Global education requires effective leadership and coordination more than ever

Many ad hoc or additional coordinated processes target a specific group of children or are linked to an external funding source. These processes are often complex, redundant and even contradictory in terms of prioritization. Coordination is further compartmentalized by development, humanitarian and refugee mandates.

pull in the same direction

With a global coordination system in place and repeated calls to reduce transaction costs, all stakeholders need to support and buy into a national coordination process, led by governments. At the national level, the local education cluster is often the key entity bringing together relevant partners to support agreed goals that align with a national education sector plan from inception to implementation , its monitoring, review and revision. Such alignment enhances the effectiveness and efficiency of each, while maximizing the impact of resource allocation and mobilization. At this extraordinary time, when all national budgets are under pressure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this becomes critical.

Global stakeholders with specific interests or requirements should leverage national planning, monitoring and review processes, and select the specific components that match their priorities. Globally agreed standards and principles should form the basis for global advocacy and engagement with national stakeholders. With everyone “pulling in the same direction”, the challenges and inefficiencies mentioned above can be avoided. Separate processes can be replaced with collective commitment and support to ensure national plans and processes meet agreed standards of quality and inclusiveness.

Helping governments lead

Effective national coordination also requires dedicated time and capacity to support governments in their leadership role. This means support for setting up business processes, developing tools, as well as training and knowledge management systems. It also means rallying and mobilizing other local and international actors towards a common understanding and the implementation of a coherent national coordination mechanism, which also covers the refugee-humanitarian-development nexus. This requires trusted partners with broad and credible capacity, country presence, coordination capacity, ability to innovate, advocate and communicate effectively, strong monitoring, evaluation and research capacity, and the ability to unlock bottlenecks between partners when they inevitably arise.