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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - Fast Track Initiative Grant I For Basic Education


  
1. Project Data:   
ICR Review Date Posted:
03/20/2014   
Country:
Burkina Faso
Is this review for a Programmatic Series?
 Yes
How many operations were planned for the series?
 3
How many were approved?
 3
Series ID:
S127166
First Project ID:
P127166
Appraisal
Actual
Project Name:
Fast Track Initiative Grant I For Basic Education
Project Costs(US $M)
 22.0  22.0
L/C Number:
Loan/Credit (US $M)
 0  0
Sector Board:
Education
Cofinancing (US $M)
 0  0
Cofinanciers:
Board Approval Date
  06/29/2009
 
 
Closing Date
12/15/2009 12/15/2009
Sector(s):
Secondary education (35%), Primary education (35%), Pre-primary education (15%), Adult literacy/non-formal education (15%)
Theme(s):
Education for all (80%) Gender (10%) Decentralization (10%)
Second Project ID:
Appraisal
Actual
Project Name:
Fast Track Initiative Grant II For Basic Education
Project Costs(US $M)
 45.0  45.0
L/C Number:
Loan/Credit (US $M)
 0  0
Sector Board:
Cofinancing (US $M)
 0  0
Cofinanciers:
Board Approval Date
  03/24/2011
 
 
Closing Date
12/15/2011 12/15/2011
Sector(s):
Theme(s):
Third Project ID:
Appraisal
Actual
Project Name:
Fast Track Initiative Grant III For Basic Education
Project Costs(US $M)
 35.0  35.0
L/C Number:
Loan/Credit (US $M)
 0  0
Sector Board:
Cofinancing (US $M)
 0  0
Cofinanciers:
Board Approval Date
  03/16/2012
 
 
Closing Date
09/30/2012 09/30/2012
Sector(s):
Theme(s):
         
Prepared by: Reviewed by: ICR Review Coordinator: Group:
Judith Hahn Gaubatz
Denise A. Vaillancourt Lourdes N. Pagaran IEGPS2

2. Project Objectives and Components:

a. Objectives:


    According to the Program Documents for the First, Second and Third Basic Education Program Support Grants, the objectives of the program were:
      • To increase access and equity to basic education;
      • To improve the quality, efficiency, and relevance of basic education; and
      • To strengthen sector management and monitoring and evaluation of the sector.

b. If this is a single DPL operation (not part of a series), were the project objectives/key associated outcome targets revised during implementation?
No

c. Policy Areas:
This is a series of Development Policy Operations (DPOs) aimed to support the government's Ten-Year Basic Education Development Program, which covered pre-primary, primary, secondary, adult literacy, and non-formal education. The Program's main objectives included raising the education level and diversifying the skills of the labor force to help promote equitable economic growth. Given the need to implement critical reforms in advance of investments, the DPO was agreed upon as the appropriate instrument for support.

DPO 1:
1. Increasing Access and Equity: The objective of this policy area was to increase the effectiveness of the government's existing policy providing free and compulsory primary education. Specific policy measures included: regulations regarding allocation of funds to schools and communities; analysis of constraints and disparities across regions; targeted actions to reduce inequities; limiting repetition between curriculum cycles; abolishing of biennial intake practices (i.e. enrolling students only every other year due to small class sizes); introduction of multi-grade classrooms; . Expected results include: increased enrollment rate and decreased inequity in access; and decreased repetition (increased efficiency).

2. Quality Improvement: The objective of this policy area was to improve the use of teaching time and to better align the curriculum with labor market needs. Specific policy measures included: improving time on task through monitoring of lateness and absenteeism; introduction of vocational skills curriculum; diversification of vocational skills curriculum, including integration with the private sector; and a vocational and technical education strategy framework. Expected results include: increased instructional time; and increased alignment of vocational education with labor market needs.

3. Strengthening Capacity for Pedagogical and Administrative Management. The objective of this policy area was to increase equity in teacher distribution. Specific policy measures included: participation of communities in teacher decision committees; drafting of law regarding education staff employment and appointments; approval of law requiring public disclosure of government budgets for education; and transfer of funds to local community level. Expected results included: increased equity in teacher distribution; and increased effectiveness in use of funds at the local level.

