Evaluation of UNESCO support to EFA National Planning (2005)[3]

In September 2000, Pakistan became a signatory of the Dakar Declaration thereby renewing its previous commitment to Education for All (EFA). In line with the Dakar Framework of Action, the Ministry of Education (MOE) set up the National EFA unit which coordinated the activities of all government, non government organizations, UNESCO, multilateral and bilateral partners of the EFA venture. This case study specifically looks at the role of UNESCO, the lead coordinating agency for EFA, and the support it extended to the MOE and other Development Partners (DPs) toward the realization of EFA agenda and goals.

The study breaks down UNESCO’s functions in six key areas and then evaluates its exact role; constraints faced, strategies employed and impact in each. The study focuses on UNESCO’s role in the development of EFA National Action Plan (EFA NPA) and reflecting it in the Education Sector Reform (ESR), Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) and Mid term Development Framework (MTDF), building EFA coalition domestically and regionally, national mobilization and buy-in for EFA plans and follow-up, as well as technical assistance and capacity building in the follow-up to the EFA NPA. The study next highlights UNESCO’s success in EFA NPA and lists factors ranging from insufficient funding to limitations in implementation capacity at district level and governance issues as some of the prominent obstacles in attaining greater impact. The study concedes that an important lesson learned is that it is unlikely for Pakistan to achieve the 6 Dakar goals by 2015 and it concludes by delivering a host of recommendations, which if followed, ensure that EFA goals will become a reality for Pakistan in the not so distant future.

Amal Chowdhury and Fareeha Zafar