Education Sector Analysis

A complete diagnosis of the education system

The Pôle de Dakar supports African governments in the production of an Education Sector Analysis (ESA). An ESA provides a detailed diagnosis of a country’s education system, helping national decision-makers identify system strengths and weaknesses, monitor progress achieved and define the best education policy options.

A recognised methodology

ESA uses an approach inspired by economic analysis of education. As a decision-making tool, it uses a comparative perspective to guide key education policy choices. A new methodological guide was developed in 2012 by UNESCO, the World Bank and UNICEF. It serves as a sourcebook for the diagnosis.

A Logic of Ownership and Reinforcement of National Officer's Capacities

As the analysis is not the ultimate goal, but a means to reinforce the effectiveness of education policies, the success of an ESA depends on the full commitment of all stakeholders. To ensure this, the analysis should be carried out in such a way as to promote ownership of the process:

Technical ownership on the one hand, through the reinforcement of the analytical capacities of national teams and the participation of the officials of all the ministries involved; and

Political ownership on the other, to ensure that the process is supported by national authorities and advocacy takes place at the highest level.

A Tool for Policy Dialogue

ESAs are also communication and public debate tools.

At the national level first and foremost, they facilitate the exchange of views and promote consensus-building on the main orientations of education policy. ESAs are therefore a helpful tool for dialogue between ministries (such as those responsible for education and those in charge of finance and budgets), but also with teacher s, parent-teacher associations and NGOs.

At the international level, ESAs constitute a privileged basis for dialogue with development partners. The analytical framework is particularly helpful to respond to international initiatives like Education for All or the Millennium Development Goals.

A Three Step Process

The process of supporting the elaboration of a ESA generally involves three stages:

1. A training and inception workshop. The objective of this first phase is to present the stakes involved and the methodology used, to build a national team, assign responsibilities, establish a chronogram and launch the work.

2. Technical work of collection and processing of statistical information. This second phase consists in conducting the diagnosis and writing up the analytical chapters. Its duration varies from country to country (6 months is a minimum), according to the availability and quality of data.

3. Presentation of ESA results. The last phase consists in the final write-up of the report and holding a workshop to share the findings with education policy-makers, national officials and development partners.

Learn more about ESA: Methodological tools
Consult the available publications by country: ESAs