The policy areas for the DPO2 were significantly revised and refined as follows:

1. Budget Management: The objective of this policy area was to support decentralization of school construction. Specific policy measures included: timely transfer of funds to ensure adequate budget.

2. Biennial School Intake and Multi-Grade Teaching: The objective of this policy area was to abolish the practice of biennial school intake and to introduce multi-grade teaching approach. Specific policy measures included: increasing public and teacher awareness of the multi-grade teaching approach; provision of training and pedagogical materials for multi-grade teaching. Expected results included: increased access and equity in primary education; increased completion rates.

3. Decentralization of School Management: The objective of this policy area was to expand the scope and coverage of decentralized school management, particularly regarding school construction. Specific policy measures included: increasing the number of local communes that are managing school construction and receiving government fund transfers. Expected results included: decreased unit cost of school construction; improved operation of schools.

4. Improving Teacher Quality and Increasing Efficiency in the Use of Secondary School Teachers: The objective of this policy area was to improve teacher quality by increasing hiring of university graduates in math and science. Specific policy measures included: training modules in math and science for use in distance learning.

5. Teacher Support and Internal Efficiency: The objective of this policy area was to limit repetition between curriculum cycles. Specific policy measures included: training of teachers to approach each curriculum cycle (typically two year cycles) as a unified program within the cycle rather than as a succession of annual programs within the cycle.

6. Better Management of Teaching Time: The objective of this policy area was to improve management of teaching time to improve learning outcomes. Specific policy measures included: limiting unauthorized school closures; tracking of time on task and limiting absenteeism; and introduction of administrative period before school opening to ensure school readiness.

7. Assessment of Student Leaning: The objective of this policy area was to establish a coherent system to assessing learning outcomes. Specific policy measures included: pilot programs for student learning assessments; and publishing of results.

8. Improving the Quality and Relevance of Technical Education and Vocational Training: The objective of this policy area was to increase efficiency in management of technical education. Specific policy measures included: revision of training programs to better align with labor market needs; setting individual budget lines for each training institution; and regulations allowing training institutions to partner with the private sector and collect revenue for recurrent costs.

9. School Health and HIV/AIDS: The objective of this policy area was to implement a new strategy and policy on school health and nutrition. Specific policy measures included: inclusion of health, nutrition and HIV/AIDS content in lower secondary school curriculum.

The policy areas for DPO3 were similar to the DPO2, with the following policy measures added:

    • Finalization and distribution of multi-grade teaching guide; training on multi-grade teaching.
    • Launching of distance training program for math and science teachers, with enrollment of at least 25 students.
    • Introduction of system for monitoring time spent teaching by primary and secondary school teachers, including publishing of results in newspapers.
    • Operationalization of system that provides assessment of students, and provides recommendations on improving teaching based on the results of the assessments.
    • Regulatory framework to introduce dual apprenticeship (students intern in private enterprses as part of their training); launching of apprenticeship program in at least four training institutions; and raising public awareness of such programs.
    • Expansion of school health and HIV/AIDS curriculum to upper secondary schools.

d. Comments on Project Cost, Financing, Borrower Contribution, and Dates
Project cost:

    • The tranches of all three DPO operations disbursed fully, for a total amount of US$102.0 million: DPO1: US$22.0 million; DPO2: US$45.0 million; DPO3: US$35.0 million. The tranche releases were triggered by actions/decisions taken by Government in the following five policy areas: planning and budgeting; increasing access and equity; improving internal efficiency; diversification of technical education and vocational training; and health, nutrition and HIV/AIDS. However, there were considerable delays in the release of the second tranche (planned: March 2010; actual: May 2011) and the third tranche (planned: March 2011; actual: July 2012).

Financing:
    • The project was financed entirely by Education For All Fast Track Initiative grants.

Borrower contribution:
    • There was no planned Borrower contribution.

Dates:
    • Although all operations closed on dates as planned, there was a one-year delay in the release of the DPO2 tranche, due to significant revision of the policy measures and triggers.


