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General Overview

Further Information Available for Download:
IBEC Strategic Framework  MS Word Document
IBEC Problem Analysis  PDF Document

Photograph of children reading and the IBEC At A Glance.

The Improved Basic Education in Cambodia Project has been designed with the goal of promoting better educated youth with increased access to a quality and relevant basic education. The development hypothesis underlying the project's technical approach is that in order to increase access to a high quality, relevant education, one must simultaneously address a myriad of both demand and supply-side factors in a way that empowers local stakeholders and builds ownership. These factors are often linked and vary according to local context. Therefore, programming must take a holistic approach that is flexible enough to respond to evolving needs identified by stakeholders at the local level as well as within the national policy context.

Key Strategies and Guiding Principles

The conceptual framework for the IBEC Project consists of six key strategies, which are characterized by mutually reinforcing attributes and provide the project with a highly integrated development approach. Each strategy is explained below.

1. Holistic Programming: The key tenet underlying child friendly secondary school programming is that the learning environment of children is multi-dimensional in nature. Ignoring any one dimension may undermine interventions in another. Thus, to maximize impact in school improvement, it is essential to have a multi-dimensional or holistic development approach. Under the CFS Policy Framework of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS), there are six dimensions, which will each be addressed under the IBEC Project to ensure all interventions are mutually reinforcing.

2. Multi-tiered Development Approach/Key Role for Good Governance (both at school and LNGO level): The multi-tiered approach to development whereby schools are classified according to their level of developmental readiness and internal governance cannot be overemphasized as an important strategy to improve education service provision. This approach will bring into sharp focus the idea that it does not make sense to approach school improvement by treating all schools equally when clearly they are quite variable in terms of their management practices and professional integrity. A multi-tiered development approach will lead to the creation of centers of excellence throughout the target areas that will provide models of good practice to less developed schools, thereby facilitating a formalized system for information & capacity sharing. While the idea of classifying schools according to their developmental readiness has been gaining increased circulation, it has never been applied to a capacity-building program for LNGOs. Given the important role of LNGOs in this project, IBEC will also apply the same principles of classification to selected local partners so that the implemented capacity-building program will be commensurate to their current needs and situation.

3. Local Stakeholder-Driven Development Approach and Local Empowerment: IBEC will work to ensure that local programming is led directly by local stakeholders. These stakeholders include local working groups at school and community level as well as local NGO partners at district and provincial levels. The use of school grants will play a key role in realizing this goal. Although there are significant impediments relating to capacity and exposure to new ideas that sometimes limit stakeholders’ abilities to make informed decisions about appropriate interventions, the project will maintain a development approach that ensures freedom of choice within a fixed structure through the use of Activity Menus linked with school-community grants. Allowing stakeholders to lead development in this way will promote ownership and local empowerment.

4. Connecting Implementation to the Local Context: Project implementation will be undertaken in a way that connects with the education development context in general. This includes a close working relationship with key development partners. Coordination will be especially important with respect to agencies working in secondary education such as ADB and the World Bank. Areas of cooperation will include avoiding duplication in the area of infrastructure, mutual assistance in the development of beacon school-resource centers, and sharing of approaches in promoting IT access among many others.

5. Public-Private Partnership: The project will use effective strategies to increase public-private partnership in basic education, especially at local level. There are a number of methods that have been included in the project design to achieve this including support to local partners to establish one or more autonomous social enterprises (e.g., for teaching aid production) that will regularly contribute to a School Support Fund. This SSF will complement matching grants to commune and district councils. World Education will also advocate for corporate support for IT access and other aspects of life skills programming.  It is also working with private companies in Cambodia to negotiate free internet access in schools. Through these efforts and others in combination with Global Development Alliance (GDA), World Education firmly believes that it can contribute greatly to the overall sustainability of project impacts.

6. Advocacy for Wider Impact and Sustainability: IBEC will work with local, regional, and national-level education networks of the government and non-government sectors to promote wider use of innovative methods/approaches developed in the project. This speaks to such activities as regular radio programming for youth on life skills themes, sustainable provision of teaching aids through the development of LNGO-linked social enterprises, and commune engagement in educational service provision (through matching grants), among others. In addition, it should be noted that human resource development by itself cannot easily ensure sustainability because individuals do not work in a vacuum. Rather, individuals must work within institutional frameworks in order to be effective. For this reason, IBECP focuses on efforts to strengthen existing institutional frameworks within the education system (e.g., School Support Committees/SSCs, etc). Project efforts to develop and work through these existing structures will help to ensure that inputs are linked with a sustainable, local, institutional framework rather than a transitory and external program structure.