Project: Empowered citizens enhancing accountability of the education reform and quality of education in Moldova
Executing Agency: EXPERT-GRUP
Grant Amount: US$ 696,955
Closing Date: December, 2018
Since its independence in 1990s, Moldova has experienced a constant decline in the quality of education. This has had a negative impact on the performance of Moldova’s students in international educational assessments in reading, math, and sciences. Moldova has the lowest scores in Europe, despite the fact that the Government spends close to 9% of GDP in the education sector. A high proportion of the education budget is directed to personnel expenditures and maintenance costs of school infrastructure, instead of quality enhancing investments.
In the context of ongoing decentralization reform in Moldova’s, schools have been granted greater independence to address education needs, and plan and manage allocated resources. However, parents and communities lack the necessary information and capacity to hold schools and teachers accountable for the services provided. Against this background, the Government has embarked in an ambitious education reform program aimed at increasing quality, efficiency, and evidence-based policymaking. This entails the consolidation of schools and classrooms and the implementation of per-student financing mechanisms.
EXPERT-GRUPP, an organization dedicated to promoting financial transparency, has been granted a GPSA grant to empower citizens to effectively engage with local and national authorities in budget processes and policy-making in the education sector in order to improve on-reforms and increase transparency in the use of public resources. This will be done by: 1) building partnerships and strengthening skills to implement social accountability tools; 2) empowering local and regional stakeholders to implement public hearings and citizen report cards to increase accountability; 3) integrating social accountability tools with government systems around policy-making and budget dialogues; and 4) collecting and curating knowledge to improve project design and share experiences internationally. Information generated will be used to support policy dialogue at the national level and shared with the Ministry of Education to provide feedback on policies and highlight the impact of on-going reforms on education outcomes.
The GPSA grant will help EXPERT-GRUPP attain the following results:
Satisfaction with the quality of education services will be improved in targeted schools, benefiting around 65,000 students.
Community coalitions will be trained and empowered to use social accountability tools and participate in school budget dialogues in 100 schools.
A website will be created for citizens and communities to share information, learn good practices, and report problems.
Around 25,000 citizens will participate or be represented by CSOs in participatory budgetary cycles.
Local and regional authorities, as well as the Ministry of Education, will receive more reliable and timely feedback on the status and impact of educational reforms.
Lessons learned arising from the project will be widely disseminated in national and international forums.
The grant is at its early stages and lessons will be added as they become available. However, the design of this grant benefits from the lessons learned by EXPERT-GRUPP in avoiding confrontational instances during the implementation of social accountability approaches. The project takes a constructive approach that facilitates engagement.