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UNESCO Bangkok Programme Supported by Japanese Funds-in-Trust (JFIT)

The Government of Japan, initially through its Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture (Monbusho), and later through Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), has made a generous and sustained contribution through the "Funds-In-Trust" programme to enable the UNESCO Bangkok Office to undertake a wide range of activities to help countries overcome major educational challenges.

The Funds-in-Trust programme, more widely known as the Japanese Funds-in-Trust (JFIT), was first made available to the UNESCO Bangkok office in 1970. The objective of the first contribution was to support teachers of agriculture in Asia by organizing a mobile expert team on teacher training. Since then, JFIT has contributed to the activities of UNESCO Bangkok, mainly in education, and with timely changes to meet the varying needs of the region, such as Education for All, Education to prevent HIV/AIDS, ICT in Education, and Education for Sustainable Development.

Many countries in the Asia and Pacific have benefitted from development projects funded by JFIT: to name some -- Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.

The results of several projects have been documented for wider knowledge sharing in different formats (books, brochures, etc.).  The content of these materials - ranging from manuals, toolkits, case studies and policy reviews - will no doubt contribute to the efforts of countries to overcosme the educational challenges they continue to face in the Asia-Pacific region. Fore easy reference, the recent publications, published since 2000, have been listed in Japan-UNESCO Cooperation in the Asia and Pacific: Publication catalog.

Recently, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan has closely collaborated with UNESCO Bangkok to support different education programme/projects:

Several projects have been completed:

  • Strengthening Literacy and Life Skills in the Asia-Pacific within the framework of EFA and the UN Literacy Decade
  • Equivalency Programme for the Promotion of Lifelong Learning (Phase 1)
  • Community Learning Centres (Phase 1)
  • Advocacy and Capacity Building of Mother Tongue Based Multilingual Education (MLE)
  • Strengthening Teacher Training to Achieve EFA
  • Advocacy and Partnerships towards Achieving EFA
  • Capacity Building for Creating and Promoting a Supportive Policy Environment for ECCE in the Asia Region
  • Strengthening the Response to HIV and AIDS at the School Level
  • Innovative Practice on ICT in Education (554RAS1010 : terminated)
  • Capacity-Building Project on ICT in Education

Many are still on-going:

  • Reforms of Secondary Education in Asia : Towards Achieving EFA (Phase 3)
  • Financing and Management of Education at the Local Level towards Achieving EFA
  • Regional Support for the National Adaption and Implementation of Literacy Module for Household Surveys in Selected Countries, Including LDCs and SIDs
  • Regional Support in Capacity Building in the Development of Policies and Strategies towards Reaching the Unreached
  • Raising Visibility of Education Activities in the Asia and the Pacific Region
  • Mobile Training Team (MTT) Project and Education for Information and Communication Technology (ICT): Reorienting Teacher Education to Address Sustainability
  • ICT for Accessible, Effective and Efficient Higher Education
  • Scaling Up the Next Generation of Teachers Project

A couple of new projects have just been established:

  • Reorienting Quality Teacher Education towards EFA and ESD
  • Development and Delivery through CLCs of Equivalency and Community-based Programmes for Disadvantaged Children, youth and Adults for Accelerating Progress in Achieving EFA Goals and Fostering of Sustainable Mindset

In line with UNESCO's Medium-Term Strategy 2008-2013 and UNESCO Bangkok's Regional Education Support Strategy, MEXT and UNESCO Bankgok has agreed on strategic framework for future programming in for 2009-2013. The general objective is to support UNESCO's strategic goals and strengthen the Organization's capacities to implement relevant activities in the field of education by using Japan's financial and scientific resources. In particular, the JFIT will support UNESCO/Bangkok's efforts to generate, collect and disseminate research evidence, innovations and good practices across the region, so as to inform Member States' evidence-based education planning, policy making and practices.

JFIT-UNESCO focus area will be:

1. Teacher policies and training to reach the unreached and provide quality education for all;

2. Policy research and analysis for evidence-based decision making and effective policy implementation in pursuit of the EFA goals;

3. Capacity development and technical assistance to enhance and advance policy-oriented activities in pursuit of EFA and ESD in the region;

4. Regional EFA co-ordination and monitoring;

5. Regional ESD co-ordination and development of a monitoring mechanism, with effective linkages with EFA.

For more information on JFIT-UNESCO Bangkok programme, contact Kazuya Hashimoto (k.hashimoto(at)

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