Project: LEAD Project Linking Education and Accountability for Development in Morocco
Executing Agency: CARE International Maroc
Grant Amount: US$720,000
Closing Date: September, 2018
Following the aftermath of the Arab Spring in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, Morocco has embarked on a transition to a more accountable and transparent governance system. The government has made gradual but significant progress to fulfill the demands expressed by Moroccans. A new Government and constitution were put in place to bring about the deep political, institutional, and social reforms. However, there remains substantial challenges to enhance transparency and public participation in policy-making. The mechanisms for inter-ministerial coordination that are necessary to implement governance reforms across public institutions are weak.
These governance challenges contribute to poor performance at the sector level. In the education sector, Morocco suffers from low quality of education as reflected in performance indicators on learning outcomes. The country ranks as one of the weakest performers in the Arab world in this regard. Furthermore, there is limited transparency in the use of public resources in the education sector as well as considerable levels of teacher absenteeism. In the last years, the country has embarked on a decentralization reform with several implications for the education sector. Regional Education Offices (AREFs) have been granted increased administrative and financial autonomy to set education policies at the local level, opening up new opportunities to enhance public participation and accountability.
CARE International Maroc, an organization with extensive experience in the education sector in Morocco since 2007, has been awarded a GPSA grant to generate improvements in the education sector by strengthening collaboration between Parent Associations (PA) and education authorities to improve decision-making processes at all government levels. This will be done by: 1) designing and implementing a Participatory Assessment and Monitoring Tool (PAMT) along with other social accountability tools (scorecards and social audits) to collect information on resources and generate user feedback in the education sector; 2) building capacity of PAs to use information generated by PAMT to effectively engage with AREFs and influence education policies; 3) collecting lessons learnt and facilitating PA coordination at district, regional, and national level to showcase results at national level; and 4) improving project evaluation mechanisms to assess impact.
The GPSA grant is expected to help CARE International Maroc attain the following results:
More than 2000 parents will be trained in the use of PAMT in the education sector to track funds, generate feedback, and draft recommendations to AREFs and the Ministry of Education.
At least 156 PAMT exercises such as community scorecards and procurement monitoring will be performed by PAs at the school level.
An increase number of meetings will be held between PAs and AREFs to discuss education policies and programs at the local level.
Around 52 education authorities will be trained in the use of PAMT tools and mechanisms.
An increase in the number of knowledge products prepared to showcase results and lessons learned in national and international forums.
Outcomes in the targeted regions:
1. At 20 schools, Parents’ Associations (PAs), teachers, students and Principals use the participatory ‘Collective Bulletin of the School’ tool to increase transparency on schools’ available resources, and jointly develop plans to address the main constraints identified. The mechanism will be deployed in 30 schools during the 2017-18 school year.
2. 26 PAs (950 parents, including 495 mothers) have been trained on social accountability, NGO management, gender-sensitive approaches and governance. This training program will reach 24 PAs during the school year 2017-18.
3. 316 officials (including 91 women) received training to maintain better communication and collaboration with the PAs.
More project results and lessons learned will be added as they become available. However, the design of this grant benefits from the lessons learned by CARE International Maroc from the implementation of its SCORE project (Supporting Community based Organizations in Requesting Equity in service provision). This was a social accountability project funded by the World Bank that successfully tested the use of Community Score Cards to improve social services in the region of Grand Casablanca. The GPSA project also builds on CARE International Maroc’s experience in effectively facilitating dialogue among stakeholders in the education sector.