Myanmar: Support for Education Sector Planning

Sovereign Project | 46369-001

Summary

The Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (henceforth Myanmar) has recently stepped up efforts to strengthen the education sector, recognizing the vital role of an educated population and workforce as essential for sustained economic growth and poverty reduction. This is reflected in the government's critical decision in early 2012 to embark on a Comprehensive Education Sector Review (CESR) -- the first rigorous and comprehensive assessment of the education sector in 2 decades -- to provide a basis for more clearly identifying sector challenges, priorities, and strategic options. Led by the Ministry of Education (MOE), coordinating inputs by other agencies as well as development partner organizations (DPOs), the CESR will culminate in the adoption of a Costed Education Sector Plan (CESP) document, as a unified framework for prioritized and sequenced investments by the government and DPOs.

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Project Name Support for Education Sector Planning
Project Number 46369-001
Country Myanmar
Project Status Closed
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
TA 8187-MYA: Support for Education Sector Planning
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 200,000.00
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Partnerships
Sector / Subsector Education - Education sector development
Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Gender equity
Description

The Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (henceforth Myanmar) has recently stepped up efforts to strengthen the education sector, recognizing the vital role of an educated population and workforce as essential for sustained economic growth and poverty reduction. This is reflected in the government's critical decision in early 2012 to embark on a Comprehensive Education Sector Review (CESR) -- the first rigorous and comprehensive assessment of the education sector in 2 decades -- to provide a basis for more clearly identifying sector challenges, priorities, and strategic options. Led by the Ministry of Education (MOE), coordinating inputs by other agencies as well as development partner organizations (DPOs), the CESR will culminate in the adoption of a Costed Education Sector Plan (CESP) document, as a unified framework for prioritized and sequenced investments by the government and DPOs.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has been involved from the earliest stages of CESR conceptualization, including participation in a series of forums and working meetings to develop a joint plan for the CESR, which was approved by Myanmar's President on 4 July 2012. The government has requested ADB to provide capacity development technical assistance (TA) to directly support the CESR, in close coordination with support for other DPOs. In particular, within the CESR, the government and DPOs have called on ADB to support analysis and planning for post-primary education (PPE) -- as most DPOs will focus on primary, pre-primary, and nonformal education -- along with facilitation of access to relevant regional experience. In addition to building the analytical and planning capacity of MOE and other relevant agencies through their involvement in CESR analyses, the TA will support applied capacity development activities to build these agencies' analytical and planning capacities.

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

Myanmar's education sector has made important progress in recent years, perhaps particularly in primary education (grades 1-5) where -- despite persistent gaps and challenges --the net enrolment ratio (NER) reaching roughly 90% in school year SY2009/2010. At the same time, progress has lagged in PPE subsectors, with NER estimates for SES ranging from only 53.0% to 58.3%, and much lower for TVET and HES. More generally, despite progress, the PPE subsectors appear to face particular challenges in key aspects of (i) equitable access; (ii) quality and relevance; and (iii) subsector management. Limited data available suggest that gaps in each of these dimensions and their impacts on PPE subsector performance are sizeable, as outlined in Appendix 2. Alongside continued improvements in primary and pre-primary education, has set strengthening of PPE as a high priority. As Myanmar embarks on dramatic socioeconomic transformations, PPE must play a critical role in promoting inclusive growth and poverty reduction, meeting rapidly evolving labor market needs, and rebalancing and equipping the economy to modernize and climb the technological ladder into higher value-added sectors and successfully enter into the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015 and global markets.

At the same time, the dearth of data and information on the education sector (and particularly for PPE subsectors) poses a key challenge for MOE and other agencies, obstructing concrete diagnoses of key problems and identification of effective interventions. Capacities for data analysis and evidence-based sector planning -- incorporating international experience as well as improved national data -- also require strengthening. The CESR will thus be fundamentally important, by more precisely pinpointing sector (and PPE subsector) challenges and providing an evidence basis for identifying needed reforms, defining clear priorities and targets, and developing concrete and sequenced action plans. This process will come to fruition with the government's development of an evidence-based and overarching CESP, providing a roadmap for sector improvement and ensuring that increased financing translates into improved sector performance and contributions to Myanmar's socioeconomic transformations. An array of DPOs have committed to align efforts to support this critical CESR process

The TA directly supports the government-led, DPO-supported CESR. Complementing support from other DPOs (largely focused on primary, pre-primary, and nonformal education), the TA will focus principally on PPE, supporting foundational studies and linked capacity development under the CESR's Phase 1 (rapid assessment), and providing flexible, needs-tailored inputs during Phases 2 and 3, leading up to government approval of the CESP.

Impact Viable, sequenced, and adequately resourced education planning implemented.
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome Strengthened knowledge base and institutional capacity for PPE Subsector planning
Progress Toward Outcome

The TA (confinanced by Australia) registered strong performance, providing critical front-line support to Myanmar's landmark Comprehensive Education Sector Review (CESR). Activities under all three of the TA's outputs were largely completed by the original completion date (31 October 2014), though the TA was recently extended by 4 months (through February 2015) to allow support for CESR Phase 3, which has been extended into mid-2015.