3. Relevance of Objectives & Design:

a. Relevance of Objectives:
High. Given the very low ranking on the UNDP Human Development Index and overall poor education outcomes (including low enrollment and completion rates, and high drop out and repetition rates), the project objectives remain highly relevant to the country conditions. The objectives were drawn directly from the government's Ten-Year Education Sector Development Plan for 2002-2012, and also remain relevant to the new education sector plan for 2012-2021, which builds on the numerous reforms adopted in the previous Plan. The Bank's Country Assistance Strategy (FY2013-16) identifies attainment of basic education for all, with a specific focus on quality and learning outcomes, as a key area of support. The objectives are also highly consistent with the Bank's corporate priorities as reflected in the Millennium Development Goals.

b. Relevance of Design:

Substantial. The policy areas selected for the operation were substantially relevant, focusing on sector policy reforms that addressed inefficiencies and operational shortcomings in the current education system. The five policy areas were clearly linked to the objectives of improved access, quality, relevance, equity, efficiency, and sector management; reforms in these policy areas were likely to contribute to improved access to basic education. The choice of instrument - Development Policy Operation (DPO) - contributed to some difficulties in the first operation, given the low capacity of the Borrower and the short time frame of the operation. However, as noted previously, the DPO was considered a more effective instrument to bring agreement among all government stakeholders on necessary reforms and to provide the incentive to implement the reforms.


4. Achievement of Objectives (Efficacy) :


To increase access and equity to basic education
Achievement of this objective is rated Substantial due to evidence of increased access to primary education and increased equity for girls and for disadvantaged communes. Policy measures supported under this series of DPOs likely contributed to the achievement of this objective.

Outputs
    • Adoption of multi-grade classroom policy, which led to an increase in the number of multi-grade classes from 4,014 in 2008/09 to 12,231 in 2011/12.
    • Adoption of policy prohibiting biennial intake (i.e. enrolling new students every other year only, due to small class sizes).
    • Identification of all schools to ensure compliance with policies on multi-grade classrooms and biennial intake.
    • Finalization of pedagogical guide for multi-grade teaching.
    • Provision of training for 3,387 teachers, supervisors, and inspectors and pedagogical materials for all multi-grade classrooms.
    • Recruitment of 633 new teachers for primary level and 732 math and science teachers for secondary level.
    • Construction of schools to increase the number of schools by 25% and the number of classrooms by 24%.
    • Communication to raise public awareness about new policies.

Outcomes
    • The gross enrollment rate for primary level increased from 72.4% in 2008 to 81.3% in 2012/13, falling slightly short of the target of 82.4%.
    • According to additional data provided by the project team, the gross enrollment rate for girls increased from 75.0% in 2010/11 to 81.0% in 2012/13.
    • According to additional data provided by the project team, the gross enrollment rate for disadvantaged communes increased from 43.7% in 2010/11 to 50.4% in 2012/13.


To improve the quality, efficiency, and relevance of basic education
Achievement of this objective is rated Modest. Although there were substantial achievements in improving efficiency and quality, there were limited achievements in improving relevance.

Outputs
    • Adoption of policies limiting grade repetition at the primary level.
    • Adoption of policies regarding: prohibition of unauthorized school closings; stricter regulation of teaching hours and teacher absences; and creation of administrative period prior to school opening to ensure readiness to accept students on the first day of school.
    • Decentralization of school construction and management responsibilities to the commune level, through local school management committees.
    • Development of math and science training modules at universities and for distance education courses.
    • Development of monitoring system to track teaching hours, including publishing of data in newspapers.
    • Development of student learning assessment system, including publishing of data in newspapers.
    • Introduction of dual apprenticeship training programs whereby students attending technical and vocational education training (TVET) programs can intern in private enterprises as part of their training.
    • Development of national strategy on school, health, nutrition, and HIV/AIDS.

Outcomes
Quality
    • The completion rate for primary level increased from 41.7% in 2008 to 59.5% in 2012/13, surpassing the target of 56.3%.
    • The number of instructional hours rose from 540 hours/year in 2008 to 724 hours/year in 2012, falling short of the target of 800. The ICR (page ix) suggests that this shortfall was attributable to the period of social unrest in 2011.
    • According to additional data provided by the project team, the average score in French for Grade 3 increased from 45.6 (out of 100) in 2007 to 50.1 in 2012. However, the average score for Grade 6 decreased from 53.7 to 50.0.
    • According to additional data provided by the project team, the average score in math for Grade 3 increased slightly from 46.7 (out of 100) in 2007 to 48.7 in 2012. The average score for Grade 6 did not change, going from 49.8 to 50.3.

