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Evidence Based Policy and Planning Workshop

Education officials from throughout the Pacific recently gathered in Nadi, Fiji for the Pacific Policy and Planning workshop from May 11th to 22nd, 2009. The workshop was jointly organised by UNESCO and the Fiji Ministry of Education, with additional financial support from the European Union (EU). 

The two week workshop focused on building the capacity of education ministry staff to conduct evidence based policy and planning in their countries. The opening days of the workshop focused on developing their technical knowledge of planning cycles and processes, education financing options and education indicators. 

Participants were then involved in conducting an education sector diagnosis to identify the most critical problems affecting education access, internal efficiency, equity, external efficiency and quality. The course also covered projection and simulation techniques, logical framework development, Education Management Information System (EMIS), monitoring and evaluation. T

he workshop was lead by Ms Ibtisam Abu-Duhou and Ms Le Thu Huong from the Education Policy & Reform Unit (EPR), UNESCO Bangkok Office, with support from the Fiji Ministry of Education's Permanent Secretary, Mr Filipe Jitoko and UNESCO Apia's Officer for Education Programmes, Ms Louise Ellerton. Representatives from the EU, Mr Wiepke van der Goot (Head of delegation) and Dr Tom Williams (Director, Fiji Education Sector Programme) also took the opportunity to address participants on issues surrounding education financing and project management. 

Dr Williams encouraged participants to ensure that monitoring processes are fully integrated into activities to ensure their impact can be accurately measured. The capacity development of education officials in evidenced based policy & planning is an important component of the UNESCO Apia Office's strategic plan. In August, as part of this ongoing support UNESCO Apia will run a similar training workshop for the Vanuatu Ministry of Education. Tonga's representatives at the workshop were Dr. Raelyn 'Esau, Deputy Director & Head of Policy and Planning and Mrs. Lilian Tu'ihalamaka, Chief Education Officer (Educational Management and Information System), MEWAC.

Source: Ministry of Education, Women Affairs and Culture, Tonga