The TA is now physically completed (awaiting final closure), after having made important contributions in terms of a strengthened knowledge base and institutional capacities in Myanmar (outlined below).

During CESR Phases 2-3, support under TA 8187 was augmented by and dovetailed with support to the CESR under TA 8385 (also cofinanced by and in partnership with Australia). Additionally, the ADB staff team has maintained a significant involvement in TA implementation, including working with the CESR team and consultants in-country.

Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

PPE subsector studies completed

Regional experiences and lessons disseminated and applied

Analytical and planning capacities of key PPE-related agencies strengthened

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

Output 1. In direct collaboration with the CESR Office and staff and additional consultants from the ADB, GIZ, and UNESCO (and in close dialogue with other development parters such as AusAID and JICA), the TA supported substantive completion of 4 studies as inputs to the compilation volume for CESR Phase 1. These 4 reports (released as technical annexes to the CESR Volume 1 compilation volume) are online at http://www.adb.org/projects/46369-001/documents and www.cesrmm.org and cover (i) secondary education, (ii) TVET, (iii) higher education, and (iv) initial labor market analysis. Findings of this analysis were strongly endorsed via multi-stakeholder roundtable discussions. Key issues and recommendations from draft technical reports have been distilled in the draft CESR Volume 1 main text, prepared by the CESR Team. During Phase 2, the TA supported preparation of a technical annex to Volume 2 on the implications of Myanmar's integration into ASEAN. This and other Phase 2 input reports supported by ADB and other development partners are expected to be launched on the CESR website by MOE in the coming weeks. TA-supported analysis and recommendations have directly fed into further analysis as well as policy dialogue during CESR Phase 2, and contributed to decisions in areas such as the strategy for secondary education curriculum reform.

Output 2: Regional experiences and lessons learned have been mainstreamed into the noted Phase 1 technical annex reports as well as national forums and policy dialogue, spanning all of the post-primary education subsectors (secondary, TVET, and higher education).

Output 3: An initial capacity development series for the CESR Team on analysis using EMIS and household survey data was completed in October 2013, and fed directly into the collaborative studies, noted above. The TA and ADB staff inputs have continued to support a series of subsequent capacity development seminars, principally targeted at CESR Team staff, but including (for example) a session for the Myanmar Central Statistical Office.

Geographical Location
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design Support under the TA is fully mainstreamed within the government-led, DP-supported CESR process, under which MOE acts as overall lead agency, coordinating inputs from MOST and other agencies involved in education (particularly TVET and HES). More specifically, the TA directly supports elements of the CESR design approved by the President on 6 July 2012. ADB has been involved from the earliest stages of conceptualizing the CESR, including participation in working groups on TVET (with UNESCO and GIZ as the other main DPs) and HES (along with UNESCO), and has dialogued closely with the government and multiple DPs in identifying needs for SES-related analysis and support under the CESR as part of a larger basic education sector working group. This process has engaged a diverse array of DPs, ranging from bilateral and multilateral international agencies to international and national NGOs. CESR coordination mechanisms (including the noted JESWG) have been established to support continued harmonization of support by DPs (including under this TA) during CESR implementation.
During Project Implementation TA implementation is likewise fully integrated within the umbrella of the government-led, DP-supported CESR, and will continue to involve substantial dialogue with an array of stakeholders. The government established a CESR Office to coordinate the CESR, including DP support and stakeholder dialogue. A series of technical roundtable meetings (with 3 focused on TVET) as well as stakeholder consultation during Phases 1 and 2 have brought together stakeholders from various government agencies, academic institutions, and the private sector.
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services The TA will support indicatively 18.0 person-months of international and 18.0 person-months of domestic consultants, who will have expertise in SES, TVET, and/or HES and will be recruited as individuals and engaged by ADB in accordance with the Guidelines on the Use of Consultants (2010, as amended from time to time). The TA will also flexibly mobilize short-term resource persons to provide specific expertise, as needed.
Procurement The TA is expected to finance very modest procurement, including resource materials and minor equipment (indicatively two laptop computers and one digital camera), in a manner consistent with ADB's Procurement Guidelines (2010, as amended from time to time), and other ADB guidelines and procedures.
Responsible ADB Officer Christopher A. Spohr
Responsible ADB Department Southeast Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Myanmar Resident Mission
Executing Agencies
Ministry of EducationBuilding No.(13) Ministry of Education
Nay Pyi Taw Myanmar
Timetable
Concept Clearance 30 Aug 2012
Fact Finding 30 Aug 2012 to 02 Sep 2012
MRM -
Approval 10 Oct 2012
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 31 Mar 2015

TA 8187-MYA

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
10 Oct 2012 23 Oct 2012 23 Oct 2012 31 Oct 2014 28 Feb 2015 -
Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
200,000.00 0.00 150,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 350,000.00 10 Oct 2012 518,432.66

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