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Evaluation report

2013 Madagascar: End review of the government of Norway’s support to two UNICEF education programmes in Madagascar (2008-2011)



Author: Anna Haas, team leader, Randi Gramshaug, NORAD, Aymérillot René Manarinjara, local consultant

Executive summary

"With the aim to continuously improve transparency and use of evaluation, UNICEF Evaluation Office manages the "Global Evaluation Reports Oversight System". Within this system, an external independent company reviews and rates all evaluation reports. Please ensure that you check the quality of this evaluation report, whether it is “Outstanding, Best Practice”, “Highly Satisfactory”, “Mostly Satisfactory” or “Unsatisfactory” before using it. You will find the link to the quality rating below, labelled as ‘Part 2’ of the report."

Background:

This end review analyses core issues related to the implementation, results and sustainability of the Government of Norway’s support to two UNICEF education programmes; Ensuring the Right to Quality Education for All Children in Madagascar (2008-2011) and Minimizing the Impact of the Political Crisis on Education in Madagascar (2009-2010). The first programme had a budget of NOK 48 million and the second programme a budget of NOK 34 million. The two UNICEF programmes have evolved against the challenging political, economic and social context in Madagascar in recent years. In the early 2000s, the government of Madagascar started a fundamental transformation of its education system, frequently referred to as the Education Reform. A core element of this transformation was to make the teaching and learning process more child-centered and relevant to children’s daily lives. To achieve such a change, Norway and UNICEF have provided significant financial and technical support to the government of Madagascar in such areas as pedagogical reform, mother tongue instruction, new school materials and teacher training. Following the outbreak of the political crisis in Madagascar in 2009, the conditions for Norway’s and UNICEF’s further support to the education sector changed dramatically. Many programme areas had to be put on hold and the upstream work on the Education Reform was no longer possible. A critical point of departure for this end review is that the reviewed programmes have been implemented during a period of instability in the country, with important implications for the design and implementation of both programmes.

Purpose/Objective:

The review examines how the two programmes have been implemented relative to the objectives set out, assesses UNICEF’s ability to manage the programme and identifies lessons learnt and recommendations which can be used by UNICEF, Norway, the Ministry of National Education and other partners in the education sector in Madagascar.

Methodology:

A mixed set of methods was used to generate and analyse data on the two programmes. The main source of data was a series of interviews with key stakeholders in the education sector in Madagascar, most notably representatives from the Ministry of National Education, UNICEF and Norway. This was supported and complemented by a review of relevant documentation, some data analysis and case studies in three different types of school districts (CISCOs), including visits to schools and interviews with education officials, teachers, students and parents.

Findings and Conclusions:

Ensuring the Right to Quality Education for All programme: The overarching conclusion of this programme is that it has largely been fit for purpose and has, in spite of the political instability, achieved most of the planned actitivies. Key achievements include:
- Establishing of nearly 3,500 teacher training networks in 79 of the country’s 114 CISCOs, with training of network facilitators and development of training modules as two essential contributions of the programme.
- The development and validation of a national framework for inclusive education and integration of differentiated pedagogy in the modules for the teacher training networks.
- More than 3,000 schools have developed school improvement plans (CPRS), benefiting about 480,000 pupils at the end of 2011. As part of the CPRS, nearly 50,000 excluded children have been identified through mapping of excluded children.
At the same time, some weaker areas of the programme are identified: the curriculum development and UNICEF’s internal system for monitoring and evaluation. The review finds that UNICEF should, as initially planned, have required an independent evaluation of the Competency-Based Approach before agreeing to support the development of new school manuals based on a new curriculum approach (the so-called APS). In terms of monitoring, the programme reporting is found to be too fragmented and activity-focused.
Despite the major contextual constraints, the programme has achieved a high degree of its targets, most notably with regard to teacher training and school manuals for the new curriculum. In total, the programme has financed training for more than 17,000 teachers, representing nearly three-quarters of the total teaching working force in the 20 pilot CISCOs in 2010/2011. In addition, the programme has developed, printed and distributed more than 6 million school manuals for the new curriculum for the seven primary grades in the 20 CISCOs.

Lessons Learned:

A key lesson learnt from this programme is how inherently difficult it is to implement politically sensitive reforms during periods of political instability. This is a key lesson with relevance not only for UNICEF’s future programming, but more broadly for all education key stakeholders in Madagascar. The Education Reform entails a complete shift of paradigm. Without strong political support, accompanied by coherent communication, substantial progress is unlikely.



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Report information

Year:
2013

Country:
Madagascar

Region:
ESARO

Theme:
Education

Type:
Evaluation

Partners:
NORAD ; Kingdom of Norway

Language:
English

 

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