Supporting Educational Planning

Education and training planning is at the heart of IIEP-UNESCO's mandate. Within this framework, IIEP-UNESCO Dakar supports the countries of the continent to prepare and update education sector plans.

In Brief
  • A strategic and participatory approach to planning.
  • Statistical and financial projection tools to help decision making.
  • Technical cooperation conducted with a focus on strengthening the capabilities of ministries of education and their staff.

Education sector plan

As a key national policy instrument in the African context, the sector plan reflects the development perspectives of a country's education and training system, in the medium to long term. It sets out strategies that aim to meet political objectives, international commitments and challenges identified in the sector analysis. It is accompanied by a financial framework note and a medium-term operational plan.

African countries received technical assistance for education sector strategic planning

Our approach

Defining a shared vision for education in the long term and transforming it into an operational plan

In collaboration with experts from our main office in Paris, IIEP-UNESCO Dakar supports African countries at all stages of the planning process to: 

  • Define and prioritise educational strategies and policies, usually within a five- or ten-year time frame
  • Translates policies into programmes, taking into account the human, financial and technical capacities of the country
  • Estimate and quantify the resources required, according to different scenarios and hypotheses
  • Establish a budgeted action plan, backed by a monitoring and evaluation system

The preparation of the operational action plan and the education policy budget options focus either on a priority education sub-sector (pre-school, primary, secondary, TVET, higher education, etc.) or on a specific issue in the education system (access, quality, governance, etc).

Find our latest education sector plans by country on the Planipolis platform 


What sets us apart?

Guided by the values and goals of the United Nations, IIEP-UNESCO takes a collaborative approach to planning to construct a shared vision for education within the country. Our technical support approach is based on the organisation of workshops and consultations, both at the central level and in the territories. The active participation of a national, multidisciplinary, and multi-sectoral team is therefore required at all stages of the preparation or revision of the plan.

Our objective: to strengthen the capabilities and autonomy of ministries of education and their staff to reduce their dependence on external service providers. 

“IIEP-UNESCO experts accompanied the national technical team in the development of Guinea's ten-year education programme, but they never imposed their choices on us. This is the originality of the approach. The strategic choices were always proposed to the decision-makers by the national technical team."


Dr Baba Diané
National Director of Public Technical Education and Vocational Training, Ministry of Technical Education, Vocational Training and Employment of Guinea

The financial simulation model

A key tool for formulating educational strategies

Our economists and educational planning specialists use a range of tools and methods to help governments develop credible and robust plans. 

Among them, the financial simulation model is essential to evaluate the cost of the strategies laid out in the sector plan and to anticipate the future. This projection tool makes it possible to translate the objectives into quantifiable medium and long-term scenarios. Such a simulation makes it possible, for example, to estimate the number of teachers to be recruited over the next ten years, or the number of classrooms to be built in relation to the evolution of the school-aged population by region. Different hypotheses can then be established to decide on the best policy options, i.e., those that are financially, socially, and materially sustainable. The trade-offs resulting from this simulation phase are consolidated in a framework note submitted to the beneficiary country. 

See our guides for strategic planning in education

Education sector plan - IIEP-UNESCO guidelines


Areas of expertise