Efficiency
    • The average student:teacher ratio decreased from 54.8:1 in 2006 to 51.1:1 in 2012/13, surpassing the target of 52.6:1.
    • The repetition rate for primary level decreased from 10.6% in 2008 to 8.2% in 2012, surpassing the target of 10.0%.
    • The repetition rate for lower secondary level decreased from 25.7% in 2008 to 21.5% in 2012, falling short of the target of 16.5%. The ICR (page vii) suggests that this was due to teachers' resistance to the reform efforts to limit repetition among students in the first cycle of secondary education.
    • The unit cost of school construction decreased from FCFA 8,624,000 in 2008 to FCFA 5,700,000 in 2011.

Relevance
    • 27,381 young adults were enrolled in short-term courses and apprenticeship training. This fell short of the target of 30,000.
    • The percentage of public schools offering technical and vocational education (TVET) as a training mechanism decreased from 10.35% in 2008 to 8.76% in 2012.
    • The revised school health curriculum was implemented in all lower secondary schools.


To strengthen sector management and monitoring and evaluation of the sector
Achievement of this objective is rated Substantial due to evidence of implementation and use of management tools and policies. Policy measures supported under this series of DPOs likely contributed to the achievement of this objective.

Outputs
    • Decentralization of school construction and management responsibilities to the commune level, through local school management committees.
    • Establishment of a monitoring mechanism to ensure minimum professional standards in school construction and management.
    • Development of monitoring system to track teaching hours, including publishing of data in newspapers.
    • Development of student learning assessment system, including publishing of data in newspapers.
    • Establishment of strategic framework for technical and vocational education training (TVET), in order to align training programs to the needs of the economy and promote collaboration among training institutions. Institutional arrangements were also finalized to allow training institutions to provide paid services to the private sector and to retain revenue to cover their recurrent costs.
    • Development of common management tools for planning, implementation, and monitoring of TVET.
    • Implementation of budget reforms to improve annual work programs and budgeting, which have strengthened coordination between government and partners, and improved predictability in availability of resources.

Outcomes
See outcomes reported above reflecting increased enrollment rates, increased teaching time, decreased repetition rates, and decreased unit construction costs.

5. Efficiency (not applicable to DPLs):

6. Outcome:


Relevance of the objectives is rated High, while relevance of the design is rated Substantial. Achievement of the objectives to increase access and equity, and to strengthen sector management are rated Substantial. However, achievement of the objective to improve quality, efficiency, and relevance of basic education is rated Modest due to limited achievements in improving relevance.

a. Outcome Rating: Moderately Satisfactory

7. Rationale for Risk to Development Outcome Rating:


Funding for basic education is likely to be maintained at sufficient levels by the government, supplemented by support from donors. The key policy reforms supported by this project, particularly in primary education, are also likely to be sustained, although the shifting demographics of the population (increasing proportion of youth) may shift priorities to vocational and technical education.

a. Risk to Development Outcome Rating: Moderate

8. Assessment of Bank Performance:

a. Quality at entry:

The project design drew directly from the government’s sector program, including the policy matrix and indicators, in order to ensure relevance and consistency. However, there was a limited assessment of the government capacity to carry out the numerous areas of reform (including some that were outside the scope of traditional education reform i.e. HIV/AIDS and nutrition) and the time frame needed to achieve the stated targets. As noted in the ICR (page 21), the risk assessment for the first operation identified risks that were "general and did not specifically mention implementation issues associated with weak capacity and M&E limitations."

However, quality at entry improved for the subsequent operations as policy areas and indicators underwent significant revision with Ministry staff, with intensive support from in-country Bank staff. Although the scope of policy areas remained largely the same, the content, triggers, and indicators were refined to be more relevant and feasible within the context and time frame.

Quality-at-Entry Rating: Moderately Satisfactory

b. Quality of supervision:

Monitoring of policy reforms during the first operation was inadequate, as reflected by the absence of implementation status reports with any information on key indicators. As noted in the ICR (page 23), this “likely prevented the Bank from recognizing at an early point that prior actions for the second tranche would not be achieved on time.”

However, supervision improved for the subsequent operations through intensive support from the Bank team. The reformulation of policy areas and targets led to more measurable indicators, although the revision process led to a one-year delay in the release of the second tranche of the second operation. The Bank effectively carried out its responsibility as Supervising Entity for grant-funded operation and was an active participant in the joint donor missions. There were no safeguard compliance or fiduciary problems reported.

