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DFID_Yemen SFD Institutional Evaluation

DFID_Yemen SFD Institutional Evaluation

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Published by: Steve Zyck on Sep 25, 2010
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In 2002, the Government of Yemen developed a national Basic Education Development Strategy, the

objectives of which are raising the enrollment rates to 95% by 2015, improving the quality of

teaching, upgrading curriculum, school administration reform, improving fund management,

decentralizing management of educational services, expanding the availability of school space for

girls, using underutilized classroom space, instituting double-shifts, constructing new schools based

on school mapping, enhancing community participation. SFD is an active partner (along with many


) in implementing this strategy primarily by promoting access to basic education through

financing the construction and rehabilitation of classrooms, provision of basic equipment and

furniture for schools, and in 2008 this accounted for the majority of the 49% of SFD funds. In

addition, it pilots programmes for special groups. In 2009 alone, 526 projects were approved by SFD

in its education sector work plan. The majority of these are based on a community-driven model

whereby communities present proposals for the funding of infrastructure by SFD.

With regard to SFD’s education programmes for special needs populations, three were highlighted

by informants:


The Gifted and Talented Programme aims to support efforts by the MoE to establish an

institutional system to care for gifted and talented children. SFD is actively engaged in

supporting the development and provision of a service for this exceptional youth population


These include Inclusive Education, Pre-school Programme, Gifted and Talented Programme, Rural Girls Education,

Administrative Decentralisation programme, Quality Education Programme, Literacy Programme, and the School Mapping

Programme with the MoE.


In 2004, a Partnership Declaration for Implementation of the BEDS was signed between the Government of Yemen and

the World Bank, UNICEF, WFP, ILO, UNESCO, the Governments of Germany, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, France, and

the European Union. The objective of this Declaration is to harmonize strategies and effectively allocate all government and

donor resources for basic education.

CNTR 200808562 SFD Evaluation 2009 – Final Institutional Evaluation Report


which has not previously been available. For example, it has supported a pilot programme that

includes curriculum development, the provision of materials and furniture, and the

identification and enrolment of talented students. To date, this intervention has been piloted

in two schools in Aden, one in Taiz and one in Sana’a. SFD has funded experts from Jordan to

work with MoE with a view to developing a national programme. Staff from the MoE have

been trained and currently comprise a national technical team, and training courses have been

run for teachers and administrative staff on the needs of gifted and talented students. The

programme is now at a stage where it is ready to be mainstreamed within existing schools.

Informants indicate that the MoE is committed to scaling up the programme. Indeed, the

Ministry is considering restructuring one of its departments to accommodate the programme.


To ensure that children with special needs receive public education, SFD has been involved in

supporting Inclusive Education for many years through working with NGOs and a limited

number of governorate administrations to provide services to children with special needs. The

Department of Inclusive Education in the MoE has a broad definition of inclusive education

that includes gifted and disabled children, street children, orphans and children involved in

child labour; staff members in this department would like SFD to match this definition in order

to include these marginalised groups. It points out that a national programme on inclusive

education is key to delivering on the government’s international commitments, children’s

rights under the Yemeni constitution, and the Millennium Development Goals. It perceives SFD

as spending substantial resources on the provision of infrastructure and technical and

administrative training for NGOs dealing with special needs, but argues that there is neither

oversight nor follow-up on the work of NGOs. This raises the important issue of the need for

SFD to evaluate its contribution to development outcomes for special needs groups24

. The

Department of Inclusive Education sees a key role for SFD in strengthening organisations

working in the sector to develop policies and programmes, but it would also like SFD to work

with it on developing clear criteria and regulations for all actors in the sector. The Department

for Inclusive Education acknowledges that it lacks resources and has limited capacity; it is not

recognised in the structure of the MoE (not on the organogram) and would need to be

upgraded to a Directorate before it will be allocated operational costs. As an important player

in the sector, the Department considers that SFD has a role in advocating on its behalf with

the MoE. Furthermore, it would like SFD to advocate for, and work together with the Ministry

and the Department itself to develop a national strategy and action plan for inclusive

education which could, if implemented, significantly increase SFD’s impact. Institutionally,

inclusive education is managed by the Health and Social Protection Unit in SFD rather than the

Education Unit, a structure that perhaps suggests that inclusive education is more welfare

oriented that education oriented. SFD should re-appraise the structure to assess whether the

objectives for inclusive education could be better achieved by being part of SFD’s

Memorandum of Understanding and on-going dialogue with the MoE. Similarly, the Inclusive

Education Department in the Ministry of Education points out that while a National Strategy

on Disability was developed under the auspices of the Ministry for Social Affairs and Labour,

and supported by the Health and Social Protection Unit in SFD, the MoE has not engaged in its

implementation. SFD should review whether more could be achieved by bringing inclusive

education under the Education Unit of SFD, and included in its dialogue and Memorandum of

Understanding with the MoE.


Literacy and Adult Education SFD supports literacy classes in many villages, especially under

the Integrated Interventions Programme. However, relationships with the Literacy and Adult

Education Department have been strained, and there is a perception at the central level that


The current assessment that SFD is undertaking of NGOs, which will underpin its NGO Strategy should also inform the

extent to which SFD is focusing on outcomes.

CNTR 200808562 SFD Evaluation 2009 – Final Institutional Evaluation Report


SFD acts independently and should coordinate its programmes with national annual plans.

Currently, SFD is perceived as running its own programme on literacy with little reference to

activities which other governmental stakeholders are pursuing at various levels. From SFD’s

perspective, trust and cooperation is slowly growing with the Department, and there has been

constructive engagement on the recognition of providers of literacy training. For example, the

Literacy and Adult Education Department within the MoE has accepted a legitimate role for

NGOs, which are key partners for SFD in delivering literacy-related interventions, but will need

to establish clear criteria for their involvement. The Department would like SFD to increase the

scope and level of its activity related to literacy and adult education while ensuring

coordination and focusing upon remote areas where SFD is deemed to have a comparative


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