UNICEF Agenda; capacity gaps; and funding gaps.
Nine forward-looking recommendations integrated issues in the context of Mainstreaming and Sustainability of the Community School Model, with the hope that they would assist with capitalizing on the success of this innovative "seed bed" model that has focused on quality education for the Egyptian Child. The recommendations focused on:
- UNICEF continuing the policy and advocacy role
- Identifying a specialized national multi-sector structure to ensure sustainability
- Identifying a long-term Strategy for Resource Mobilization
- Revisiting the 1992 MOU Roles and Responsibilities
- Developing a Strategy for Capacity Building
- Continuing input to the Development of a Licensing Model
- Expanding UNICEF Resources
- Expanding the Community School Model while developing a five- to ten-year Plan
- Developing a Strategy for Monitoring and Evaluation
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