Quality of Supervision Rating: Moderately Satisfactory

Overall Bank Performance Rating: Moderately Satisfactory

9. Assessment of Borrower Performance:

a. Government Performance:

The government provided a supportive policy and institutional environment for the project, including implementing most of the key policy reforms to achieve the program objectives. All triggers were completed to release fund tranches. The government also provided adequate budget support to the sector, despite periods of natural disaster (severe floods) and social unrest.

Government Performance Rating: Satisfactory

b. Implementing Agency Performance:

The Ministry of Economy and Finance was the primary implementing agency with regard to coordinating activities of the various sector ministries. The Ministry of Education was the sector ministry responsible for ensuring implementation of sector reforms, including multi-grade classroom approach, monitoring of teaching time and student assessment, and limiting of repetition. There was initial resistance to some of the policy reforms - such as limiting of repetition within cycles - due to lack of understanding among key stakeholders, which had some negative impact during the early implementation period.

Implementing Agency Performance Rating: Satisfactory

Overall Borrower Performance Rating: Satisfactory

10. M&E Design, Implementation, & Utilization:

a. M&E Design:

The original M&E design intentionally drew directly from the government’s own sector program, in order to ensure harmonization with government programs. However, a number of the targets were not realistic given the time frame of the project, nor feasible given the limited capacity of the government. Capacity to monitor progress on some of the policy areas, such as technical and vocational education, was weak.

b. M&E Implementation:

The shortcomings in indicators and targets were adequately addressed during preparation of the second and third operations. The original indicators in each of the five policy areas were either modified or dropped, and new ones were added in DPO2 and DPO3. The Office of Research and Planning within each relevant Ministry provided regular monitoring data, which were then consolidated and analyzed at the national level. Decentralized units of the Ministries also monitored implementation of activities, ensured coordination among partners, conducted field visits, produced reports, and participated in supervision missions. Two key monitoring systems were implemented: monitoring of teaching time and student learning assessments.

a. M&E Utilization:

Monitoring data was used to inform the formulation of triggers and indicators, as well as to assess progress in project operations. Project implementation progress was reviewed in joint monitoring missions, conducted twice per year by the Ministry of Basic Education. Sector thematic groups ( in key areas such as quality, access, etc.) were also formed to review activities in their specific areas.

M&E Quality Rating: Substantial

11. Other Issues:

a. Safeguards:
The ICR provides no information safeguards compliance.

b. Fiduciary Compliance:
The ICR provides no information on fiduciary performance.

c. Unintended Impacts (positive or negative):

d. Other:



12. Ratings:

ICR
IEG Review
Reason for Disagreement/Comments
Outcome:
Moderately Satisfactory
Moderately Satisfactory
 
Risk to Development Outcome:
Moderate
Moderate
 
Bank Performance:
Moderately Satisfactory
Moderately Satisfactory
 
Borrower Performance:
Satisfactory
Satisfactory
 
Quality of ICR:
 
Satisfactory
 
NOTES:
- When insufficient information is provided by the Bank for IEG to arrive at a clear rating, IEG will downgrade the relevant ratings as warranted beginning July 1, 2006.
- The "Reason for Disagreement/Comments" column could cross-reference other sections of the ICR Review, as appropriate.

13. Lessons:

Lessons from the ICR, adapted by IEG:
    • Indicators to monitor progress on policy reforms need to be specific, realistic, and measurable, taking into account the M&E capacity of the borrower. In the case of this series of DPOs, poor formulation of initial indicators prevented effective project monitoring.
    • Significant policy reforms need to be communicated to key stakeholders as initial steps in implementation. In the case of this series of DPOs, public awareness activities and policy dialogue helped to overcome initial resistance to reforms.

14. Assessment Recommended?

Yes
Why?
To verify outcomes in the basic education sector - access, equity, efficiency, quality and relevance - and to learn lessons from the DPO approach.

15. Comments on Quality of ICR:

The ICR is concise and consistent with guidelines. The quality of the evidence is satisfactory; while the ICR reported adequate data to assess outcomes, the project team subsequently provided additional data to strengthen the analysis. The analysis clearly linked the policy reforms to intended outcomes.

a. Quality of ICR Rating: Satisfactory

(ICRR-Rev6DPL-Jun-2011)
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