IIEP-UNESCO Dakar: About us

Based in Dakar, Senegal, our Africa office works hand in hand with ministries of education and training, and education specialists to ensure coherent and credible education policies on the continent. Find out more about our history, vision and team.

  • IIEP-UNESCO is the only UN specialized institute mandated to build the capabilities of member states to plan and manage their education systems.
  • Created in 2001 in Dakar as a platform of expertise in education policy analysis, our African office joined the UNESCO IIEP in 2013 to carry out new missions.  
  • Our Africa office has a multidisciplinary, international and experienced team of experts in educational planning and management. 

We work in partnership with ministries and the entire education and training ecosystem. Whatever the context of intervention, our aim is to strengthen the institutional capabilities of education systems, and the individual capabilities of those who make up those systems. Our approach is impartial, empirical, rigorous and evidence-based.

Koffi Segniagbeto
Head of the IIEP-UNESCO office in Dakar

Our history

The International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) was established in 1963 in Paris on the initiative of UNESCO. A pioneer in its field of expertise, our institution has stood out from the start because of its autonomy and its approach based on strengthening capabilities. Active on five continents, the Institute first developed training and research missions in the field of educational planning and management, before engaging in operational activities for technical cooperation in the field in the mid-1990s, particularly in Africa. 

Faced with the considerable needs of the education sector on the continent, a platform of expertise in education policy analysis was created in 2001 in Dakar, Senegal, on the initiative of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is an extension of the Dakar Framework for Action: Education for All in December 2000.

Initially attached to the UNESCO Office for Education in Africa (BREDA) under the name of Pôle de Dakar, our entity officially joined the IIEP in 2013, thus becoming the second regional office attached to the Paris headquarters, along with the IIEP Buenos Aires.

 Learn more about the history of IIEP-UNESCO

+90 %
of African countries that are members of UNESCO have been supported by our teams, since 2001

Our vision

The work of the IIEP-UNESCO Dakar Office is part of the common effort of African governments and development partners to achieve inclusive, equitable and quality education for all throughout life. It is in line with the United Nations Education 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goal 4.

To meet the growing needs of African countries in educational planning and management, IIEP-UNESCO Dakar is developing key partnerships with leading institutional and academic stakeholders. These collaborations allow for a multiplication of the impact in the field, based on IIEP-UNESCO's savoir-faire.

“In twenty years, we have helped many African countries to define credible and sustainable education policies. This historical expertise of the IIEP Dakar Office is indispensable, but it is not enough. Today, our role is to accompany all member states on the continent throughout the educational planning cycle. And in particular to strengthen our presence at their side in the implementation of education plans and policies.”

Koffi Segniagbeto,
Head of the IIEP-UNESCO Office for Africa

Our support

IIEP-UNESCO Dakar provides support to UNESCO's African member countries at all stages of the educational planning cycle: from sector analysis to policy implementation and evaluation. The training, production and sharing of resources and knowledge are an integral part of our mandate - and feed into our technical cooperation activities in the field. 

Recognised for its generalist and holistic approach to the planning and management of education systems, our Africa office is also staffed with specialists who can provide in-depth support in several sub-areas of education: technical and vocational employment and training, quality management and gender equality

Our five missions

Our team

IIEP-UNESCO Dakar premisesThe IIEP Africa Office relies on the expertise of a high-level international team based in Dakar. The number of staff has not stopped growing throughout the years and diversification of activities. The team is composed of education policy analysts, specialists in educational engineering and thematic experts.  Depending on the project, IIEP-UNESCO Dakar work closely with colleagues at the IIEP-UNESCO headquarters in Paris and at the IIEP Regional Office for Latin America in Buenos Aires. 

Meet our team

staff members from 20 countries

Our partners

To carry out its mandate, IIEP-UNESCO can count on the support of different types of partners: 

  • UNESCO Member States
  • Technical and financial partners (multilateral UN agencies, intergovernmental institutions, civil society organisations…)
  • Institutional and academic partners 
  • Donor countries (Argentina, Denmark, Finland, France, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland)

The Agence française de développement (AFD) is the historical partner of the IIEP-UNESCO Office for Africa. In its various projects, our office also collaborates very regularly with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) or the World Bank.

Learn more about IIEP-UNESCO partners