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Community Contribution

Donor Coordination for Enhanced Public Education Services

Bruce McFarland and Amer Haddad

To cope with the increased pressure that Syrian refugee children put on Lebanon’s public-school system since 2011, Lebanon’s Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE) collaborated with the international donor community to develop a crisis response program called Reaching All Children with Education (RACE). Now RACE is in its second phase, which broadens the crisis response to embrace a mid-term strategy to include elements of quality education and education service delivery.

The education donor coordination group was formed to provide a forum for donors to engage with MEHE and coordinate with one another on issues affecting the sector in general and RACE in particular. The education donor group co-chaired by USAID and UNICEF consists of an active membership of 12 donor countries and four Public International Organizations and uses the Collaborating, Learning and Adapting (CLA) approach in various aspects of the work it does with both the Ministry and the Center for Education Research and Development (CERD) as well as in the interactions between its members.

While the use of CLA has proven successful in many instances, such as providing the donor group with a structured, semi-official forum and the ability discuss and collaborate on issues to obtain more visibility and achieve better communication with MEHE, obstacles remain especially in terms of MEHE’s lack of transparency on data related to impact and results.

The writers of the CLA case wish to acknowledge the efforts made by UNICEF as co-chair of the coordination group, the engagement of all donors in the group, and MEHE’s cooperation.

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