Project: Improved Social Accountability for Bettering Preschool Quality in Georgia
Executing Agency: Save the Children - Georgia
Grant Amount: $680,000
Closing Date: January 2020
Frame and Challenge
Over the past fifteen years, Georgia has transformed its political, economic and governance systems. The country experienced periods of rapid economic growth throughout the 2000s, and consecutive government have continued policies of limited regulation, low taxes and free markers. Still, Georgia remains one of the weakest performers in the Europe/Central Asia (ECA) region in wealth and shared prosperity. Although decentralization and spending on education, health and social protection have been on the rise, public spending remains low overall, with sub-optimal outcomes.
Georgia’s decentralized preschool system currently faces a variety of challenges, including: 1) a lack of data on children enrolled in or excluded from the system, 2) the absence of a measurement system to assess the quality of service delivery, and 3) the lack of feedback mechanisms from children and their parents on the effectiveness of preschool services. The country’s new law on Early and Preschool education, effective in September 2016, requires municipalities to provide oversight and monitoring of preschools in the implementation of service deliveries relating to education, nutrition and food safety, sanitation and hygiene, and the school physical environment against national standards.
In 2017, the GPSA awarded a grant to Save the Children Georgia, a global organization with extensive experience in the education-related areas of early child development, basic education, school health, education research, and child-wellbeing in emergencies. Save the Children also partnered with NGO Civitas – Georgia, for assistance in project activities associated with building the capacity of stakeholders and ensuring robust peer to peer education. The project plans to benefit preschool age children and their parents, teachers and caregivers in 27 of Georgia’s 71 municipalities (38%), amounting to approximately 50,000 beneficiaries. The objective is to empower these citizens through social accountability interventions to improve the delivery of and resource allocation of preschool education services in targeted municipalities. This objective be accomplished by: 1) creating through a collaborative stakeholder process, a benchmarking and monitoring system to assess quality of preschool services, 2) establishing a national mechanism for capacity development of preschool service providers for improving service delivery, and 3) facilitating knowledge and learning to enhance effectiveness of social accountability interventions and project management.
The GPSA continues to support Save the Children to improve preschool education by strengthening systems for stakeholders to monitor performance against benchmarks and establishing participatory feedback mechanisms. Since project initiation in 2017, Save the Children has achieved the following preliminary outcomes and planning:
The project is creating a systematic monitoring and feedback mechanism for the preschool system in 27 Georgian municipalities. It will gather the voices of government authorities, teachers, parents and children in participatory process at the local level.
The data will be shared with municipal authorities, as well as the Ministry of Education and Science to improve education quality and resource allocation.
A professional National Preschool Association is being established with task force groups from each municipality consisting of different stakeholders, including parents and heads of preschools. The Association is expected to act as a driving force for change in the field of preschool education.
Completion of this education sector project is projected to January 2020. More lessons will be posted as project work progresses. From 2017 project initiation, the GPSA and Save the Children set expectations for sustainability of the project. Save the Children understood early on, and gleaned from previous experience and GPSA work, that it is imperative to secure deep buy-in of stakeholders so that benchmarking and action-plan processes are owned locally, and replicated by local governments when the project concludes.
In order to learn more about Save the Children's work in Georgia and on education around the world, check out the following links:
Video: Save the Children
Website: Save the Children Education Program