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Country Examples of Education MTEF

This concerns in-depth case studies on and exposure to the diverse practical aspects and experiences relating to the introduction and preparation of MTEF for the education sector, mainly from the Asia-Pacific region. Most of these case studies have been commissioned by UNESCO Bangkok.   


Al-Samarrai, Samer. 2003. Financing Primary Education for All: Public Expenditure and Education Outcomes in Africa. United Kingdom, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex.

The report is a synthesis of findings from a research project that (a) explored the relationship between public education spending and education outcomes at the primary level in developing countries, and (b) explored this relationship from a cross-country perspective concentrating on three African countries – Botswana, Malawi and Uganda. These case studies provided important insights into how primary school expansion has been achieved from a financing perspective and practical lessons for other African countries attempting to achieve EFA. The synthesis found that the link between resources and education outcomes are weak and that the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and EFA targets will require more than just increases in expenditure on primary education. This is not meant to imply that increased resources are unnecessary, merely that they are unlikely to be sufficient for achieving the education goals. The composition of resources and institutions that govern the use of these resources plays a central role in translating resources into better schooling outcomes. The report demonstrates that (a) improving the public expenditure management system is also important in strengthening the link between public spending and education outcomes, (b) successes in improving access to primary education have predominantly been a demand-side phenomenon and, (c) improvements in education outcomes will only be sustainable if demand-side constraints to primary schooling are tackled. A stronger focus on these aspects of education systems will be required if the MDGs in education are to be achieved

Budget Office, Department of Finance. 1998. 1998 Medium Term Expenditure Review: Education. Pretoria, Budget Office, Department of Finance.

This is a review of the medium term expenditure framework in South Africa compiled on behalf of the Budget Office as inputs to the budget planning process. The report reviews policy options in the education sector, attempts to cost these options, and make recommendations to decision-makers on the direction of the education funding system as a whole. The report is not intended to be a detailed financial planning exercise for education, or an education budget. Rather, it reviews existing policies and provides a detailed argument for a number of programmes or initiatives required to improve education quality and achieve stability in the budget process.

Clarke, Grayson. 2006. Developing an MTEF for the Education and Training Sector: The Experience of Vietnam (A background paper prepared for an expert meeting on implementing education policies and plans in the context of public sector management reforms (20-25 March 2006, Bangkok, Thailand)). Bangkok, UNESCO

This paper reviews the experience of Vietnam in its efforts at developing an education MTEF, by first examining what has happened in terms of developing an MTEF for the education and training sector in Vietnam, and where it has got to. Through a historical review, the paper emphasizes that reforming budgetary processes takes considerable time and not a few false starts. The paper also highlights the main barriers to change and what can be done to overcome them to ensure that MTEF can be fully implemented.

Dhakal, Teertha Raj. 2006. Linking Planning and Budgeting: Nepal A Case of Education Sector. (Prepared for the COP MfDRIMLI Joint Meeting: MfDR in the Asia and Pacific Region (30 August - 1 September 2006)). Kathmandu, National Planning Commission. (Only a hard copy and a scanned copy are available. – Asking the author to send an e-copy of the original document and to give us permission to upload the document)

This paper highlights how Nepal has been making efforts to establish linkages between planning and budgeting taking education sector as a case, and given a summary of the institutional and procedural provisions for planning and budgeting at the central level. The Business Plan is a three-year rolling plan that gives importance to themes not projects so that it contributes the MTEF to link the project level outputs and outcomes with PRSP objectives. The Plan includes result-based targets and indicators so that it facilitates the results monitoring on an annual basis. The Plan provides a framework for harmonizing external assistances and potentially for sectorwide approaches (SWAPS). The paper concludes that despite difficult political situation of the country, the reform processes continued in Nepal especially in linking planning and budgeting and also with results for which instruments like MTEF have been playing a major role. Starting small and expanding coverage has contributed to develop internal capacities to precede such reform efforts.

Penrose, Perran. 2004. MTEF (Viet Nam) Final Report. Hanoi, UNDP.

This report sets out what has been accomplished under the MTEF component of the UNDP Project VIE/96/028 in the area of improved allocation and funding systems in the education sector. It summarises the design and objectives of the project, and the impact their achievement has had, and then provides more detailed information about technical issues, including a set of technical annexes, most of which are revised versions of material prepared, translated and circulated over the course of the project. The report notes that the introduction of a block grant system of allocation to public service agencies (Decree 10) marks a radical change in public finance management system development. The project focused on enhancing the capacity of government personnel at all levels in designing and implementing improved resource allocation methods, specifically relating to formula based allocations to education units within a medium term framework. The MTEF developed had several components at the national, provincial and education unit levels.

Tibi, Claude. 2006. Education and Public Sector MTEF in Lao PDR: Progress Achieved, Limitations and Prospects Vietnam. (A background paper prepared for a workshop on supporting the sector programme in education (30 May - 1 June 2006, Thalad, Lao PDR)).

The paper outlines the process used to develop MTEF in Lao and the progress achieved, highlights the limitations and provides a way forward for improving the framework and its outcomes. The paper emphasizes that attempts to build a public sector and line ministries MTEF in Lao PDR are linked with the design and operationalization of the poverty reduction strategy. This strategy, initially named “National Poverty Eradication Program” (NPEP) and later re-named ‘National Growth and Poverty Eradication Strategy’ (NGPES), is based on an approach to poverty under which districts are categorized by poverty level. The MTEF was meant to assess the resources needed to implement NPEP in the four sectors targeted by the strategy (agriculture, education, health and infrastructure) and protect them, based on macroeconomic and fiscal projections done by MOF and CPI.

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